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From: Max Blanchet <MaxBlanchet@worldnet.att.net>
----- Original Message -----
From: <Tttnhm@aol.com>

Haiti: Batay Ouvriye (Workers' Fight) denounces "threats" against workers on
the island of La Gonāve

Posted Thursday October 23, 2003 Port-au-Prince, [ AlterPresse ] --- The
workers' organisation, Batay Ouvriye (Workers' Fight), reports that "serious
threats have been made against militants belonging to workers' organisations
on the
island of La Gonāve in the bay of Port-au-Prince. "Many people have been
obliged to go underground, while others have had to leave", states Batay

In an official statement dated 14 October, and transmitted to AlterPresse,
Batay Ouvriye denounces the local authorities which, according to the
organisation, are planning the "assassination and persecution" of workers.
According to
the organisation, "the local authorities are threatening to arrest members
Batay Ouvriye, as well as all workers who organise themselves to defend
rights or even ask questions about the area's problems."

Batay Ouvriye denounces an attempt to denigrate the organisation by
circulating rumours suggesting that it wants to embezzle funds intended for
construction of a road. Rumours are also going around suggesting that Batay
is an ally of the opposition coalition, the Democratic Convergence.

"One was not able to buy to us, and the other won't be able to do it
declares Batay Ouvriye. At the same time, it reaffirms its rejection of
"traditional political practices". The organisation, which describes the
authorities as "inefficient, reactionary and criminal", stresses that the
foundation of its struggle is "defence of the interests of exploited

Batay Ouvriye claims the situation that it is denoucing occured after a
conference it organised in October, during which the problems of the island
Gonāve were posed in the context of workers' interests. "This conference
together 600 people and was a great success. It is following this success
the persecution of workers in the area started." [ ijb gp apr 23/10/2003
(translated from French by Charles Arthur for the Haiti Support Group