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17647: Lemieux: Workers World: San Francisco Labor Council salutes Haiti Revolution (fwd)

From: JD Lemieux <lxhaiti@yahoo.com>

San Francisco Labor Council salutes Haiti Revolution
Special to Workers World

The San Francisco Labor Council voted in early December to
send "warm greetings of solidarity to the working people
and government of Haiti on the occasion of the 200th
anniversary of the Haitian Revolution, which abolished
slavery and ended colonial rule."

The resolution by the council, introduced by delegate Dave
Welsh and adopted unanimously, hailed the 13-year rebellion
that threw off the yoke of slavery and French rule as "an
earth-shattering development in the struggle for the
emancipation of labor all over the world."

The Labor Council represents over 80,000 members in 141
affiliated unions. It is part of the American Federation of
Labor-Congress of Industrial Organiz a tions. Its
resolution noted that the United Nations has declared 2004
the "Year of the Abolition of Slavery" on the occasion of
Haiti's bicentennial and "to honor the Haitian people as
valiant pioneers in the struggle for the emancipation of

It was a general strike in 1791, by the enslaved labor
force in Haiti, that set in motion the "armed rebellion
that defeated the pro-slavery French army of Napoleon
Bonaparte at a time when the trans-Atlan tic slave trade
was at its height," according to the Labor Council
statement. "The Haitian people on Jan. 1, 1804,
victoriously declared their independence; abolished the
slave system; renamed the country Haiti in honor of the
original indigenous population of the island; and declared
Haiti as the first free republic in the Americas."

The council, the voice of organized labor in San Francisco,
had earlier passed a resolution calling for an end to the
current U.S. government-led embargo on international
financial aid to Haiti, and demanding release of the
approximately $500 million in blocked humanitarian and
developmental aid.

The earlier resolution, "Let Haiti Live!" went on to be
adopted last year by the 2-million-member California Labor
Feder ation, as well as by the Labor Council for Latin
American Advancement and A. Philip Randolph Institute, San
Francisco chapters. The 2002 resolution noted that
Secretary of State Colin Powell had vowed the U.S. would
"continue to embargo these funds in order to leverage a
'political outcome' in Haiti," adding: "It is appalling
that the U.S. is using humanitarian aid as a political

The heroic Haitian people deserve support and solidarity,
not sabotage and interference.

Reprinted from the Jan. 8, 2004, issue of Workers World
(Copyright Workers World Service: Everyone is permitted to
copy and distribute verbatim copies of this document, but
changing it is not allowed.

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