Haitian novelist Edwidge Danticat sent the following statement to the 1804 Movement for All Immigrants’ Jan. 19 march across the Brooklyn Bridge, where it was read in front of the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street by Haitian activist and MC Jocelyn Gay.
Brothers and Sisters. Frè m ak sèm yo.
Here we are again. Men nou la ankò. On the streets. Sou beton an. Sou pon sa a. On this bridge. Calling for our people and our dignity to be respected. We know who we are, but others – including now the president of the United States – keep attacking us with both words and deeds.
This administration is separating our families, cutting off our livelihood, and further destabilizing Haiti’s economic future in the process.
First it was the end of Temporary Protected Status for nearly 60, 000 of our brothers and sisters. Then it was reviving an old debunked theory about AIDS, which brought us to this bridge nearly 30 years ago. Then it was that foul characterization of Haiti and countries in Africa. Then it was the cancellation of work visas for Haitians a few days ago. This administration is determined to shut Haitians out the United States. This administration is separating our families, cutting off our livelihood, and further destabilizing Haiti’s economic future in the process.
Though this moment might seem unprecedented, Haitians and Haitian-Americans have faced great challenges before, but we have seen from the last time we stood on this bridge and shook it, how much we can accomplish when we stand together. L’Union Fait La Force. In Unity, there is Strength. Together we are stronger. Haitians all the over the world stand with you today, and we are stronger for it. And we are stronger still when we stand with all other immigrants who are also facing deportation and the termination of TPS and the current limbo of DACA. And we are stronger still when we stand with all those around the world who have also been maligned and oppressed. In Unity there is strength indeed. “L’Union fait la Force.” Kenbe la, Pa Lage.