A number of Haitian groups and progressives came together Sat., Jan. 13 in Haïti-Liberté‘s Brooklyn office to organize rapid responses to Trump’s rabidly crude, racist declarations and the vicious, cruel decisions that are entwined with the words.
It was a long and fruitful discussion, which started with 2 minutes of silence for the tens of thousands of Haitians who died in the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. The militants involved, many with deep experience in organizing, felt that they needed an on-going vehicle to push Trump back, one with some common political principles and a structure. While based in the Haitian community in New York/New Jersey, they felt that Trump is creating the same problems for all immigrant groups, not just Haitians. In particular, for Salvadorans and African immigrants.
This desire to reach out was clearly expressed by the meeting being conducted in English, with translations from Kreyòl as needed.
They picked the name of this new, on-going organization very carefully. It is the “1804 Movement for all Immigrants” because 1804 was the final victory of the Haitian revolution and the definitive end of slavery in Haiti and “for all Immigrants” because Salvadorans and African immigrants, in particular, and in general, any immigrant of color are afflicted with Trump’s racist invective and his racist decisions.
Knowing full well that Trump apologizing is as likely as his developing compassion, the meeting still felt he should. And that is one of their principles of unity. Another addresses the denial of extending TPS (Temporary Protective Status) which means 60,000 Haitians and 262,000 Salvadorans will have their lives and families upended, since most will have to leave the U.S..
The solution to this is simple – make “Temporary” “Permanent.”
To avoid this movement becoming dominated by bourgeois politicians, many felt that this movement needed to be anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist.
The 1804 Movement for All Immigrants wants to have a rapid impact, which is why it picked Fri., Jan. 19, a work day which means more impact, for the date of its first action and the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street at its first target.
Here are the details:
8:00 am.: Assemble at GrandArmyPlaza in Brookly
9:00 am.: Start the March down Flatbush Avenue
12:30 pm.: Rally Trump Building, 40 Wall Street.
For more information, call 718.421.0162 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Jan. 19 March’s Facebook page is www.facebook.com/events/146968892670279/ The hash tags for the Jan. 19 demo are #TrumpIsARacist #1804Movement #J19forHaiti.
Greg Dunkel is a long-time Haiti activist and member of Workers World Party. The original version of this article was written for Workers World newspaper.