The Haitian trade union Batay Ouvriye, active in last year’s struggle for a higher minimum wage, has made an appeal for solidarity in the wake of the devastating January 12th earthquake in Port-au-Prince. The UK anti-sweatshop campaign No Sweat is collecting money for this appeal: use details below to donate.
Account name: No Sweat
Account number: 20106269
Sort code: 08-60-01
Add reference: “Batay Ouvriye”
No Sweat will forward all funds received in this way to Batay Ouvriye via the New Jersey account listed below in late February.
Text of appeal:
For us, the Haitian people, the earthquake in Port au Prince, on 12 January 2010 hurt deeply. In fact, apart from the destruction of the public buildings most of our neighbourhoods were destroyed. Not surprisingly they are the most fragile and the most unstable: the state never gave them any service, any attention or helped them consolidate. On the contrary, we need to be able to move, so we have neither time nor capacity to be able to consolidate our position from being precarious.
Meanwhile some capitalists are trying to force the workers back to work in damaged factories, owners of large businesses are opposed to distributing their goods and sell them at a high price, the state proves again, as always, by its absence, its incapacity and incompetence (the only thing they do is steal and maneuver, supporting the landlords, the bourgeois and the multinationals), the national police are absent (they only know how to repress the people) and the imperialist forces are clearly taking advantage of the aid they give. They intend to establish a clear and definitive control over factory workers, workers of all kinds and the suffering masses in general, who are extremely dependent, with this disastrous situation.
Some of the press develops a progressive part of their work as their representatives help coordinate on the ground, several people’s committees are working consistently and relentlessly, giving all their energy for rescue and survival. But! They lack the means and capacity of intervention! Truly, this earthquake, besides having thoroughly physically and morally shaken the population, far exceeds the abilities of people to intervene.
In Batay Ouvriye, even though the majority of our organizers are living, many have lost family, homes and their meager possessions. Many are injured and, while we have to bury our dead, survival is almost impossible.
To the extent that it is possible, we refuse to go through official government channels. But the situation becomes impossible to sustain! So today, we launch an appeal for solidarity to all factory workers, all workers, all progressive people worldwide to help us out of this disastrous situation.
According to an inventory done so far, here are our needs:
Houses destroyed U.S. $50,000.00
Lost Property 20,000.00
Surviving for now 30,000.00
Solve it for the dead 10,000.00
What is needed U.S. $120,000.00
To which must be added by 40% due to rampant inflation and we do not know how high inflation will go. Then a total approximately U.S. $170,000.00.
After the last major mobilization around the minimum wage, we developed several new contacts brave and consistent worker comrades. They live in different neighbourhoods, sometimes far apart. We also need to reach them with our active solidarity. This substantially increases costs. Moreover, in areas where our members live, there have been some common solidarity actions amongst in the communities. We need to get more involved in them and to take energetically the necessary measures. And, as soon as possible (that means being able to concretely and practically intervene) take new initiatives (where possible) to build resistance to forms of reconstruction proposed by the dominant classes. This will also require money. When considering these types of actions and solidarity, we can say that what we need now is a sum of: U.S. $ 300,000.00
That is what will allow us to survive for now, help other fighters and conscientious workers to try to solve some specific life problems and build a political leadership in the class struggle that is organizing in the rubble. This latter aspect should be developed where possible from the start towards gaining a maximum possible force against another type of catastrophe that awaits us: what the imperialists and the ruling classes and their reactionary state are preparing for us.
We thank in advance all those who intend to contribute. The moment calls for international class solidarity. It takes a character of an additional approach, a further step in our common struggle.
For those who want to send specific medicines, water, food, clothing, beds, chairs. The address of our headquarters is Port-au: Batay Ouvriye, Delmas 16, # 13 a.
To help you with money who prefer, our bank account is:
Bank Name: City National Bank of New Jersey
Bank Address: 900 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102
ABA Number: 0212-0163-9 City of Newark NJ
For further credit to:
Account Number: 01 000 98 45
Account Name: Batay Ouvriye
Account Address: Avenue Jean Paul II, # 7
Naturally, we will publicly let everyone know the amount of money we received from time to time, and the cost of each activity or action taken.