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#983: Signatures sought for Declaration of Conscience (fwd)
Dear friends and others. We are soliciting your signature for this pledge of
conscience to show the broad range of public opinion opposed to the
dehumanizing practices of Balaguer and his gang in the Dominican Republic.
They can have their hate rally on Saturday, but we will rally those who
oppose injustice against them. The Declaration with your endorsement will be
published a little later in the Haitian and Dominican press. If you need to
know more about the Justice Committee before you sign, please read our press
release, and the statement of the committee that will be posted, Bob willing,
tomorrow. Peace. Daniel.
A Declaration of Conscience
"The poor is hated even of his own neighbor." (Proverbs, 14)
"The blame is only against those who oppress." (the Quran)
A dangerous situation is unfolding which, if unchecked, may lead to a
massacre against the darker population in the Dominican Republic, mainly
Haitian residents and migrant workers, and Dominicans of Haitian parentage.
The precedent set by the 1937 massacre of 30,000 Haitians in the Dominican
Republic is too frightening to ignore. Then, as now, the ills of Dominican
society were blamed on a so-called "Haitian invasion". Then, as now, the
Dominican power structure encouraged a climate of violence and hate against
the Haitian "enemy." Then, as now, an overly racist ideology sought to
cleanse Dominican blood, Dominican culture and the Dominican landscape of all
that is black, Haitian or African. The call issued by former president
Joaquin Balaguer's party for a mass demonstration on November 20, as part of
an all-out anti-Haitian campaign, and Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez
Rodriguez's call for the repatriation of all Haitians, in order to "preserve
Dominican culture, citizenship and territorial integrity," are of especially
grave concern to us, because they have further inflamed chauvinist hysteria
throughout the country.
As signers of this declaration, we condemn the roundup and deportation of
black people at gunpoint, and the forceful separation of children from
parents. We protest the kidnapping of hundreds of Haitian-Dominican youth,
dumped at isolated places across the border. The recently appointed Haitian
and Dominican joint commission on cross border migration is the proper
mechanism for a mutually beneficial immigration policy, not persecution and
racial witch-hunts. We urgently call on the Dominican government to live up
to its bilateral and international engagements, and to respect the rights of
all human beings on its territory. The average Dominican man and woman are
being squeezed by unemployment, poverty, hunger, and other by-products of
neoliberal austerity. We identify with their plight, and also urge them to
resist the xenophobic propaganda of rightwing politicians that further
weakens the victims of globalization by dividing their ranks.
Please return signed Declaration to: Justice Committee for Haitians and
Haitian-Dominicans in the Dominican Republic, c/o Haitian Information Center,
1218 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11226. Or email your endorsement to:
email@example.com. Include full name, profession or title, and organization if
any. A formatted version of the Declaration is available as an email
attachment, if you can to volunteer to collect signatures in your area.