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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: 
karioka9@cs.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.