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Batay Ouvriye – ON THE ELECTIONS!

The following is text from a flyer being handed out by Batay Ouvriye (Worker’s Fight) in Haiti. Batay Ouvriye is an autonomous mass working class movement which has been organized over many years of intense repression from the bosses. Capitalists in the US have shipped many production and assembly jobs oversees where they can exploit and abuse the workers and laborers around the world a lot easier for a lot less pay, often with the help of mainstream US unions. Workers Struggle stands in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Haiti in their attempts to construct a new Haiti, one where workers have their own autonomous power and control.

They have several types and forms of organizations present within the movement. This text is from a flyer currently being handed out by the intermediate level organizations  to the workers there, often concentrated in sweatshops within massive complexes known as “Free Trade Zones” and “Industrial Parks” (The pleasant language of the capitalists hiding the intense levels of exploitation taking place).  Workers Struggle will develop and put out a text on this concept as it is the focal point of unity among ourselves. American workers and Haitian workers (as well as workers all over the world) are under brutal assaults by the same capitalist class and together we can fight for our own interests! Since they have been organizing for decades, their language and levels of unity might seem complex at times, but this is the language of the working class constructing its own power in a place so brutally attacked by so many masters of wars. It is an extraordinary example of what workers and laborers can do, if we organize ourselves!

Batay Ouvriye

For many years, we of Batay Ovriye have been saying this society is in crisis. It’s a crisis that has splintered the whole of the inner frame of society. This is an economic, political and cultural crisis. This is a crisis that is decaying society. Neither the ruling classes, the state, nor the imperialists can find solutions to this crisis.

Since 1986, they employed many schemes to try to get out of this crisis : elections, coup d’etats, occupations, fraudulent elections…however, the country falls deeper into worse recurring crises. We in Batay Ouvriye, we are clear of one thing for sure: whether it’s an orange, the state apparatus, or the social formation of society that is sucking our blood, when it’s rotten, it’s rotten for good, there is no cure for it.

When the orange is rotten, we can only throw it away in the trash. This social formation exploiting us, this state that’s repressing us, this state that has become rotten and under the orders of imperialism, there is no cure for them. WE CAN ONLY THROW THEM AWAY IN THE TRASHCAN OF HISTORY. 

Today, once more, the ruling classes and the imperialists want the popular masses to follow their plan of exploitation. They want us to go and vote in the elections. Society is decaying, the wound is the « electoral crisis ». The ruling classes and all the candidates want us, the candidates want us to vote for them, but they will do nothing for us, they will only cater to their own interests. Further, each candidate is surrounded by a plethora of electoral thugs tagging along behind them in pursuit of state jobs. Many elections have been done already, and the country is in deeper crises forevermore. All the past governments have clearly demonstrated they were incapable to deal with the crisis the country is experiencing, while politicians are filling their pockets.

We witnessed how the elections of August 9 and October 25, 2016 stuck in their throats. Despite such a big contradiction, the politicians managed to mobilize a good part of the popular masses and divided us in their own interests. This contradiction plays a major role in mystifing the popular masses. Today, we are facing the same situation in which the enemy is leaning on us to rebuild themselves with only one intention and that is to take state power.

In this context, we must think deeply about the electoral lies and deceit the candidates are presenting before us in the popular masses.  Notwithstanding, all we can say, there are many among the popular masses who lend their ear to the election propaganda. For example : we talk about elections, we mobilize and we strive to vote despite all the complaints among us.

The elections are a struggle among the politicians to enrich themselves in the plan of exploitation of the ruling classes and the imperialists. None of these politicians will do anything for us, workers in the sweatshops or other factories.

We must be clear, for the ruling classes and the imperialists, it’s either they organize the elections or extend and consolidate the occupation to maintain their power over us.

In the popular masses, we are facing another choice : either we tag along the plan of our enemies fighting in the electoral arena, or we have to pursue our own independent struggles. Elections or not, new president or not, or a more stringent occupation because of the bankrupcy of the Haitian ruling classes, the fight on the electoral arena is not ours.

Our Struggles are :

  • Fight against exploitation, fight against the abuses of the capitalists and feudal lords
  • Fight for the minimum wage of 500 gourdes for an eight-hour workday ($7.81) at the least
  • Fight for the poor peasants to find land, sharecroppers to change to 3 parts, day laborers to get better wages
  • Fight for all workers to get health insurance and work insurance
  • Fight to organize our own unions without retaliation
  • Fight to build another type of state, our very own state
  • Fight to build another type of society in the interests of the popular masses with the laborers as the backbone under the leadership of the workers.

There is not one candidate nor political party that articulates these demands, and even if they did, it would surely be political pandering. This state is not ours, these elections are not ours.

The most advanced workers who are beginning to see clearly and understand their historical responsibilities must have a clear battle cry and clear orientation for the masses to demarcate themselves from the rotten orientation the traditional politicians are spreading among the masses.

We have a challenge : finding a solution to build an immediate alternative for the masses to get out of this situation, so we can stand up on our feet firmly to make decisions based on our interests, and to not let politicians use us.

In the context of this challenge, there are no easy solutions. Poisoned food does not cure stomachache. We must organize ourselves based on our real interests with a clear line and battle cry above all.

Our work must allow us to build a combative independent organization of workers.

The Struggle has just begun.


October 20, 2016