Edited by Azizi Powell
This post documents some of the chants and signage that have been used in recent protests in the United States ople of the Dominican Republics' deportation policies. Those policies are directed against people of Haitian descent who have been born in that nation, and against other people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic.
The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, folkloric, and motivational purposes.
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"Black Lives Matter: Responding to the Dominican Deportation Crisis
Nathalie Baptiste , June 25, 2015
"Protests erupt worldwide as more than 200,000 people of Haitian descent may soon be deported from the Dominican Republic.
Misma isla, misma raza is Spanish for “same island, same people”* and it’s one of the rallying cries of the hundreds who gathered in Washington, D.C., on June 22 to protest the citizenship crisis happening right now in the Dominican Republic. Haitians, and those descended from Haitians, are being denationalized while the threat of deportations looms. In September 2013, a Dominican high court ruled that anyone born after 1929 to undocumented parents were not citizens. With the government’s June 17 registration deadline now passed, an estimated 200,000 people are threatened with deportations and statelessness—and most of them are black.
The crisis happening in the Dominican Republic affects two kinds of people. Black Dominicans born to Haitians or with Haitian grandparents and Haitian migrants who came to the Dominican Republic to work in the sugar cane industry or the booming tourism industry.
The crowd that had gathered in Washington’s Dupont Circle came with a multitude of signs. Some read “Black Lives Matter” and others “Human Rights Knows No Borders”.*" Organized by the Association of Haitian Professionals, marchers included the old, the young, Dominicans, Haitians, and even local politicians.
Deni Taveras is a Democrat who represents District 2 in Prince George’s County Council, a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C. Councilwoman Taveras is the child of Dominican immigrants but showed no hesitation in calling out the Dominican government. “At the end of the day, these people are Dominicans. When you grow up and this is all you know, this is your country,” Taveras says….
But even with protests popping up in cities across the country and world, the plight of the Dominicans and Haitian-Dominicans remains largely ignored.
Conflict between Haiti and the Dominican Republic goes back a long time. Even though the two nations share the island of Hispanola and a long and complicated history, the relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic can be described tense at best and deadly at worst. The Haitian annexation of the Dominican Republic lasted from 1822 to 1844. And in 1937, under Dominican President Rafael Trujillo, antihaitianismo—Spanish for anti-Haitianism—essentially became institutionalized when he ordered the massacre of 20,000 Haitians living near the border.
Today, antihaitianismo still casts a cloud over migrants living in the Dominican Republic. Like Mexican immigrants in the United States and Arab immigrants in France, Haitians are often blamed for the social ills of the Dominican Republic.
When the Dominican government announced the new ruling, the backlash from the international community was enough to get the government scrambling for a PR fix. Those who could prove that they were registered with the government or had Dominican birth certificates would not be at risk for deportation. The fix, however, wasn’t enough...
While Dominican President Danilo Medina remains adamant that international legal standards have no bearing in his country, the deportations are clearly in violation of international human rights law. Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that everyone has a right to a nationality. Human rights groups have called on the Dominican government to rethink the new law that would render so many people stateless...
The fates of 200,000 people remain in the balance. A crisis of this magnitude should be making headlines across the globe.
Signage in photograph that was shown with this article: "Not 1 more racist deportation from DR."*
*I added italics to highlight that signage.
VIDEOS OF DOMINICAN REPUBLICS' DEPORTATION POLICIES
Editor's note: The chants and signage are given in italics to highlight them.
Example #1:NY Dominicans Protest Haitian Deportations in the Dominican Republic
radicallatina, Published on Jun 15, 2015
In a powerful show of solidarity, on June 15th, 2015 Dominicans protested at the Dominican consulate in New York City yesterday to say no to deportations of Dominicans of Haitian descent. Deportations in the Dominican Republic of people of Haitian descent (or perceived Haitian descent) regardless of where they were born are set to begin this week in the Dominican Republic. The community of Dominicans in the diaspora in New York, where the largest population of Dominicans outside of the mainland reside, planned this protest as part of a larger coalition to fight the deportations and anti-Haitian racism that plagues Dominicans and other Caribbean countries as a result of historical and systemic oppression. #BastaYa #BlackLivesMatter #DominicanRepublic #DominicanosPorHaiti #WeAreAllDominican #YoTambienSoyHaiti #Ayiti
¡Basta ya! ¡Basta ya! [Stop it! Stop it!]
¡Basta ya! ¡Basta ya!
¡Basta ya! ¡Basta ya!
Person one: Right now, precisely, we’re actually in front of the Dominican Consulate. I’m here, standing in solidarity with Dominicans of Haitian descent who are set to be deported in the hundreds of thousands. There is a government in the world that’s denationalizing a people and there isn’t a single international body that’s doing something about it.
Person two: It is a response by the Dominican government supposedly to regulate the immigration status of people in the Dominican Republic but what we understand is that in this process there are many Dominicans of Haitian descent who have been born in the country who are Dominicans who should be recognized as Dominicans that are also being potentially deported with this law as well.
"Stop the racist terror! Stop the racist terror!
Stop the deportations!"
Person three: "So far I’ve seen a lot of support from Haitians, Dominicans , Americans and Americans of other Caribbean descent. I’m half Haitian and my father’s actually a leader of the Black Lives Matter in the Dominican Republic movement and I feel like it’s my duty to be here to help support worker in trouble who are being deported and oppressed."
Person four: "Creo que hay muchos de nosotros que no entienden la historia capitalista e imperialista de nuestra isla."
Person five: "A veces la lógica del estado dominicano y de la elite dominicana, más allá de los beneficios inmediatos que sacan a partir de la explotación del trabajador y trabajadora no tiene sentido a partir de ahí, de esa premisa."
"Haitians Dominicans Black and White! Workers of the World Unite!"
Person three: "The more protests we have like this all around the world, and the more people we get involved and the more people we educate about this, the better it is for the Haitian people and Haitian-Dominicans."
Person six: "I feel that to actually make change we have to lobby and do things other than protest to find ways to reach those people who try to ignore us, like the people walking away from here. I feel like this is a good way to start, but I think the next step would be a way to actually engage the masses."
"...De Los Trabajadores!"
Person two: "Dominicans born either here in the United States or who have migrated here to the United States, we should be aware of how this resonates with our own community. We should understand that they are as Dominicans as anyone who’s living in the United States and claims a Dominican nationality."
Person four: "Our cultures are different but similar in so many ways. We are- we are brothers and sisters in one island- both colonized people and we have liberated ourselves from that but a lot of people haven’t done that mentally. And we need to build that solidarity together in like places where joy is spread, where there’s music, where there’s dance. You know, we gotta do that."
Example #2: Haitians Americans say no to Dominican Republic
Haitians Lives Matter Published on Jul 16, 2015
Haitians Lives Matter in Dominican Republic
Chants: Haitian lives matter. Dominican lives matter.
Signage: We condemn apartheid in the Dominican Republic.
Examples #3: Protesters rally against Dominican Republic's treatment of Haitian-Dominicans
Miami Herald, Published on Jun 25, 2015
Demonstrators chant "All Dominicans!" as they march from the Dominican consulate to the Haitian consulate in Miami to protest the stripping of citizenship and threatened deportation of Dominicans of Haitian descent from the Dominican Republic. Video by David J. Neal/Miami Herald Staff
Example #4: Protest against deportation of Haitians and Dominicans with Haitian descent
VideoPam.com Published on Jun 25, 2015
Speaker: The US needs to speak up about racism in the Dominican Republic. You can't say that you are against racism in Charleston and not speak up about racism in Santo Domingo.
Charleston, South Carolina was the United States city where a White gunman killed nine Black people in a church (June 2015). That gunman's social media documented his allegiance to racist beliefs and symbology, including the Confederate battle flag. Protests eventually resulted in the removal of that battle flag from the South Carolina state government grounds.
Santo Domingo is the Capital of the Dominican Republic.
RELATED LINK TO AN ARTICLE ABOUT DR DEPORTATION
Ex-Peace Corps volunteers unite for U.S. action on Dominican immigration policies
By Mariano Castillo, CNN, Updated 10:28 AM ET, Mon August 10, 2015
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