Today’s guest, Ray Laforest, has been a fighter for social justice for most of his life. He was born in Haiti and at age 13 joined an underground organization against the “Papa Doc” dictatorship. In 1968, I was forced to flee to the U.S. Ray is active with the WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign (www.justiceunity.org), and he has been part of the leadership of the most progressive Haitian organizations in the Diaspora; the Haitian Coalition for Justice, the Haitian/Dominican Action Group and have long supported liberation struggles from Cuba to Central America to Southern Africa. A member of the National Coordinating Committee for Mumia Abu-Jamal, Ray Laforest is a longtime labor organizer, currently a staff organizer with AFSCME District Council 1707. And that is why I invited him back to Air Cascadia after his first ‘appearance’ during KBOO’s Haiti fund-raising drive.
I asked Ray about the real role of American “peace-keeping” forces currently deployed in Haiti, the role of Fanmi Lavalas partisans and the possibility of Aristide’s return in some post-traumatic parallel universe. But the Big Question still crouches in the shadows, waiting for the flame: Haiti’s struggling labor movement will rise, reorganize and return – but in what shape? And will it use the disaster to shed ties to multinational masters or will Rene Preval’s Friends in High Places crack the whip.
Find out more at the International Support Haiti Network reached via www.ccrjustice.org.