1997, july 28 - haitians strike against united nations' police-keeping extention
grass-roots groups called for a nationwide work stoppage to block the united nations from keeping its 1,600-member force in haiti past the July 31 pullout date. the strike was confined to downtown port-au-prince, the capital, and north coast cap haitien. police and u.n. troops patrolled slums in both cities to prevent militants from setting up flaming tire barricades. police arrested strike leader rene civil, of the grass-roots what will happen will happen group, after he was reportedly found carrying a can of gasoline in the outskirts of port-au-prince. no violence was reported in either city.
"we need four more months of an international presence, of a u.n. presence, mainly to train local police there," u.s. ambassador richardson told the newshour with jim lehrer. the u.n. force took over in march 1995, six months after u.s. troops intervened, toppling the army-backed dictatorship and returning former president jean-bertrand aristide to power. in february, rene preval succeeded aristide, who was barred under the constitution from seeking a second straight term in office. aristide's supporters have expressed opposition to the u.n. force, which they claim is being used to force acceptance of an internationally-backed plan to modernize haiti's economy. aristide has come out against the measures, which would include laying off thousands of state workers.
1997, march 20 - one day strike called to protest privitization plans
schools and businesses in haiti were closed by a general strike called to protest government plans to privatize nine state-operated entreprises. it was the second general strike on the caribbean island in two months. the coalition of organizations which called the strike named it "cutting heads and burning houses" after the rallying cry of haiti's bloody 1803 slave revolt.
from solinet's archive of labor news
the world : central america and the caribbean : haiti