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Haiti/Honduras Vigil: Wednesday, Aug. 12 – 4:30 pm
Brazilian Consulate – 300 Montgomery St. (at Pine, nr Montgomery BART), SF
Haitians and Hondurans are still in the streets protesting political kidnappings and coups.
Return Lovinsky! Return Aristide! Return Zelaya!

  • August 12, 2009 marks 2 years since the kidnapping and disappearance of Haitian human rights leader Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine. Yet the authorities have sat on their hands.

  • Haitian President Aristide and Honduran President Zelaya – both kidnapped from their homes in the middle of the night and flown into exile in US-sponsored military coups – are still in exile and not permitted to return home. This is intolerable.

Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine

It is two years since human rights advocate Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine was kidnapped in Haiti. We are with the people of Haiti who have been living under occupation since their elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was kidnapped and forced into exile in 2004 by a US military coup, and with the people of Honduras whose president Manuel Zelaya was kidnapped and removed by a military coup in June 2009.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Please join Haiti Action Committee Wednesday, August 12th, to observe the second anniversary of the kidnapping and disappearance of grassroots organizer and leader, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine.
Meet in front of the Brazilian Consulate at 300 Montgomery Street in San Francisco, 4:30PM. [Brazil heads up MINUSTAH, the United Nations military force that has been occupying Haiti since soon after US special troops kidnapped President and Mrs. Aristide in 2004 and flew them to exile in Africa aboard a US military plane.]
Lovinsky was kidnapped and disappeared in Haiti on August 12th, 2007 shortly after meeting with a US-Canadian human rights delegation. As a member of Fanmi Lavalas, Brother Pierre-Antoine is an extraordinary grassroots organizer and leading advocate for the poor, including street children, teenage mothers and victims of torture.
Despite international actions demanding an investigation into Lovinsky’s disappearance, there has been no effective effort by either the UN in Haiti or the Preval government to locate Lovinsky and secure his safe return, or to hold those responsible for his disappearance accountable.
Join with Haiti’s grassroots movement on August 12, together with friends and comrades in Haiti, Grenada, Los Angeles, London, and elsewhere, in events demanding the return of our dear brother, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine. End the US/UN occupation! Brazil out of Haiti! Free the political prisoners! Return Presidents Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Manuel Zelaya!
Here is last year’s message of solidarity from Mumia Abu-Jamal:
For Haitians, this coming August is a reminder of the kidnapping and disappearance of their brother, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, who was taken after a meeting with a US-Canadian human rights delegation visiting Haiti in mid-August, 2007.
Pierre-Antoine is a co-founder of the Fondayson Trant Septenm, (Kreyol for September 30th Foundation), a group which assisted and supported the people who during (and especially after) the 1991 and 2004 coups against the democratically-elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Members of the Fondayson have been targeted for years.
Around the world, activists have been organizing in Lovinsky’s support, calling on various governments, from Haiti’s President Rene Preval, Brazil (which forms the bulk of the United Nations forces in the country), Canada, the US and France, which organized the latest coup against Haitian democracy.
When Pierre-Antoine was abducted, it forced other democracy and human rights activists in Haiti to go into hiding to avoid waves of state repression.
Haiti has a proud and illustrious career on the world’s stage, becoming the first free Black republic in the West after its 1804 revolution against France, which abolished slavery almost 70 years before the US Civil War spelled the end to human bondage in the US. Their freedom spread the bright lights of liberty and independence throughout the Caribbean, and when South America rose against Spain, it was to Haiti that their Liberator Simon Bolivar turned for support, arms, and a place to rest.
For their bold struggle to bring Black freedom to the West, the US and Europe have unleashed an unholy war. France forced reparations (!) on Haiti — an act unprecedented in history, forcing the victor in war to pay away it’s wealth for almost a century. The US repeatedly invaded the country, brutalized its people, and imposed an assortment of puppet dictators to exploit the country for foreign benefit, and national impoverishment, for generations!
Because Haiti’s popularly elected Bertrand Aristide dared to oppose Haiti’s rich elite, and tried to make things nominally better for its peasantry, US Marines forced him into exile.
Because Lovinsky comes from the popular mass movements, he was snatched off the streets of Haiti a year ago, and the movement is building to bring him back home to his family, his community, and the popular movements of which he was a part.
Haiti must never be forgotten, and neither must we forget Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine. 7/30/08 (c) ’08 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Behind the kidnappings of these political leaders [excerpted from an article circulated by Global Women’s Strike]:
Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine is co-ordinator of Fondasyon 30 Septanm for survivors of the military coups against Aristide, and an advocate for those with the least, starting with women and street children. He was kidnapped on August 12, 2007, two weeks after announcing he would run for the Haitian Senate. The grassroots in Haiti hold weekly vigils demanding his return and the return of Aristide, who was forced into exile in 2004 by a Bush administration military coup backed by Canada and France.

Latin American governments have rightly condemned the recent coup in Honduras and have been working for the return of President Jose Manuel Zelaya, but in contrast, they have collaborated with the occupation of Haiti….UN occupying forces in Haiti continue to be headed by Brazil and include troops from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay. Only Caricom (a grouping of the English-speaking Caribbean, Suriname and Haiti) and Venezuela have spoken out; Cuba continues to provide doctors to Haiti.

President Aristide, a liberation theology priest with a 91.8% mandate (2000 election), was removed because he fought to eliminate poverty. His policies angered the Haitian elite and the US which profit from sweatshops, privatisation and the import of [US] rice which has destroyed the local agriculture and contributed to starvation. Like Zelaya in Honduras and Chávez in Venezuela (who also faced a coup in 2002), Aristide increased the minimum wage, and invested in food, health and education.

Now, former US President Bill Clinton is pushing US policy to expand sweatshops in Haiti under the guise of global investments – and the UN occupiers are responsible for many rapes and murders, including recently opening fire on mourners at the funeral of Father Jean-Juste, another liberation theology priest….

Despite pressure from those in power to participate in elections, grassroots people in Haiti organized “Operation Closed Door”. This massive boycott of the US-financed ($17 million) elections was organised after all candidates from Aristide’s party Fanmi Lavalas were banned from running. The boycott was an outstanding success – only 3% voted, a fantastic example of grassroots organizing and solidarity! The ban [on Lavalas] came the day after a meeting between US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the present Haitian President, Preval. The reason for the ban?: Lavalas usually takes over 85% of the vote.

Haitians have been made to pay for their 1791-1804 revolution which overthrew slavery, making way for emancipation in the region and for liberation movements everywhere. The world owes a great debt to the Haitian people. They have never given up. [Courtesy of Global Women’s Strike.] Read more about Brother Pierre-Antoine here:

Haiti Action Committee

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