Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Half-Hour for Haiti: Organize

October 25, 2005

Half-Hour for Haiti: Organize

This week’s action alert is brought to you by the generosity of everyone who responded to our call for support two weeks ago. Thank you for helping the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and IJDH stand up for human rights in Haiti and abroad. We need more support to keep going, so please consider pitching in if you have not already done so. Several people who could not contribute financially kindly offered their time and expertise. We can still use help in several areas, including managing our contact database and preparing fundraising campaigns, so let us know if you can help.

This week’s action is to organize.

If you live in Canada: Plan ahead for the Pan-Canadian Week of Action, November 12-20, 2005. Sponsored by the Canada Haiti Action Network, the Week will kick off with a rally on Parliament Hill in Ottowa, and include events from coast to coast. For more information, see http://www.canadahaitiaction.ca/action.php. If you would like to endorse the Week of Action or organize a local event, contact Canada Haiti Action Network at (613) 864-1590, or email kskerrett@cupe.ca.

If you like films: Two excellent films on Haiti have been released recently. Both are receiving rave reviews, but because they challenge the foreign policy of wealthy countries, both are having trouble getting into theaters. They need your help, so try to organize a showing, for your community or your church, solidarity or school group. It is not necessary to attract a huge crowd to each showing (although it would help), it is important that there be a lot of showings. As they say in Haiti, men anpil, chay pa lou (many hands makes the load light).

Haiti: The Untold Story by Kevin Pina, chronicles the brutal daily human rights violations committed against democracy supporters in Haiti since the February 2004 coup d’etat. The film focuses on abuses in poor urban neighborhoods by the Haitian National Police and United Nations Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH) troops in Haiti, especially the July 6, 2005 Cite Soleil massacre. It was produced at great personal risk by journalist/filmmaker Pina, who has covered the grassroots democracy movement in Haiti for the past ten years. It contains stunning footage not available elsewhere. For more information, or to view a trailer, see http://www.teledyol.net/KP/HUS/HUS.html.

Aristide and the Endless Revolution by Nicolas Rossier (Baraka Productions)

“An hour south of Miami, the elected president of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation has twice been forced from office with the complicity of the international community. “ARISTIDE and the Endless Revolution” investigates the tragic events that led to the second violent expulsion of Jean Bertrand Aristide from Haiti. This documentary reveals the tangled web of hope, deceit, and political violence that has brought the world’s first black republic to its knees.” For more information or to view a trailer, see http://www.aristidethefilm.com. The film will be shown in New York from November 17-23.

A third film, Pote Mak Sonje: the Raboteau Massacre Trial (Christine Cynn and Harriet Hirshorn) is a few years old, but is an important reminder of the possibilities of democracy in Haiti. The film chronicles the tenacious, non-violent and ultimately (but temporarily) successful fight for justice by the victims of the 1994 Raboteau Massacre. The victims took risks for justice, because they saw it as a way of breaking Haiti’s cycle of violence and transforming the justice system from an instrument of repression into an instrument of liberation. They succeeded in convicting the top paramilitary and military leadership of murder in a trial hailed as “a landmark in the fight against impunity.” After the film’s release, all those convicted were freed following the February 2004 coup d’etat. For more information, see http://www.ijdh.org/articles/article_raboteau-4.htm.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area: Mario Joseph of BAI and Brian Concannon of IJDH will speak at several venues from Oakland to Palo Alto from 10/30-11/4.

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For more information about the Half-Hour For Haiti Program, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti or human rights in Haiti, see www.ijdh.org.

Contact IJDH

Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
15 Newbury St
Boston, MA

Telephone: (617) 652-0876
General Inquiries: info@ijdh.org
Media Inquiries: media@ijdh.org