Update: Thanks to everyone who wrote to the U.S. Congress about the Haitian Protection Act of 2007. That bill is listed as having only 17 co-sponsors, I suspect it has not been completely updated. The Haiti Truth Act is listed as having no cosponsors, I expect an update is needed there too. But if you have not written your representative on either, please do so now.
Some bad news on political prisoners in Haiti: the Gonaives Appeals Court announced More Delays in the La Scierie Case. The decision on the appeal will not be published in January, as promised (it had also been promised for December, and September 2006. Under Haitian law, it should have been issued in November 2005). Several of the defendants are a month shy of having spent three years in prison on this case, and it is over eight months since the appeals were heard. We hope to have an action on this soon from Haitian human rights lawyer Mario Joseph of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, who represents the defendants.
This Week’s Action: Join supporters of justice for Haiti in 42 cities on four continents by planning to attend or organize an event next week. Haiti’s Fondation Trente Septembre, is looking for planned local activities for the International Day in Solidarity with the People of Haiti on February 7 (or thereabouts). For more information, contact Dave Welsh at 510-847-8657, or email@example.com. The Haiti Reborn Program will have a week of activities in its annual Haiti Solidarity Week February 3-10, 2007. Haiti Reborn is also looking for people to coordinate local events, contact Tom Ricker, firstname.lastname@example.org, (301) 699-0042.
Many cities are hosting large events (see below). If you can get to one of these, spend 30 minutes this week recruiting some friends to join you. If there isn’t an event nearby, you can organize a simple one in half an hour. In my small town, we are going to show the award-winning and compelling “Aristide and the Endless Revolution,” (available on Netflicks and elsewhere on the net), with a short discussion afterwards, and pass around some action items from the International Day in Solidarity and Haiti Solidarity Week. We won’t get a huge crowd, but we will be counted, and it will not take long to set up.
Bulletin #1 – Actions in 17 countries on 4 Continents
42 Cities Join International Day in Solidarity with Haiti
So far 42 cities — in South Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and North America — have joined hands in the February 7th International Day in Solidarity with the Haitian People. They are answering the call of the popular movement in Haiti, which is mobilizing people for February 7, as they have been continually since the February 29, 2004 coup d’etat.
From street demonstrations and marches to vigils, film showings and public meetings, people in 17 countries (so far!) are uniting around the 6 demands and the central theme: Stop the War Against the People of Haiti — End the Foreign Military Occupation — Respect Haiti’s Sovereignty!
Protests are being organized in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, the US and Canada — countries that provide troops for the UN military force in Haiti — as well as in South Africa, Ireland, England, Mexico, Guyana and the Caribbean. Cities with large Haitian communities in the US and Canada will be mobilizing. New York will see a Haiti solidarity demonstration at United Nations headquarters on Feb. 7th. San Francisco and Los Angeles will target the consulate of Brazil, whose UN military commander in Haiti is responsible for the massacres and the almost daily, heavy-caliber attacks on the men, women and children who live in Cite Soleil..
This is a critical moment for Haiti. Repression is intensifying, but the people’s resistance continues strong. Our practical solidarity can play a key part in this life-or-death struggle.
Here is what you can do:
1. Organize an activity for Haiti on or around Wednesday, Febuary 7 in your city or town.
2. Let us know now what you are planning — date, time, location, type of activity, contact information — so we can build the campaign. [Call +1-510-847-8657 or email email@example.com]. After your event, please call or email us a report immediately so we can publicize each city’s protest activity while the news is still fresh.
3. Circulate key documents [sent separately]:
a. The “Call to Action – International Day in Solidarity with the Haitian People – Coordinated International Protests on Feb. 7, 2007.” In English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
b. Sept. 30th Foundation Declaration: “No to Occupation — No to Trusteeship” – in Kreyol and English. And recent article: “The Coup d’Etat Continues” – in French.
c. Reports on the December 22 “Christmas massacre” in Cite Soleil; on the role of the UN since the Feb. 29, 2004 coup; and on the current situation in Haiti.
Thank you, brothers and sisters.
For the February 7, 2007 International Day of Solidarity with the People of Haiti,
Lavarice Gaudin, Veye Yo
Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, Fondasyon Trant Septanm
Margaret Prescod, Global Women’s Strike
Dave Welsh, US Labor/Human Rights Delegation to Haiti
Contact the Feb. 7th Organizing Committee at 510-847-8657 or firstname.lastname@example.org ________________________________________________________________
For more information about the Half-Hour for Haiti Program, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, or human rights in Haiti, see www.HaitiJustice.org. To receive Half-Hour for Haiti Action Alerts once per week, send an email to HalfHour4Haiti@ijdh.org.