Half-Hour for Haiti: Update
Update: No new action this week, just some updates and coming attractions. But please continue to pursue H.Res.241, the Haiti Debt Cancellation Bill, with your member of Congress. The Representatives are in your district in August, looking for votes for next year’s elections. For more information, see last week’s alert. Our handy Haiti Debt Cancellation Bill Resource Packet contains everything your Representative needs to know to support H.Res. 241. Just print it out and hand it to the Representative or staffer at a local meeting.
Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste is returning to Haiti for a weekend visit today. This is double good news: it is a sign that Fr. Gerry’s recovery from leukemia has gone far, and that Haiti’s justice system is recovering enough for Fr. Gerry to count on it respecting his rights. Fr. Gerry’s message on the visit is below, click here for an update on his legal situation.
On the bad news side, Hurricane Dean is expected to pass about 100 miles south of Haiti on Saturday. Current predictions are for tropical storm force winds, but probably not hurricane force winds, to hit Haiti’s Southern Peninsula. Heavy rains are expected. Click here to track the storm.
Coming Attractions: This weekend, August 18 and 19, is the Grassroots Music and Arts Festival at Bethel Farm in Hillsboro, New Hampshire. The festival will feature music, art, films, hiking, swimming and other summer fun, with proceeds going to the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti.
The Jubilee USA Network (IJDH is a member) is organizing a 40-day fast for debt cancellation and economic justice from September 6 to October 15. October 4 will be the Haiti Day, which will include a Congressional Briefing in Washington backed up with grassroots support through a call-in day. Please reflect on what you and your organization can do to make this day a success, and let us know your ideas. The kick-off day for the fast is three weeks away, September 6. Several organizations working on Haiti have committed to participating in the fast, including Haiti Reborn, Hastings Human Rights Project for Haiti, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Haiti Issues Committee, Konbit pou Ayiti/KONPAY, the Haiti Solidarity Network of the Northeast and IJDH. Please let us know if you can participate too. For more information on the fast, see http://www.canceldebtfast.org/.
From Fr. Jean-Juste
Miami August 16, 2007
From the desk of Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 786-290-1750 (USA) 509- 405-3244 (Haiti)
To Friends and Journalists
Honorable Brothers and Sisters,
Friday August 17, 2007, by the grace of the Living God, I will fly home for the first time since January 29, 2006. I intend to make a pilgrimage at my parish St. Clare’s, Tiplas Kazo.
I will join my prayers to the parishioners and pilgrimers to beg God’s blessing for all Haitians and suffering human beings around the world. Those compatriots who are performing good deeds deserve encouragement. Others who are still stubborn in violating People’s rights should have a change of heart.
Let’s all give Haiti a chance. No more coup-d’Etat. No more kidnapping. May the Haitian Exiles return, especially former President Dr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Release the political prisoners, particularly Rene Civil. Basic human needs for all Peoples with immediate attention to the very needy Haitian compatriots.
May all of us be inspired by this wisdom from former USA President J. F. Kennedy: “…Ask what you can do for your country.”
With Dr. M.L.King, jr. I ‘ll conclude”
“LET FREEDOM RING!”
For more information on debt relief, human rights in Haiti and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, see www.HaitiJustice.org. To sign up for bi-weekly action alerts, send an email to HalfHour4Haiti@ijdh.org.