Lovinsky Pierre Antoine’s Human Rights Award
The Haiti Solidarity Network of the North East (HSNNE) is honoring Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine with its Human Rights Award on Saturday, May 10, in Bayonne NJ (click here for event details).� HSNNE will launch an action alert to fight for Lovinsky’s return, which we will get out next week. But in the meantime, they’ve shared an advance copy of the testimonials from their event program:
HONORING LOVINSKY PIERRE-ANTOINE
Today I join you in honoring the many and great contributions of our friend and brother Lovinsky Pierre Antoine. At the center of his work has been the dignity of the Haitian people. It guided Lovinsky as he raised his voice in unison with the people of Haiti in denouncing injustice, struggling for a better life and pursuing a non-violent path towards a democratic and free Haiti for all.
If Lovinsky were there with you today, his deep and bellowing voice would echo the demands of Haitians and the world�s poor for respect of the fundamental and human right to food and freedom from hunger. His resolute commitment to peace and justice would demand no less. In his absence, it is fitting and right that the Haiti Solidarity Network of the North East shine a light on Lovinsky�s vision by awarding him with the organization�s Human Rights Award.
May this award symbolize one more step towards a safe return of our beloved brother! Peace and Love to his Family and to Haiti, our Mother Land.
Dr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Former President of Haiti
Pretoria, South Africa
May 2, 2008
Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine is truly deserving of the Haiti Solidarity Network of the North East�s Human Rights Award.� The range of his work is astounding � from organizing resistance to themilitary dictatorship of 1991 to 1994 to fighting to make the justice system responsive to Haiti�s poor and providing psychological treatment to victims of human rights violations.� Lovinsky has been successful in all of these endeavors because he keeps persisting in the face of great obstacles, and insists on non-violence in the face of great frustration and injustice. Anyone who cares about human rights in Haiti is aggrieved that Lovinsky cannot be with you to accept his award. Lovinsky’s continued disappearance is, of course, a great personal tragedy, but it is also a great tragedy for the people of Haiti.� As Haiti faces continuing trials, it needs Lovinsky and his persistence and courage more than ever.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters U.S. House of Representatives
This testimonial is hard to write. Lovinsky means so much to me, as a friend, advisor, an ally and an inspiration for the last twelve years. And he means so much to the struggle for human rights in Haiti. Perhaps the best measure of both Lovinsky�s achievement and his absence is how often I think “if only Lovinsky were here.� If Lovinsky were free today, he would be bringing disciplined, non-violent leadership to the fight for the right to food on Haiti�s streets; he would be sending clarity and strategy to those of us trying to respond from afar. Lovinsky would have stood up when elections were postponed, when parliamentarians sought to forge ploughshares into swords by reviving the army. If Lovinsky were free today, and if any other human rights advocate had been kidnapped, Lovinsky would be fighting for his or her release, with patience, intelligence and persistence.
Brian Concannon Jr., Esq.
Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine�s work stands as a robust and inspiring model of how to better accompany the poor through human rights advocacy. He insists, as the poor do, on respect for all their human rights:� the rights to eat, to receive basic healthcare and to learn in school, as well as the rights to vote, to speak freely and to protest. Lovinsky understands the need to organize for change and to empower the poor to stand up for their own rights, which has been, indeed, the great lesson of all of Haitian history. Most of all, Lovinsky understands that fundamental change requires patient persistence. His organization of demonstrations for justice every Wednesday, week after week, year after year kept human rights and justice on the radar screen, and has inspired all of us. It still does.
Dr. Paul Farmer
Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante
The Founder and General Secretary of the 30 September Foundation, Lovinsky Pierre Antoine is a political activist and a tireless defender of Human Rights in Haiti. As both a psychologist and a human rights defender, he has worked tirelessly and has participated in all of the struggles in favor of the poorest. Lovinsky is a fighter and an activist of great courage who has never been afraid to confront the Haitian oligarchy and the anti-democratic sector which have always promoted social exclusion. He is a man of character and conviction who, by his insight, his approach, his capacity to mobilize people, his commitment and his astuteness, was able to instill in me an understanding of the battle to establish democracy and the rule of law in Haiti. In other words, his interpretations, his influence and his leadership have transcended his own profession.� His modesty and his simplicity make him an exemplary man. His manners, his humility and his love for the Haitian people, particularly the oppressed, are a model worth following. His absence has left a great hole amongst us.
Mario Joseph, Esq. Bureau des Avocats Internationaux
Lovinsky Pierre Antoine understands that the only way to improve Haiti for Haitians is to be voice for the voiceless on the international stage as well as push the Haitian government on all matters. In the face of politicians and celebrities, Lovinsky is one of the best advocates I have ever met.� For years, Lovinsky held demonstrations to encourage the government to continue the fight against impunity.� When he was living in the US, he always pushed policy makers and advocates to demand truth about US policy towards Haiti and reform. He knows that the fight of the victims of impunity would only be won through education, solidarity and sacrifice. He has an unflinching commitment to denouncing overthrow of the government and to other truths about US policies towards Haiti that remain self-evident. One of our last conversations was about his safety in living in Haiti once more.� He explained to me the importance of the right of return for all Haitians who live in exile abroad. We discussed the importance of commitment and faith. A leader, a father, a husband and a patriot, TransAfrica salutes our friend Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine and pledge to continue the fight for his release, for justice for the Haitian people and the entire African World.
Nicole Lee, Esq.
TransAfrica Forum, Inc.