Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti



by Leslie Fleming

Global Exchange is accepting votes for Human Rights Heroes for Peace, Environment and Economic Justice. We want you to vote for Pierre Labossiere!

Pierre has worked tirelessly his entire adult life to advance human rights and justice. His primary work has been to support the grassroots Lavalas movement in Haiti. He is the co-founder and leader of the Haiti Action Committee, which has worked for almost 20 years to bring dignity to and improve the lives of the vast majority of Haitians. He fights military repression and supports grassroots activists and political prisoners every way he can. Pierre embodies the meaning of solidarity and can be found at virtually every political event for peace and justice that takes place in San Francisco’s Bay Area. He has been a union activist (ILWU) and a supporter of people’s struggles for justice and dignity throughout the world.

Pierre inspires by his example. He lives simply, acts with humility and generosity, and works hard. Every Haiti Action member who has visited Haiti and met with Haitian grassroots activists has been asked if we know Pierre.

When we say “yes,” we are inevitably told of some important assistance Pierre has provided their community.

Pierre is a teacher in the greatest sense of the word. Few people know as deeply as Pierre how to effect positive social change. His warmth is felt by all who know him. He calls people brother and sister and means it.

Haiti might be compared to Iraq as a country living under military occupation, and Haitians might be compared to Palestinians in the degree of privation and repression they suffer. But one rarely reads about Haiti in the news or sees Haiti on TV, and then only when something awful has happened. The kidnapping of President Aristide and subsequent coup in 2004 serves as the template for the recent overthrow of President Zelaya in Honduras. This award will give visibility to Haiti, as a country desperately in need of international solidarity, and it will honor one of the most respected community leaders in the Bay Area.

To vote for Pierre as a Human Rights Hero for Peace, Environment and Economic Justice, go to the link:

Once you get there, you sign in with your name and email address, a simple process that takes less than 10 seconds. When you get the email confirmation, go to the site, click on the Peace category, then scroll down almost to the end, and cast your vote for Pierre under the “Peace” category.

That’s it! Voting ends October 5, so please do it now.

The award comes with a $1,000 prize which surely will be used by Pierre for further organizing and support in Haiti. Pass the word to your lists and friends. There’s no problem with votes from outside of California, so tap all possible contacts.

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Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
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