Toronto Haiti Action Committee

Solidarity. Not Charity. Never Occupation

Toronto Haiti Action Committee - Solidarity. Not Charity. Never Occupation

In the News: No, Mister! You Cannot Share My Pain!

by John Maxwell, originally posted at The Jamaica Observer, January 17th, 2010

If you shared my pain you would not continue to make me suffer, to torture me, to deny me my dignity and my rights, especially my rights to self-determination and self-expression.

Six years ago you sent your Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to perform an action illegal under the laws of your country, my country and of the international community of nations.

It was an act so outrageous, so bestially vile and wicked that your journalists and news agencies, your diplomats and politicians to this day cannot bring themselves to truthfully describe or own up to the crime that was committed when US Ambassador James Foley, a career diplomat, arrived at the house of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide with a bunch of CIA thugs and US Marines to kidnap the president of Haiti and his wife.

The Aristides were stowed aboard a CIA plane normally used for ‘renditions’ of suspected terrorists to the worldwide US gulag of dungeons and torture chambers.
Continue reading

In the News: Marking the first Anniversary of the disappearance of Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine

by Alissa Trotz. Originally published by Stabroek News

20080811antoinelovinskypierre-217x300Tomorrow, August 12th marks the first anniversary of the disappearance of human rights activist Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, Haitian political activist kidnapped for his active and tireless commitment to a democratic and sovereign Haiti. Special vigils will be held across the world, including Haiti, London, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The statement put out by the Global Women’s Strike calls for us to remember Lovinsky’s work for justice and his abduction, and to remind the US, UN and Haitian authorities that his family, friends and community, and people around the world will continue tirelessly to demand his safe return. It is true that in the English-speaking Caribbean we have our share of woes – political stagnation, rapidly rising crime levels and kidnappings. This might lead us to ignore what is going on elsewhere. But it is unfortunate (more than unfortunate, disgraceful really) that we know and seem to care so little about the ongoing struggles of the Haitian people, when it is Haiti that has given the entire Caribbean and the world one of the earliest lessons in liberation from oppression, with the example set by Toussaint L’Ouverture and the Haitian revolution. The crisis in that country today cannot be divorced from the shameful price it was forced to pay for its independence and defeat of Napoleon’s army (a price that included compensating France for the ending of slavery and crippling sanctions imposed by the United States). As Trinidadian Calypsonian David Rudder sings:

Toussaint was a mighty man and to make matters worse he was black
Black and back in the days when black man knew his place was to be in the back
But Toussaint he upset Napoleon, who thought it wasn’t very nice
And so today my brothers and sisters, they still pay the price

Continue reading

Growing concern over the disappearance of political rights activist in Haiti

Thursday, September 20, 2007
Vancouver, Canada– There is growing concern in Haiti and internationally about the disappearance on August 12 of one of Haiti’s best-known and respected advocates of human and social rights, Lovinsky Pierre Antoine.

Several days after the disappearance, the Haitian National Police confirmed that Pierre Antoine was kidnapped. There has been no communication with alleged kidnappers for weeks now. As the silence continues, his supporters are increasingly concerned that the disappearance is a political act by the Haitian elite and its foreign backers to silence Pierre Antoine.

“If his disappearance is political,” says Canada Haiti Action Network spokesperson Roger Annis, “the implications for democracy and political rights in Haiti are very disturbing.”

Continue reading

Protesters condemn kidnapping in Port au Prince

by Roger Annis

Today, more than one hundred angry people took to streets of central Port au Prince to condemn the kidnapping of Lovinsky Pierre Antoine. He is a longtime political rights fighter and leader of the September 30 Foundation, a group founded in 2004 by Lovinsky. Its principle activity has been to fight for the rights of people illegally incarcerated in Haiti.

Lovinsky lived in exile from 2004 to 2006 following the coup d’etat and foreign intervention against the elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The rally today was held in the grand plaza in front of Haiti’s presidential palace. It was organized by Lovinsky’s colleagues in the September 30 Foundation and by other human and social rights groups. More protest actions will take place in the coming days.

Protesters are demanding that the Haitian government and police use all necessary resources to secure Lovinsky’s release. They also condemn the conditions of lawlessness that have marked Haiti since the February 2004 coup d’etat and foreign intervention.

Large numbers of Brazilian soldiers were stationed in front of the presidential palace, across the street from the protest. Few Haitian National Police were visible.

Lovinsky’s case has been widely publicized on radio in Haiti. The print press has yet to cover the story.