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

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