[News] Haiti: Message at Fanmi Lavalas rally

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Tue Dec 21 08:52:03 EST 2004



Message by Michelle Karshan at Fanmi Lavalas rally

http://www.haitiaction.net/News/MK/12_18_4.html
Speech by Michelle Karshan at Fanmi Lavalas rally at Clara Barton High 
School on December 18, 2004 commemorating December 16, 1990 and honoring 
guest speaker, Father Gerard Jean-Juste, who was recently released from 
Haiti's prisons

Good evening and thank you for inviting me to speak tonight.

This is a bittersweet event for me.

Sweet because we celebrate the December 16, 1990 anniversary of the first 
democratic elections in Haiti in which Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide was 
democratically elected president.

Bitter because for the second time a collaboration between anti-democratic 
forces, both inside Haiti and internationally, have made a coup d'etat 
against President Aristide and the Haitian people.

But tonight is sweet for me because for the second time in two weeks I am 
in the company of Lavalas in New York and I see the same faces from the 
mobilization during the last coup d'etat. I know what fighters you are, and 
I know what winners you are. I know you will not be blocked in your fight 
to restore democracy and constitutional order in Haiti.

To the coup makers, I say,

You sent millions of dollars into Haiti to create opposition parties, to 
consolidate opposition parties in a large block, to put in place an option 
zero plan to obstruct and paralyze the democratically elected government,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You refused all compromise, rejected reconciliation, blocked the electoral 
process,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You funded and trained the former brutal military and their paramilitary 
forces and led them to attack the National Palace and the Police Academy, 
and then you said the Palace attacked itself!,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You waged daily violence, you marched without permits, you deviated from 
the original routes, you forced the police to use tear gas against you, you 
told the press we were suppressing your rights, you manipulated and used 
the university students against their own government,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You threatened our school children if they went to school; you stoned them 
and said you would burn down their schools,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You denied medical care to Haiti's poor, you said not until Aristide 
leaves! Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You created hate radio in Haiti; you manipulated and used the foreign and 
Haitian press to distort reality to make Lavalas look like the bad ones,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

In 2004, the year that celebrates the victory of African people over their 
oppressor, you have tried to destroy Haiti's relations with Caribbean and 
African countries,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You fabricate massacres to justify detaining the Lavalas government officials,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You ride your tanks over the new roads and highways built by the Lavalas 
government on route to the slums to massacre the people, to squash the 
mobilization, to shoot down peaceful demonstrators -- demonstrating for 
freedom and democracy,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You kidnapped the democratically elected president. You forced out 7,000 
elected official and the local community representatives,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You seized the hospitals, the clinics, and the medical school -- all built 
by Lavalas!
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You massacred dozens of prisoners in the National Penitentiary,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You chased down, tortured, raped, massacred Aristide supporters, 
journalists and community leaders,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You fired hardworking and skilled workers because they support democracy! 
You tried to destroy entire neighborhoods!
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You have restimulated drug transshipping through Haiti after President 
Aristide's government got the rate of cocaine transversing through Haiti to 
the US down from 12% to 8%,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

Every time someone speaks up for democracy, you arrest them! Every time a 
peaceful demonstration is being planned, you attack the organizers,
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

You arrested Father Jean-Juste and shot three of the children he was 
feeding at his church, and then imprisoned him for six weeks in your 
political prisons together with the more than 700 other political prisoners!
Me, ou pa kapab bloke nou! (But, you can't hold us back!)

On December 16th 10,000 marched in Cap Haitian and others marched in 
Port-au-Prince for the return of democracy! Ou pa kapab bloke nou! (You 
can't hold us back!)

Merci


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