[News] Haiti - Two Years After the Coup

Anti-Imperialist News News at freedomarchives.org
Wed Feb 22 17:57:21 EST 2006


Two Years After the Coup
featuring Duclos Benissoit
President of the Federation of Public Transport Workers of Haiti

Saturday February 25, 2006 - 7:00 p.m.

St. Joseph the Worker Church
MAP: 
<http://maps.yahoo.com/pmaps?addr=1640+Addison+St&csz=Berkeley+CA+94703&state=&uzip=&ds=n&name=St+Joseph+The+Worker+Church&desc=%28510%29+843-2244&lat=37.8697&lon=-122.2781&mlt=37.8697&mln=-122.2781&zoomin=yes&BFKey=&resize=l&mag=2&trf=0>1640 
Addison Street, Berkeley

Donation requested $5-10

also: message from Miami of Father Gerard Jean-Juste celebrating his release

Haiti Action Committee presents a celebration of 
Black History Month ­ Haiti Resistance: Two years 
after the Coup ­ featuring Duclos Benissoit ­ 
President of the Federation of Public Transport Workers of Haiti

Two years after US Marines kidnapped President 
Aristide on Feb. 29, 2004, a death-squad regime, 
backed by the guns of 8,000 United Nations 
troops, continues to terrorize Haiti's poor 
majority. Since the coup, the situation for 
Haiti's workers and peasants has grown desperate. 
Yet the Resistance continues strong.

Duclos Benissoit is president of one of the most 
influential and militant labor organizations in 
Haiti, the Federation of Public Transport 
Workers. This is a union that not only fought 
successfully for the betterment of the workers. 
It is also a union that stood strongly for 
Haitian democracy; insisting that the votes and 
rights of the poor majority in Haiti must be 
respected, that their needs be given priority, 
and that Haiti's right of self-determination must not be trampled on.

That is why Brother Benissoit and his union were 
targeted by the Coup d'État of February 29, 2004. 
The Federation had established a bus cooperative 
­ Service Plus ­ providing quality bus service to 
the people in Port-au-Prince and and other parts 
of the country, while alleviating traffic 
congestion in the capital. They had a fleet of 
150 buses, many of them brand-new.

On the night of the coup ­ when the US Marines 
kidnapped President Aristide's from his home in 
Tabarre ­ thugs associated with the coup entered 
the Service Plus bus yard and torched and 
destroyed many of the buses and the union office. 
Coup elements issued death threats to Brother 
Benissoit and demolished his home, forcing him into exile.

Brother Benissoit was also targeted because ­ 
before the coup ­ he had publicly denounced those 
who were trying to destabilize the democratically 
elected government of President Aristide. Other 
progressive unions were also attacked as part of 
the campaign to destroy popular democracy in Haiti.

For example, as the coup was being prepared, when 
Haiti's business elite called for a general work 
stoppage as a tactic to undermine the Aristide 
government, Brother Benissoit went on the radio 
to denounce "the bosses' strike" and urged bus 
drivers, truckers and the general public to go to 
work and go about their business as usual. The 
business elite's "general strike" was largely 
ignored by the Haitian public at the time.

Duclos Benissoit, as one of the grassroots 
leaders of the pro-democracy movement in Haiti 
and president of a key union federation, has a 
wealth of knowledge of the recent history and 
present situation of the workers and people of Haiti.

Come to hear and honor him, as we celebrate the 
Haitian people's victory in ensuring that their 
overwhelming vote for President-elect Rene Preval on February 7 is respected.

Also, we will play a message from Miami of Father 
Gerard Jean-Juste celebrating his release, one 
year after his stirring words from the pulpit at St. Joseph the Worker Church

Music by Francisco Herrera * Freedom Song Network

featuring Duclos Benissoit
President of the Federation of Public Transport Workers of Haiti

Saturday February 25, 2006 - 7:00 p.m.

St. Joseph the Worker Church
MAP: 
<http://maps.yahoo.com/pmaps?addr=1640+Addison+St&csz=Berkeley+CA+94703&state=&uzip=&ds=n&name=St+Joseph+The+Worker+Church&desc=%28510%29+843-2244&lat=37.8697&lon=-122.2781&mlt=37.8697&mln=-122.2781&zoomin=yes&BFKey=&resize=l&mag=2&trf=0>1640 
Addison Street, Berkeley [one block south of University Ave. near McGee]

also: message from Miami of Father Gerard Jean-Juste celebrating his release

Donation requested $5-10
[no one turned away]

In honor of our beloved 
<http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1209-04.htm>Father 
Bill O'Donnell, always a fighter for democracy in 
Haiti, who arrived in Haiti two days after the 
1991 coup, and came back to declare St. Joseph 
the Worker Church a sanctuary for Haitian refugees.

For more information (510) 483 7481


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www.freedomarchives.org 
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