[News] Stop The Attacks on President Aristide and Haiti’s Grassroots Movement

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu May 9 10:39:29 EDT 2013


*Stop The Attacks on President Aristide and Haiti’s Grassroots Movement*

The people of Haiti stand for justice, but they are against the misuse 
of the justice system forpolitical persecution. That is why they have 
come out by the thousands today, in support of former President Aristide.

This Wednesday, May 8, tens of thousands of Haitians gathered at the 
Palace of Justice in Port-au-Prince to support former President 
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was summoned
to court to be questioned about a thirteen-year-old murder 
investigation. Mr. Aristide
was “invited” to appear in court by Judge Ivikiel Dabrezil, the tenth 
judge appointed to
investigate the murder of internationally known journalist, Jean Leopold 
Dominique, who
was shot in the courtyard of his radio station in 2000.

Members of Haiti’s most popular political party, Lavalas, as well as 
international
supporters, view this “invitation” as the latest effort in what has been 
an ongoing assault
against Haiti’s grassroots democratic movement and its principal leader. 
The Haiti Action
Committee includes itself amongst those who denounce unequivocally these 
attacks.

Since his return two years ago from forced exile, President Aristide has 
reopened the
University of the Aristide Foundation’s Medical School (UNIFA). On 
September 26, 2011
the Medical School once again opened its doors, seven years after the 
school’s forced
closure by the U.S.-orchestrated coup in 2004. Currently over 200 future 
Haitian doctors
are in attendance at the school. Now a nursing school has opened as 
well. This is just the
beginning of an initiative to improve healthcare for all Haitians.

Ever since Aristide and his family returned to Haiti, he has been a 
particular target of
Michel Martelly – who assumed the office of President in March 2011 as 
the result of
fraudulent elections – and the occupation-installed Martelly 
administration. Two months
ago, Aristide was summoned to court in two separate cases. In Haiti, it 
is implicit that
these ridiculous allegations are attempts to discredit President 
Aristide’s reputation and
delegitimize his current work. The efforts to link him in any way to the 
assassination of
Jean Dominique – a journalist beloved by the people for his unbending 
criticism of U.S.
interference in Haiti – are equally outrageous.

Aristide has always been an advocate of the poor, and a proponent of an 
educational
system that includes the poorest. Because he has been such an unwavering 
voice for the
people’s movement, he is considered a threat to the U.S./UN occupation 
and the Martelly
administration, which is in the process of bringing back the repressive 
institutions of the
Duvalier regime, including the paramilitary and Haitian Army.

Yet, as ever, grassroots organizations throughout Haiti have a clear 
understanding of
the repressive nature of the May 8 summons. This attack against Aristide 
represents an
attack against the entire democratic grassroots movement. Nevertheless, 
they accepted
the “invitation” on their own terms and planned full-scale support of 
Aristide today, when
thousands joined him at the Judicial Palace. Refusing to be intimidated, 
the organizations
announced peaceful actions today, which they have chosen to mark as the 
beginning of asustained campaign for the people’s full participation in 
the running of their country.

/The Haiti Action Committee stands in solidarity with the people of 
Haiti as they struggle to
regain national sovereignty, rebuild their democracy, and end the 
U.S./UN occupation./
Sent by Haiti Action Committee
www.haitisolidarity.net <http://www.haitisolidarity.net> and on FACEBOOK

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