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Related Categories: East Bay | Anti-War
View other events for the week of 5/ 2/2004
Open Forum on Haiti
Date Sunday May 02
Time 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location Details
PRO Arts Gallery, 550 Second Street in Oakland, Jack London Square
Event Type Panel Discussion
Organizer/AuthorKim McMillon
PRESS RELEASE:
Contacts:
Kim McMillon, (209) 725-1217
kimmac@pacbell.net
PEN Oakland and Pro Arts
Present
Open Forum On Haiti
PRO Arts Gallery in Oakland
Sunday, May 2, 5:00 PM

WHO: PEN Oakland and PRO Arts
WHAT: Open Forum on Haiti
WHEN: Sunday, May 2nd at 5:00 PM
WHERE: PRO Arts Gallery, 550 Second Street in Oakland, Jack London Square
COST: Free to the Public

(Oakland, CA), April 4, 2004 -- Investigative reporter and host of KPFA's Flashpoints, Dennis Bernstein, will moderate an Open Forum on Haiti sponsored by PEN Oakland and PRO Arts Gallery on Sunday, May 2nd at 5:00 PM at PRO Arts Gallery, 550 Second Street in Oakland. Guest speakers include: Marguerite Laurent, Kiilu Nyasha, Pierre Labossiere, JR, and Maria Gracia. Important points that will be discussed are the Destabilization of Haiti; debt, dependency, foreign domination since 1806; and the human consequences of U.S./France 2004 orchestrated Coup D'etat.

The goal of this open forum is to let the public know what is actually happening in Haiti. The mainstream press has waged a war of disinformation, and neglect with regards to the actual facts on the ousting of President Aristide. For more information on this free event, please call: 415 391 3844 or email kimmac@pacbell.net.

The Haitian people have been brutalized, beaten and devastated by U.S. power for a century, beginning in 1914 when the U.S took over from the French, by "helping" to refinance "for Haiti" the 1825 French indemnity, and then invaded Haiti for missing payments to protect U.S. bank interests, fleecing dry the Haitian national gold reserves. France helped the U.S. to depose Aristide because he had requested their repayment of $22 billion.

Today, the disinformation about Aristide's lack of popularity and lies about Haiti being more corrupt under Aristide/Preval/Aristide then under the old Duvalierist guard, which is now back, is fairly visible, and in graphic, bloody technicolor. But it's too late. All the small successes of Haitian democracy since 1990 have been trashed in one fell Feb. 29, 2004, U.S. coup d'état swoop.

Aristide built more schools in Haiti during his term than had been built in the entirety of Haiti's history under the old guard. Now that old guard is retaking power thanks to 10 years of U.S.

-more-

destabilization, then outright coup d'état. They could not have won without the Feb. 29 shock and awe, dead-of-night campaign, against Aristide and his innocent wife.

Aristide eliminated the old army, helped bring illiteracy from 85 percent down to 48 percent, improved the health system, built public parks, started to decentralize power by establishing local governance through town meetings and local town governance, more so than any of the old guard for the almost 200 years it was in charge.

Speaker backgrounds:

Marguerite Laurent is the founder of The Haitian Lawyers Leadership, a network of lawyers dedicated to institutionalizing the rule of law and protecting the civil and cultural rights of Haitians at home and abroad. She has also written a judicial reform agenda for Haiti. Her most challenging and memorable work thus far has been as legal advisor, in 1994-1995, to Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide promoting the democratizing process in Haiti. The "Red, Black & Moonlight" performance series is a musical memoir based on that story and her life and work in the United States.


Marcia Gracia grew up in Haiti and moved to the US in1981. Marcia was involved in the pro democracy movement; and deepend during the coup-d'etat years from 1991-1994. She has made presentations regarding the situation in Haiti and has worked for the return of President Aristide and democracy.


Kiilu Nyasha joined the liberation struggle in 1969 with the New Haven Chapter of the BPP. She has been a revolutionary artist, writer, broadcaster and agitator in a number of international and domestic movements for change, including the struggle to restore Pres. Aristide to Haiti in 1994.

Pierre Labossiere is a longtime Haitian activist and founder of the Haiti Action Committee. Labossiere, a native-born Haitian, is on the Board of Global Exchange.

Dennis Bernstein is an investigative reporter, radio host, human rights advocate and poet, and a regular contributor to Pacifica's Democracy Now, and Associate Producer of Pacific News Service. He is currently cohost of KPFA's Flashpoints News Magazine, and is a frequent commentator on WBAI airwaves. Dennis Bernstein is at the forefront of covering the conflict in Haiti, and the illegal eviction notice to the DULY ELECTED African President of Haiti, Aristide.

JR is a movement journalist at San Francisco Bay View Newspaper. He is also the Minister of Information for the Prisoners of Conscience Committee, a national organization.

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Added to the calendar on Thursday Apr 8th, 2004 9:56 PM
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