Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine – 10 years since his kidnapping and disappearance (Solidarity with Haitian Grassroots)

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THIS AUGUST 12 MARKS TEN YEARS SINCE THE KIDNAPPING AND DISAPPEARING OF HAITIAN REVOLUTIONARY LOVINSKY PIERRE-ANTOINE
On the eve of Bwa Kay Iman (Bois Caïman, Aug. 14), and on International Youth Day (Aug. 12), we dedicate this forthcoming issue of Haiti Solidarity to this remarkable, powerful brother.  Father, husband, friend, psychologist, human rights activist, Lavalas leader—Lovinsky loved his people, and they love him.  Not a year has gone by that he hasn’t been sorely missed.

On July 28, 2007, just three years into the 2004 coup and the 92-year anniversary of the first US occupation of Haiti of 1915-1934, a crowd of protestors and witnesses watched Lovinsky lead a demonstration in front of UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince.  We listened to his speech, in which he made the connection between the current occupation and the first US occupation. Lovinsky invoked the Haitian revolutionaries, like Charlemagne Péralte, who fought to end the 1915 invasion, and he said that that legacy of revolutionary struggle lives on in the people today. He said the people would always fight to uproot neo-colonialism and exploitation—they would always fight for their freedom. Two weeks after this speech, Lovinsky was kidnapped.

Lovinsky dedicated his life to fighting against the restoration of the Haitian Army.  Today and into the future, we honor his work with victims of the Haitian Military, police forces and of the United Nations troops, who have occupied Haiti since 2004.  We must hold the UN occupying force accountable for the disappearance of Lovinsky under their watch and for all the crimes it has committed against the Haitian people.

As we echo his voice against the violence of the police, occupation forces and the restoration of the Haitian military, let us also demand justice for Lovinsky https://www.facebook.com/HaitiActionCommittee/posts/10155591278684886

Lovinsky, and all of those who have fought, suffered, and died in the struggle—in Haiti and elsewhere—leave us a legacy.  To honor that legacy, we too must struggle to build a new society in which humanity, justice, empathy, and love are the prevailing values.  Little by little, we must have faith, like Lovinsky, that we will make progress.  But we must help each other.  We must follow the example of our Haitian brothers and sisters who say, “Nou pap obeyi!”  We do not obey!  We resist!  We believe in the power of collective struggle.  Little by little, together, we will make a difference.

In solidarity,

Haiti Action  Committee

www.haitisolidarity.net

@HaitiAction1 and on Facebook

Support the WFP Urgent Accompaniment Response Fund

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Witness for Peace emergency solidarity response and accompaniment delegation to Colombia with the Black Lives Matter Global Network after the 2017 Civic Strike last June. 

When repression and human rights abuses occur, we need the resources to respond effectively. Your support through this page will go directly to our Urgent Response Fund, which provides our on-the-ground staff, and broader network of WFP members and partners, the vital resources necessary to address violence and repression in Colombia and Honduras.

-a donation of $35 pays for a day of human rights accompaniment

-a donation of $95 pays for our International Team cell phone and office internet for a month, ensuring they’re accessible to our partners at all times

-a donation of $400-600 covers an international flight for strategic accompaniment in moments of crisis

-a donation of $1100 supports our international teams presence for a full month

To make a donation, please click here.

Honduras: The Fight for Reparations Delegation Returns!

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Delegates gather with the community leadership of San Juan, Tela Bay. San Juan is currently in the process of their own international court case against the Honduran state for violating their rights as Indigenous peoples with rights to their ancestral territories including the land and sea. (Photo: Raul Medina Ceballos)

The Witness for Peace delegation “Honduras: The Fight for Reparations” just returned from a nearly two week long Black and Brown exchange with Garifuna communities located along the North-east coast and organized by OFRANEH, the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras. Throughout the delegation, the Garifuna spoke about their legal victories demanding the return of their ancestral lands from the Honduran state and transnational corporations as well as their communities’ struggles against the ongoing coup.

“The Garifuna are descendants of the African Diaspora as well as Indigenous peoples across the Caribbean and the continental Americas. They have historically fought to repair the colonial and imperial wrongs perpetrated against their nations for centuries. In Honduras, the Garifuna have won two unprecedented cases at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in defense of their ancestral rights to land, inherent rights to cultural preservation and their livelihood. These landmark cases have resulted in clear demands for the Honduran state to guarantee the return of all the Garinagu ancestral territories and financial restitution.” (WFP’s website)

Currently, the Garifuna people are under fierce attack from the government, narco-traffickers, and transnational corporations. Honduras is “Open for Business”, as a banner in English proclaims in the San Pedro Sula airport, and its politicians are taking the lead in new varieties of colonialism that intend to sell off resources, rivers and even cities to foreign bidders who would establish sovereignty with no fetters in those chunks of territory.

Garífuna and also Lenca people stand at the forefront of building justice from the ashes of the 2009 coup, that was backed by the U.S. government. The coup halted a vast people’s movement headed toward changes in their constitution that would allow genuine rule by and for the people. Due to a current wave of repression led by the state and other conservative forces, Honduras has statistics of murder among the general population, murders of journalists, murders of trans people, murders of organizers at some of the most alarming rates of any country in the world not officially at war.

Delegates came from Belize, Peru, Ecuador and represented different migrations and Diaspora including: El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Mali and Tanzania.

Keep posted for more information!

In solidarity,

The Honduras Fight for Reparations Delegation

Welcome Oscar López Rivera to the California Bay Area – May 31st

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Welcome Oscar López Rivera to the Bay Area 

Wednesday, May 31st
St John’s Presbyterian Church
*
2727 College Ave, Berkeley
Wheelchair Accessible

Buy tickets on-line!
Limited tickets at the door.

welcomeoscar.brownpapertickets.com
Tickets are sliding scale as shown below.
All proceeds go directly to Oscar.

5:30 Reception $75-250

Sponsored by
the National Lawyers Guild   nlgsf.org
(Cost includes program ticket.)

A unique opportunity to meet and talk to Oscar!

Food and drinks will be provided.

Posters by local artist Doug Minkler and signed by Oscar will be for sale. 

7:00 Program $20-50

José López
Oscar López Rivera
John Santos, Rico Pabón, Quenepas

Arrive early, limited seating available.
No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Note on Brown Paper Tickets: Reception tickets appear first. Scroll down on the “date” field to select the 7:00 Program tickets. 

Make a donation to help Oscar set up his new life in Puerto Rico: gofundme.com/welcomeoscar
LIke Oscar on Facebook!    facebook.com/WelcomeOscartotheBayArea
For more information:          freeoscarnow@gmail.com
*Public Transportation to event: AC Transit 51B (on College) or 6 (on Telegraph). BART stops: Ashby, Rockridge or Berkeley then walk or transfer to  51B or 6.
Partial List of Endorsers:
AIM-WEST, All of Us Or None, Altruvistas, ANSWER, Arab Resource & Organizing Center, Bay Area Anti-Repression Committee, Center for Political Education, Critical Resistance of Oakland, Emory Douglas, Freedom Archives, Global Exchange, Haiti Action Committee, Int’l Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, LAGAI Queer Insurrection, La Raza Resource Center, La Tertulia Boricua, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Lynne Stewart Organization, Making Contact, Malcom X Grassroots Movement, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu Jamal, National Network on Cuba (NNOC), Prison Activist Resource Center, Prison Radio/Redwood Justice Fund, QUIT, Socialist Action, Socialist Workers Party, Task Force on the Americas, Veterans for Peace #69 (San Francisco), Workers World Party

Bay Area Honors Berta Cáceres’ Legacy w/ “13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance” Book Tour

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Join us for two nights of art and resistance, May 3 in San Francisco and May 4 in Oakland, as we honor the legacy of Berta Cáceres with music, poetry, theater and dialogue, connecting the struggles between Honduras and the US.

Melissa Cardoza, an Afro-Indigenous feminist poet and journalist, and Karla Lara, whose songs are the soundtrack of Honduran’s popular struggle, will perform stories of women resisting brutal repression and finding unyielding hope. They will be in the Bay for two nights of their national tour.

We will be joined in solidarity by Alicia Garza, Pennie Opal Plant, immigrant women poets and theater artists from MUA and Teatro Familias Unidas of San Jose.  These events will be bilingual in English and Spanish.

Signed copies of 13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance will be available in a bilingual edition.

For more information and to RSVP for these events click on the links below. These events are $10-25 donation, no one turned away.

Wed, May 3, 2017 7:00 PM – 10:00 Redstone Building 2926 16th StreetSan Francisco, CA

Thu, May 4, 2017 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM SoleSpace 1714 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA

Co-sponsored by EcoViva, Friends of the Earth, the Honduras Solidarity Network, Grassroots Global Justice, CISPES, Mujeres Unidas y Activas and friends.

Están invitados a dos eventos: el 3 de mayo en San Francisco y el 4 de mayo en Oakland

Vamos a honrar el legado de Berta Cáceres con música, poesía, teatro y diálogo, uniendo las luchas para la justicia social en Honduras y Estados Unidos.

Melissa Cardoza, poeta y periodista feminista afro-indígena, y Karla Lara, cuyas canciones son la banda sonora de la lucha popular hondureña, interpretarán historias de mujeres resistiendo la represión y encontrando la esperanza.

Alicia Garza, Pennie Opal Plant, mujeres inmigrantes poetas y artistas de teatro de MUA y de San José también participarán.

Estos eventos serán bilingües en inglés y español.

Copias firmadas del libro 13 Colores de la Resistencia Hondureña estarán disponibles en una edición bilingüe.

Para más información y para reservar su entrada, haga clic en los enlaces a continuación.

Se pide una donación de $10-25. No se pierda este evento inspirador y por favor comparta ampliamente con sus amistades.

Wed, May 3, 2017
7:00 PM – 10:00
Redstone Building
2926 16th Street,
San Francisco, CA

Thu, May 4, 2017
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
SoleSpace
1714 Telegraph Avenue,
Oakland, CA

Return Guantánamo to the Cuban People – April 26th San Pedro, California

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RETURNING GUANTANAMO HARBOR TO THE CUBAN PEOPLE
AND HOW THE PEOPLE OF THE L.A. HARBOR CAN-AND MUST-HELP !
 
Wednesday, April 26th
6:00-8:00 PM
Sacred Grounds Coffee House
468 W. 6th St. San Pedro, 90731
 
SHORT FILM, FOOD AND DISCUSSION

Join us as we welcome the 28th Annual Pastors 4 Peace National Caravan to the L.A. Harbor Area to educate and activate locals to support the:
v Normalization of U.S. Cuba Trade Relations
v Freedom of Americans to Travel to Cuba
v Increased cultural, scientific and educational exchange with Cuba
AND
THE RETURN OF GUANTANAMO BAY TO THE CUBAN PEOPLE!
 
The word Guantánamo was popularized world-wide in 2002 when the U.S, Government opened a detention camp at the military base to detain more than 1,000 suspected terrorists there. Few know that the territory is a piece of land that belongs to Cuba, but has been illegally occupied since 1903 and remains a present impediment from achieving the normalization of relations between the two countries.
Sacred Grounds has delicious salads, sandwiches, desserts and drinks! Come hungry, support a local business, and enjoy a meal!
Since 1992, IFCO/Pastors for Peace has worked to bring an end to the US economic sanctions against Cuba and has provided humanitarian aid to the Cuban people through Friendshipment Caravans, constructionbrigades and educational delegations.
Through the project Pastors for Peace, IFCO carries out similar work in Chiapas, Mexico; Haiti; and other nations of Central America and the Caribbean. IFCO also provides support for grassroots community organizing projects in urban and rural regions of the United States.
 

Standing in Solidarity w/ Haitian Grassroots Movement. April 23rd & 24th – California

DR. MARYSE NARCISSE, Haitian Grassroots Leader and Fanmi Lavalas Presidential Candidate

SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 3-5PM, First Presbyterian Church of Oakland, 27th and Broadway
with music by Vukani Mawethu, Phavia Kugichagulia and Val Serrant

A Benefit for the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund

$10-25 sliding scale, no one turned away

MONDAY, APRIL 24th, 7-9pm, Balch Auditorium, Scripps College

Please join Haiti Action Committee in welcoming Dr. Maryse Narcisse, spokeswoman and presidential candidate of Fanmi Lavalas, the party of Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. As a medical doctor, Dr. Narcisse led the Aristide Foundation’s medical response after the 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew. This is her first visit to the Bay Area.

 
Over the past two years, Haiti’s popular movement has fought a relentless campaign for free and fair elections. Tens of thousands of Haitians demonstrated for months in support of Dr. Narcisse’s candidacy. They fought to overturn the results of fraudulent elections that gave the presidency to a U.S.-backed right wing candidate. A long-time Lavalas militant, Dr. Narcisse has been in the streets with the people day after day throughout the campaign, as they faced police bullets, tear gas, water hoses and clubs.

For more information, contact Haiti Action Committee at action.haiti@gmail.com or www.haitisolidarity.net, http://www.haitiemergencyrelief.org/Haiti_Emergency_Relief_Fund/home.html 

 

Letter from SW Board Member to LA Times on US Right Wing Legacy in Latin America

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Protest against Donald Trump in downtown Los Angeles, California this January. (Reuters)

The following text was submitted by regional board member  Rachel Bruhnke to the Los Angeles Times denouncing President Trump’s pick for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorusch on the weekend of Ronald Reagan’s birthday. The statement reads…

The irony of President Trump announcing, on the weekend of Ronald Reagan’s birthday, judge Neil Gorsuch as his pick for a Supreme Court Justice does not escape those of us in the Latin American Solidarity community in the United States. Ronald Reagan was wrong in the 1980’s to side with the power elites in Central America, against the will of the common people. Mr. Gorsuch was an unapologetic defender of Reagan, no matter the illegality of the case.

Mr. Gorsuch staunchly defended the Reagan administration during the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980’s, and dismissed as “a superficial issue” the illegality of Reagan’s covert operations to overthrow the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. Indeed, his senior yearbook quote was from the infamous (in Latin America) Henry Kissinger: “The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer.”

As someone who has lived many years in Latin America, including as a Peace Corps volunteer, a university student and a sustainable development engineer, I know firsthand, as Mr. Gorsuch cannot, that he was wrong to oppose necessary changes to unjust political and economic systems in Latin America. The Reagan Wars in Central America began a generation of unnecessary tragedy in the region, and caused hundreds of thousands to flee…Where, ironically? To the U.S.!

The nomination of Mr. Gorsuch strengthens our understanding that President Trump is not interested in the law, nor equality. We can only hope that in this tumultuous process in America, those who are only now just “waking up”-on both sides of these issues-take the time to learn about what those of us have known for decades.

Welcome to the debate, America. Let the education begin.

Rachel Bruhnke

Witness for Peace Southwest Regional Board Member

San Pedro, California

Conversatorio sobre Cuba, Venezuela y México, 15 de enero de 2017 (+ volante en español)

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Más de 200 Zapatistas participaron en el Encuentro Internacional (Con)ciencias en San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas para interrogar y retar a la comunidad científica y también buscaron cómo infundir a sus tradiciones ancestrales con estrategias científicas para vencer los efectos negativos del cambio climático en sus comunidades y el mundo (Radio Zapatista).

Procesos revolucionarias por las Américas – volante oficial

Evento bilingüe

DOMINGO 15 de enero de 2017

4:00 a 6:00pm, las puertas abren a las  3:30pm

La Casa Roja, 1251 S St. Andrews Place Los Ángeles, CA 90019

*Donación sugerida de $5 a 20, nadie será rechazadx por falta de fondos *

*Libros, artesanía & más a la venta* & *Refrigerio* 

Bienvenidxs a nuestro primer evento de 2017 con charlas sobre los procesos revolucionarios en Cuba, Venezuela y Chiapas, México. Aracely Barboza Cabral es una mujer de color y queer de Los Ángeles del Este con raíces mexicanas y 14 años de experiencia de organización. El noviembre pasado, Aracely participó en una delegación de personas de color a Cuba con WFP. Aracely y otrxs delegadxs aprendieron sobre los logros de la isla y su movimiento en los contextos de justicia social, educación, salud y su transición del capitalismo a otra economía más justa basada en el pueblo. También, lxs delegadxs asistieron eventos con el pueblo cubano de luto después del fallecimiento físico del líder revolucionario Fidel Castro. Este evento celebra el espíritu revolucionario de Cuba.

Jeanette Charles, organizadora regional de WFP, volvió recientemente de Venezuela y Chiapas, México donde los movimientos están combatiendo al capitalismo e intervención estadounidense. El pueblo venezolano sigue definiendo la Revolución Bolivariana y Socialismo del Siglo XXI en sus propios términos a pesar de los ataques de la oposición derechista apoyada históricamente por los EEUU. Las comunas, cooperativas y colectivos trabajando a nombre de la soberanía alimentaria, iniciativas dirigidas por trabajadorxs y en pro de prácticas populares y no capitalistas siguen creciendo en todo el país.

El 1 de enero, 2017, el Congreso Nacional Indígena (CNI) y el Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) anunciaron su nueva campaña para crear un gobierno paralelo y lanzar una campaña presidencial independiente para el 2018 con una mujer indígena como su vocera. Estas noticias llegan 23 años después del levantamiento del EZLN y marca un capítulo nuevo en su proceso autónomo y en su construcción del poder popular. El EZLN organizó también un encuentro internacional, (Con)Ciencias lo cual retó directamente a científicxs a nivel global a buscar soluciones para resolver los efectos del cambio climático y cambiar la ciencia y tecnología actualmente sometida al sistema capitalista y militarizado.  

Para más información: Jeanette Charles, 805.669.8482, jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.comwfpsw@witnessforpeace.org