Press Conference in Los Angeles
Demonstration in Beverly Hills
February 28, 2005
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Press Conference in Los Angeles,
Demonstration in Beverly Hills

Maxine Waters Press Conference in Los Angeles on one year anniversary of the US backed coup. Demonstration at Brazilian Consolate in Beverly Hills

WHAT: Joined by community-based activists to mark the one year anniversary of the US backed coup and occupation of Haiti, Congresswoman Maxine Waters will speak at a Press Conference to express her concerns and outrage at the continued human rights abuses in Haiti and to demand the return of democracy to Haiti. President Aristide was held in the Central African Republic following the coup; Congresswoman Waters traveled there and accompanied him to Jamaica. President Aristide is now in exile in South Africa. Congresswoman Waters in addition to her on-going efforts has in the past week written urgent letters about her concerns to President Bush and Condoleeza Rice.

WHEN, WHERE, CONTACT: Monday February 28, 9:30 am, Downtown Federal Building, 300 N. Los Angeles St. (Metro Stop, Union Station). Call 323-646-1269

WHO: Congresswoman Maxine Waters along with an Ad Hoc Working Group Against the Coup and Occupation of Haiti which includes those active in: ANSWER/LA; Coalition in Solidarity with Haiti; Haiti Action Committee; International Action Center/LA; LA/US Labor Against the War; National Lawyers Guild; The Pan African Activist Coalition; San Gabriel Valley Neighbors for Peace and Justice; Women of Color in the Global Women's Strike including Margaret Prescod, host and producer of "Sojourner Truth" on KPFK radio and others.

ALSO: Wednesday March 2, noon-1 pm protest at the Brazilian Consulate at 8484 Wilshire Blvd (east of La Cienega). Endorsed by Danny Glover. Bring signs, noisemakers! Although the coup and Occupation of Haiti remains US backed, Brazil is now in charge of the occupying force and leads the way in putting the mask of international approval on this brutal occupation. The Haitian Resistance movement has requested that Brazil be asked to withdraw its troops from Haiti. Protesters are requesting that a delegation be allowed to meet with a representative of the government of Brazil to present the Porto Alegre, Brazil Declaration on Haiti, and to express their concerns.

Background: Haiti became the first Black Republic in 1804 when those enslaved defeated the French/Napoleon's army, and abolished slavery. 200 years later, on February 29, 2004, US Marines kidnapped President Aristide, the first democratically elected President. President Aristide was elected by 2/3rds of the vote, with a 67% voter turnout. Former Liberation Theologist and Catholic Priest, President Aristide's base of support is the 80% of Haitians who are poor. He was swept into power by a movement called Lavalas that in Haitian Creole means "flash flood" and was elected to tackle Haiti's grinding poverty.

Eight months after he was first elected in 1991 his government was overthrown by a CIA backed coup. Under pressure from African Americans and large numbers of Haitian so-called "boat people" arriving in Miami, President Clinton was forced to return President Aristide to Haiti. President Aristide upon his return continued his programs to help the poor. The US and Europe then imposed an embargo on financial assistance to Haiti, but poured millions of dollars to a minority opposition to President Aristide and planned the next coup, which then took place on Feb 29,04. Brazilian led UN troops have replaced US Marines in the brutal occupation of Haiti. More than 3000 Aristide supporters have been killed since the coup, and hundreds thrown in jail. The Resistance in Haiti is demanding a return to democracy beginning with the return of President Aristide.

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