Pro-Democracy mobilizations this week throughout Haiti
February 25, 2005
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Photo: Haiti Information Project
Lavalas demonstration Port au Prince - December 31, 2004

Pro-Democracy mobilizations this week throughout Haiti

Everyone should be informed that there are going to massive demonstrations to mark the anniversary of the coup on Sunday February 27 in Port au Prince, Cap Haitien , and other major cities throughout Haiti. Even in this current climate of intensifying repressions thousands of Haitians will courageously take to the streets this weekend to demand the return to constitutional order, including the physical return of President Aristide, the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, and an end to UN complicity in illegal arrests, detentions and killings of Lavalas supporters, particularly in Port au Prince.

We have recently received news that the unelected President, Boniface Alexander, may be in Cap Haitien on Sunday the 27th, the day of the demonstration. No reasons for his visit have been made public. We are concerned that Alexander's visit will create a pretense for an exaggerated police presence at the demonstration, further militarizing a planned peaceful demonstration. On December 16, 2004 over 10,000 pro-democracy advocates peacefully marched in Cap Haitien. The peaceful nature of the demonstration was largely attributable to coordinated planning between march organizers and the Chilean UN. Chilean UN forces successfully managed to keep the former military from interfering with the demonstration and requested that SWAT units of the national police not attend either given friction between the police special unit and Lavalas organizers. We are very concerned that Alexander's presence in Cap Haitien will make it more difficult for the UN forces to protect demonstrators from certain elements within the Haitian police force that have been implicated in illegal arrests and assassinations of Lavalas supporters.

These are the same concerns of Congresswoman Maxine Waters who sent letters to Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice about the demonstrations and to President George Bush about the safety of Prime Minister Yvon Neptune and Interior Minister Jocelerme Privert.

We encourage the international community to be vigilant of events taking place in Haiti this weekend. Please send all of your thoughts and prayers to our courageous brothers and sisters.

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