Free Haiti’s Political Prisoners!
Restore Democracy Now!
March 22, 2005
About Events Talk News Links Home

Free Haiti’s Political Prisoners!
Restore Democracy Now!

Emergency Vigil March 28th at 4:30PM in UN Plaza

Join Haiti Action Committee for a vigil on Monday, March 28th at 4:30PM in San Francisco's UN Plaza near the Civic Center to protest the continued incarceration of a thousand political prisoners jailed for almost a year without charges in Haiti and to demand the restoration of Haiti's legitimate government.

It has been a crime for Haitians to express their solidarity with President Aristide since the February 2004 coup, a crime punishable by summary execution in thousands of cases. Those who aren't killed are put in jail just for expressing their support for Lavalas [Aristide's party], even wearing Aristide t-shirts in peaceful demonstrations. Their continued imprisonment underscores the US government's disregard for Haiti's people and its constitution, and the complete dissolution of free speech, association and press in Haiti. This is the situation that has kept Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, Minister of Interior Jocelerme Privert, and Lavalas activist Annette Auguste, along with hundreds of grassroots activists, labor leaders and residents of poor neighborhoods jailed in miserable conditions.

The situation of the prisoners, dramatized by Prime Minister Neptune and Minister Privert’s recent hunger strike, is urgent.  On March 7th, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) flew to Haiti to visit the Prime Minister, who has been imprisoned since June 2004 without charges. He refused to quit the hunger strike until the injustice of his confinement is addressed. Just days later, he fell into a coma and was hospitalized. Congresswoman Waters called for the release of the Prime Minister and all Haiti’s political prisoners.

During the event, we will construct a 9 x 9 foot jail cell simulating conditions of Haiti’s jails where up to 42 prisoners may be confined without electricity, running water, or toilets. We will write letters of support and solidarity to be mailed to the prisoners.

The vigil will gather at the Simon Bolivar statue, near the Hyde Street corner of UN Plaza in San Francisco. It’s near the rear entrance of the main branch of SF Public library at the Civic Center BART stop.

The vigil will continue through the night if it's not raining,
ending Tuesday afternoon with a 4PM rally.

For more information, phone Haiti Action Committee at (510) 483-7481