Resistance to the occupation in Haiti - Update for SF Bay Area by Lucie Tondreau
June 18, 2005
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Resistance to the occupation in Haiti

Update for SF Bay Area
by Lucie Tondreau

The last time Lucie Tondreau was in her home country, Haiti, she stood by the imprisoned Prime Minister Yvon Neptune's bedside, next to Rep. Maxine Waters and others.

Neptune was fasting to protest imprisonment since June 2004 without formal charges. "He could hardly speak," Tondreau said.

Neptune was the second-highest ranking government official in Haiti under democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was forcibly removed from Haiti by the U.S. government. While no formal charges have been filed against him, Neptune is said to have planned a "massacre" that even United Nations human rights officials say never took place.

Neptune declined an offer of exile outside of Haiti, saying he prefers to die in jail, if the charges are not dropped or substantiated. "He had that kind of strength not to leave," Tondreau said.

An advocate for refugee rights in Florida, Tondreau will update people in the Bay Area on the critical situation in Haiti, where pro-democracy Aristide supporters continue to peacefully protest the US-imposed government despite the fact that many are killed - often by police - when they go out into the streets. Hundreds of political prisoners in addition to Neptune remain behind bars. Others are beaten and raped, despite - and some say with the complicity of - UN forces there to protect them.

"Eight and a half million people have been cheated of their rights," Tondreau says. "They voted for somebody for five years. They expect him to finish his term."

Tondreau will speak:

    Take BART to
    El Cerrito del Norte station
    click logo for BART info
  • 7 p.m. June 18
    St. John's Community Center (click link for map)
    6500 Gladys, El Cerrito
    (behind St. John's Church, 11150 San Pablo Ave., three blocks south of del Norte BART)
    $5-$15 sliding scale

  • information: Haiti Action Committee - 510-483-7481;

She is available for advance interviews.

Tondreau will be introduced by Bay Area resident Jacques Depelchin. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Depelchin is the cofounder of Berkeley-based Ota Benga International Alliance for Peace and author most recently of Silences in African History: Between the Syndromes of Discovery and Abolition, distributed in the U.S. by Michigan State University Press

Many Haitians were originally kidnapped from the Congo during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, says Depelchin, who draws parallels between the struggle for democracy in Haiti and the Congo. "It is necessary for us to work together," he says.



June 3, 2005

Contact: Karolo Aparicio 510-967-1706