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A Weekly Vigil is Launched for Haiti and Kidnapped Human Rights Activist

by Ross Plesset Sunday, May. 11, 2008 at 9:11 AM

On Thursday, May 8, the Ad-Hoc Working Group for Haiti launched a weekly vigil outside the Brazilian consulate in Beverly Hills for the return of Haitian human rights activist Lovinsky Pierre-Antione. A weekly fast, begun last November and practiced around the world, continues.

A Weekly Vigil is La...
haitidemobanner.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

Eight of us turned out at the Brazilian consulate at 8484 Wilshire Boulevard (at La Cienega). A large, florescent banner (see above) conveyed our message. Many motorists were able to read it while lined up at a red traffic light. Some pedestrians stopped by to learn about this issue. A guard, who came out to ask what we were doing, remembered our last demonstration in November 2007 because Danny Glover was present. (He asked if Glover would be coming this time, too.) Throughout the event, music of Haitian singer So Anne was played.

“A weekly vigil also happens in London at the Brazilian consulate,” said Margaret Prescod of Pacifica Radio and Women of Color in Global Women’s Strike. “They’re able to have a larger crew than us—England still has some remnants of the welfare state, so it means that not everybody is slaves to the wage work [laughter] and can actually get out and do some political work.”

She then mentioned a new development: “One of the things we have heard was reported in Haiti is that the president of Brazil, Lula, plans on going to Haiti very shortly with the head of the U.N. And Lula is concerned about how Brazil is being portrayed to the world for its role in Haiti. He’s expressed some concern that Brazil is being seen as anti-poor people and part of an occupying force, etc. It must mean that he is feeling the heat somewhat.”

According to her, people in Haiti are “really grateful that we’re starting to have a presence. [W]hat they say is that any time something happens internationally, they sense a change. They start getting phone calls from officials, there seems to be some movement. [W]hatever it is that we can do is much appreciated and also that it does have an impact.

“They firmly believe that Lovinsky is alive and is being held, and of course, no one knows where.”

She described the love for Lovinsky by the Haitian people and what a source of hope he is . “Also, two weeks before he was taken, it was announced that he had some interest in [running] for a seat in the senate. And if Lovinsky had run, he would have won. And not only that, people probably would have wanted him to be more than a senator. So, shortly after that he was taken.”

Sidney Ross-Risden, also of Global Women’s Strike, pointed out that “we might not look like there’s so many people standing here, but there are 2,109 [names on the petition] as of 8:00 last night. They were from Sierra Leone, and Tanzania, and India, and Poland, and Croatia, and Brazil, and Argentina, and Mexico, and the U.S., and Canada, and a lot of European countries. . . .”

A print-out of this petition, which was as thick as a phone book, was part of the packet presented to the consulate inside the building.

The culmination of the event was the presentation of this packet by six of us Henrique Junne.

This vigil will occur on ensuing Thursdays from noon to 1pm at the same location. People can fast on Thursdays, too, or on another day, and they can fast for 24 hours or eight hours.

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A Picture of Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine

by Ross Plesset Sunday, May. 11, 2008 at 9:11 AM

A Picture of Lovinsk...
haitidemolovinskycropped.jpg, image/jpeg, 1629x1879

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Supporter of Pierre-Antoine

by Ross Plesset Sunday, May. 11, 2008 at 9:11 AM

Supporter of Pierre-...
haitidemogreensign.jpg, image/jpeg, 2134x2848

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by Ross Plesset Sunday, May. 11, 2008 at 9:11 AM

haitidemogroupsigns.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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by Ross Plesset Sunday, May. 11, 2008 at 9:11 AM

haitidemofastingsign.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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A Pedestrian Wants to Learn More

by Ross Plesset Sunday, May. 11, 2008 at 9:11 AM

A Pedestrian Wants t...
haitidemopedestrian.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

This man spoke with us for at least 10 minutes.

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Our audience

by Ross Plesset Sunday, May. 11, 2008 at 9:11 AM

Our audience...
haitidemoaudience.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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A Motorist Reads Our Signs

by Ross Plesset Sunday, May. 11, 2008 at 9:11 AM

A Motorist Reads Our...
haitidemospectator1.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

This person took such an interest in our vigil that I was able to photograh him/her even with my slow camera.

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Another Motorist Takes an Interest in Our Vigil

by Ross Plesset Sunday, May. 11, 2008 at 9:11 AM

Another Motorist Tak...
haitidemospectator2.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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Margaret Prescod Gives Us an Update

by Ross Plesset Sunday, May. 11, 2008 at 9:11 AM

Margaret Prescod Giv...
haitidemodebriefing.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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Meeting with HenriqueJenne Inside the Brazilian Consulate

by Ross Plesset Sunday, May. 11, 2008 at 9:11 AM

Meeting with Henriqu...
haitidemoinside.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

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