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Chicago Haitian Activists Protest U.S.- Backed Coup

Photo: Fred Askew/NYC IndymediaOver 150 people gathered in Federal Plaza on Saturday, March 7 to protest the latest US backed coup in Haiti and the kidnapping and forced exile of Haitian President President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. CIMC Photo Galleries: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ] Video

BREAKING NEWS: Friday, March 6 - Exclusive broadcast from Flashpoints! Radio of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's first address to the Haitian people and the people of the world, recorded covertly this morning by cell phone. Audio: mp3 ( Requires Real Player - Download here for free. ) | Transcript

During the early morning hours of Sunday, February 29, Haitian President Jean-Bertand Aristide was forced into exile as rightwing paramilitaries stood poised to attack the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Within hours, US Marines landed in Haiti to secure the U.S. orchestrated coup. According to one Reuters wire dispatch, U.S. security forces, armed to the teeth, stood guard as Haitian Chief Justice Boniface Alexandre was declared the new interim President.

The following day, Democracy Now! confirmed in interviews with Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) [ Audio: ogg | mp3 ] and TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson [ Audio: ogg | mp3 ] that Aristide had been threatened by US diplomats and flown under heavy US guard to the Central African Republic. According to Waters, the diplomats reportedly told the Haitian president that if he did not leave Haiti, paramilitary leader Guy Philippe would storm the palace and Aristide would be killed. Robinson says he spoke to Aristide on a cell phone that was smuggled to the Haitian president. "He did not resign," Robinson asserts. "He was abducted by the United States in the commission of a coup."

Attorney Lionel Jean Baptiste is an alderman in Evanston's 2nd Ward, a civil rights activist, a longstanding advocate for democracy in Haiti, and an organizer for Saturday's upcoming protest. Chicago Indymedia interviewed him Monday afternoon about the U.S.-backed coup that toppled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide this weekend, and the conflict's roots in U.S. and European policy in the region -- including Haiti's demand for reparations from France, which many believe contributed to the French government's willingness to call for the ouster of Aristide, and U.S. complicity in creating the nation's crippling debt.

Breaking News:

  • Democracy Now! | SF Bay Indymedia | Flashpoints! Radio
    News and Alternative Media from Haiti:
  • Haiti Progres (Francais, Kreyol, English) | Agence Haitienne de Presse (Francais, Kreyol, English)
    Related Links:
  • Haiti Action Committee | Haiti Support Group | Batay Ouvriye Solidarity Network
    Background Info:
  • Insurrection in the Making: A MADRE Backgrounder on the Crisis in Haiti
  • Haiti as Target Practice: How the US Press Missed the Story, by Heather Williams, CounterPunch
  • Kevin Pina's compelling four-part series on the run-up to the coup, published by the Black Commentator: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

    Watch C-Span's March 3 coverage of the House hearing on Haiti, with Asst. Sec. of State Roger Noriega & others. REQUIRES REALPLAYER.
    Download RealPlayer here for free.





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