Posted by: petertluce | June 15, 2010



Dear Friends:

Thanks again for the $14,103 we contributed to our Haitian defenders of human rights through your generosity!

PROGRAM UPDATE: Trainee in Communication.

With your contributions our young trainee, Gentilhomme
Jean-Gilles, “GH” (28), obtained housing for six months, with
a bed and desk, (he was homeless due to the quake). We provided the professional equipment needed for his work, including a laptop and internet modem (scarce these days). We are waiting to get solar equipment our of customs so he can store electricity. With our funds he purchased a motor bike and protective
gear. “GH”‘s education had ceased with the earthquake when his school was destroyed and some teachers killed. This thwarted his aspirations to do human rights work and left his future bleak. While I provide him
a one-on-one, stop-gap on-line education –we meet three times a week and do French tutoring, internet information skills, and non-violent theory and practice for human rights work. At the same time we are able to keep apprised of what is going on with our human rights colleagues in Haiti.


Unfortunately, Gentilhomme’s work has been seriously delayed because of health issues: 1) flu-like infections for several weeks, 2) a tooth extraction, and 3) a motorbike accident that kept him off his
feet for a week and then on crutches. I am confident GH is a safe driver (I rode on the back of a bike with him during my last visit of 3 weeks). The safety equipment he had carefully purchased, saved him from worse damage.


Because of the desperate conditions in Haiti I have determined that a small educational stipend seems in order to cover the personal expenses that will allow GH to continue with his studies and to do keep abreast of the human rights situation which often involves travel. Funding is needed for the phone and internet to continue both education and work for HURAH.

Please review the budget; then read what we’venlearned from Gentihomme in the last month.

DONATE Online or Send Checks to
Tom Luce, 1515 Fairview St., Berkeley, Ca 94703

Trainee in Communication – Human Rights Program – Total Budget:
(rent is paid through September).

Monthly breakdown:

1. Gas-Phone ($50 per week) $200

2. Internet $60 per month

3. Stipend ($25 per week), total $100

One time expense: $250 (2 chairs, bedding,
a room fan and repairs for his damaged bike).

TOTAL to support the program through September when the training ends: $2,050.

Towards the end I will evaluate the program to see if it will serve the goals of HURAH to partially fund a human rights worker.

DONATE Online; Send Checks to Tom Luce, 1515 Fairview St., Berkeley, Ca 94703

Thanks so much! Tom Luce



Gentilhomme Jean-Gilles (GH), our HURAH rep. and trainee, had an
accident mid-April on the way to an assignment to check on forced
evictions of tent camp people and has been restricted in mobility
since because of his thigh injury and damage to the motorcycle.
Here is a series of quick updates on current issues in human rights.


The well-known guest house for visiting groups from the Parish
Twinning Program of America (PTPA ),
now called Matthew 25 House, in the Delmas 33 neighborhood, still
has a tent camp on its soccer field that provides temporary shelter
to about 1,200 people. Originally 2,000 were camped there. Gentilhomme
visited there to get an idea of how this camp was functioning four months after the quake.

Gentilhomme with the protective gear that saved him from greater
damage in the accident).
The tents were donated by the Lions
Club International and a medical clinic was established there immediately
after the quake. We learned from GH’s visit that the governing committee
of local neighborhood residents has a positive working relationship
with Matthew 25 in running the camp. Unlike some tent encampments on private property that are being threatened with removal and the people forcibly and violently ejected with no alternative plans
(this has actually happened in some places), Matthew 25 is not demanding their soccer field back.

Note: GH was on his way to the office of Monica Dyer of International Action Ties to verify details of these evictions. Action Ties has been documenting these forced evictions including by two
religious schools, and police brutality. A moratorium on evictions was was obtained in mid-April but has not been totally adhered to. HURAH has signed a petition to end these evictions.

The greatest need of this community is for a school. Food has been supplied
by Rays of Hope and by Catholic Relief Services. Children receive
milk each day and special needs children are given special care.
The sick are also fed 2-3 cooked meals per day; the same is true for the staff. The Pure Water Foundation of the Rotary Club is providing
water .Medical care is now being referred out to a local hospital.
(Picture: GH in special tent infirmary). People wishing to help financially with this camp should send money to Theresa Patterson, Executive Director Parish Twinning Program 309 Windemere Woods Drive Nashville, TN 37215

Demonstrations Over Conditions of Tent Cities

In May much of the media has been reporting on demonstrations being
held throughout the country demanding rights for tent city dwellers and for the return of former President Aristide. In addition to
the problem of forced evictions which are barely mentioned in the media, these demonstrators are complaining about the unbearable
conditions they suffer from– scorching heat, lack of sanitation and toilets, disease, flooding, and no plans for the future. There is a lack of clear communication by the governments (national and international) about these real problems and what is being planned.

In this photo is a contingent of the May 12th demonstration photographed by GH. It was a highly organized and disciplined group which had a police escort. Participants wore tee shirts with the words, “People’s Federation for Pleading the Cause of People in Tent Camps- FPKMK (Creole). The local media report thousands in the streets around the country and that there is a growing coalition of disparate groups calling for the resignation of President Préval for his poor handling of the problems. The demand of these demonstrators is to give them representation in the planning, or get a change of leaders.

For a special insight into one important segment of the poor
majority, the Lavalas party first organized under Pres. Aristide,
and their organization work behind these demonstrations, see an
article by Laura Flynn, long time member of the Aristide Foundation
for Democracy- AFD in the Huffington Post, “We Want Our Voices
To Be Heard: Democracy in Haiti’s Earthquake Zone,” Aristide
You will find hard testimony of the democratic movement
supported by the Aristide Foundation. Much written in local and
international mainstream media whenever the name Aristide and a
call for his return is filled with references with the political
controversies that ended in his being “kidnapped” in Feb.
2004. With Laura Flynn’s article it is very clear what is being
done by the ordinary people and their leaders now to improve the
government. Not much credence in the media is given to this power beyond the
demonstrations in the streets. The call to bring Aristide back is
to allow him to participate in what they are already doing. However
this power is always been undermined by propagandists who do not
want it to be exercised. In the last year through bureaucratic manipulations,
the Lavalas party candidates for parliament have been disqualified.

The Labor Movement In Haiti: AUMOHD

GH at the Plaza Hotel in downtown Port-Au-Prince covering a significant
meeting of a coalition of trade unions in Haiti. May 17, 2010. Rear
left, tall man is Paul Loulou Chery head of the Confederation of
Haitian Workers. He was severely persecuted in 2004, and after,
for his union work. Hurah engaged with him concerning the public
teachers’ union.

May 17th was the date that the “Code for Workers” in
Haiti was announced. AUMOHD played a large role in getting this
code published, especially in Creole.

Several years ago AUMOHD began working with the Solidarity Center
of the AFL-CIO. The area rep, Cathy Feingold worked out of the Dominican
Republic and sought AUMOHD’s help for its program. Hurah initially
brought these two organizations together; since then the partnership
has grown. Now, especially because of the quake, AUMOHD has become
the “safe Zone” for union organizers. The Solidarity Center
has financed a legal assistance program for labor union members
through AUMOHD. They have just also installed a solar energy system
at the AUMOHD office that provides for all the energy needs.

Photo: A large crowd was at the May 17 meeting. Woman in center-back
is Cathy Feingold.

Note: In April more than 120 trade unionists from all of the
world, including many leaders from the Haitian labor movement, attended
a summit to explore the role of trade unions in the reconstruction
of Haiti. This week, after an assassination attempt on Atty. Evel
Fanfan, president of AUMOHD, a meeting has been organized in Santo
Domingo, where the Solidarity Center is located, to develop a solid
security plan for the AUMOHD office that has become so important
to the labor movement

back to top

Rights Accompaniment In Haiti-Hurah, Inc.

a 501(c)(3), non-profit

1515 Fairview St., Berkeley Ca. 94703 President, Tom Luce,
Blog Site Hurah

To DONATE click here.Or mail a check
to Tom Luce, 1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca 94703

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