Sunday, July 31, 2005

What Is the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network?

Pro-Aristide lawyer Marguerite Laurent has brough together a team of (silent?) attorneys who make up the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network. These attorneys condone her activities and support her extremist stance on Haiti-related issues. According to her website, they are:

Henri Alexandre, JD, CT, 1983
Mr. Alexandre is an Assistant Attorney-General with the State of Connecticut

Picard Losier, LLM, Taxation; JD, Licensed NY 1984 & PA, 1981
Mr. Losier practices in Philadelphia, PA.

Maguy Duteau, JD, NY, 1988

Bob Celestin, JD, Licensed NY 1985
Mr. Celestin is an entertainment lawyer in New York City.

Lionel Jean Baptise, JD, Licensed IL, 1991
Mr. Jean-Baptiste is the 2nd Ward Alderman for the City of Evanston, IL.

Ulrick Gaillard, JD
Mr. Gaillard is the Founder and Executive Director of the Batey Relief Alliance.

Darwin Beauvais, JD, 1993
Mr. Beauvais will join the firm of Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Ellers L.L.P. in Philadelphia in September. He is currently the legal council to the Majority Leader of the Philadelphia City Council.

Committee alternates are:

Kwame Raoul, JD
Mr. Raoul is an Illinois State Senator.

Marie Lynn Toussaint, JD

These distinguished attorneys have explicitly or implicitly endorsed the following positions espoused by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network, as they appear on the Marguerite Laurent website:

...

CAMPAIGN THREE:
Pursue the claim for the unconditional restoration of President Aristide and the Constitutional Government of Haiti. Support the calls for an investigation by CARICOM, U.N. Assembly and Congress (HR 3919) of the February 29, 2004 Coup D'etat, U.S./European Union funding of known Haitian human rights abusers and mercenaries and the kidnapping of President Jean Bertrand Aristide and his wife.

CAMPAIGN FOUR:
...

The majority of the Affranchis or "free Blacks," distinctly known today as the Neocons or Republican Blacks, are, as in olden slavery days, still used as buffers for the exploitation of the Haitian masses, continuing their historic, if nefarious and morally repugnant role and work, by supporting U.S./Euro repressive economic and geopolitical interests in Haiti. White as opposed to Ayisyen cultural standards, mostly imitating right wing white society, and working, for example, as Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Reginald Dumas, Kofi Annan, Gerald Latorture and Andre Apaid, Jr. and the like, as vociferous international adherents of neo-liberalism, lawlessness in Haiti and against the one-person-one-vote-principle and other such anti democratic views for the masses in Haiti, the Caribbean and Africa.
...

CAMPAIGN FIVE:
Another reason for the 2004 Coup Díetat is to install a regime more interested in the impoverishment disasters of neo-liberalism and globalization rather than social spending for schools, health care, roads, portable water, job development, institutionalization of the rule of law, a justice system and a Haitianist domestic economy. We shall continue the struggle against financial colonialism by speaking up against privatization; educating the populist as to the beneficiaries of the privatization of water, utilities, dumping of corporate farm subsidized goods and the right wing agenda to maintain the old status quo of having the Black masses produce, the Black buffering lighter Black minorities serve, while the white privilege internationals direct, consume and run things from behind the scenes in Haiti.

So, if you are acquainted with - or meet - any of these individuals, let them know what you think about their affiliation with the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network. Some of them, Mr. Gaillard in particular, have done admirable work on behalf of Haitians. But they should also know that their membership in the HLLN attests to their support of a bankrupt, divisive and outdated ideology that has no place in the 21st century. By continuing to lend their name to this organization, they are effectively saying that they are the moral supporters of criminal gangs that Marguerite Laurent and the pro-Aristide lobby in the US and Canada are trying to whitewash and that they support a former president who engaged in the most egregious pattern of corruption and embezzlement ever recorded in Haitian history.