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Posted Sunday, December 28, 2003

"Haiti: Freedom and Creativity ... from the Mountains to Sea"

December 27, 2003

Dear Friend,

Preparations are under way for the 2004 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, when an expected 1 million visitors will experience the arts, music, foods, storytelling and rich craft traditions of Haiti - one of the first independent Republics in the Americas to win and maintain its freedom (the first was the United States). Haiti is the first nation surviving to the present day that was created by formerly enslaved people of African descent.

The idea for a Festival program on Haiti originated with members of the U.S. Haitian community in solidarity with the people of Haiti. "Haiti: Freedom and Creativity... from the Mountains to the Sea" is perhaps the largest event in the United States in a yearlong commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Haitian Revolution. For 10 days leading up to the American Independence Day celebration on the Fourth of July, the Festival will host more than 100 traditional artists and crafts persons, performers, cooks, writers, researchers and cultural experts from Haiti in performances, demonstrations, workshops and concerts outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument.

The Festival, which runs June 23-27, 2004 and June 30-July 4, will also feature programs on the maritime arts of the Mid-Atlantic region and the first of four yearly programs on Latino music.

"Haiti: Freedom and Creativity... from the Mountains to the Sea" will mark the 1804 Haitian Revolution, which was itself inspired by the American and French revolutions, and in turn inspired struggles for independence in many countries from Venezuela to Poland and played a key role in the struggle for the abolition of slavery in the United States. The Festival program will highlight traditions that are intimately connected to these struggles and illustrate how the Haitian people have used the creative arts to express their aspirations and assure their survival and liberty.

On hand will be Haitian master stone carvers engaged in the restoration of the Citadel commissioned in 1805 by Haiti’s first leader Dessalines and completed under the reign of his successor, King Henri Christophe. Haitian traditional cooks will prepare "Soupe Giraumon" (pumpkin soup), a meal created and first shared on Jan. 1, 1804 in celebration of the Haitian Declaration of Independence; other artists will perform "rara" music, carnival processions and other rites of resistance and liberty. The program will also suggest the diversity of the Haitian people, through presentations reflecting the occupational, craft and architectural traditions varying regionally, from the pottery of Haiti’s mountain highlands to the boat-building and net-making along the coastline.

Research and curatorial work is now under way on the island of Haiti by more than two dozen scholars and educators led by a joint Haitian-Smithsonian curatorial team of architect Patrick Delatour, sculptor Patrick Vilaire and folklorist Diana Baird N'Diaye.

According to Geri Benoit, head of the Haitian National Commission for the Bicentennial Celebration, the program "presents a prime opportunity to showcase the cultural creativity of the Haitian people as an expression of their passion for freedom and liberty. It will strengthen the ties between the Haitian people and those in the diaspora and inform and educate Americans and international visitors about Haitian history, culture and traditions."

The history of Haiti is intimately tied to that of the United States. Henri Christophe fought alongside George Washington’s troops during the Revolutionary War (in Savannah, Ga.) that led to the creation of the United States. As a nation which defeated the French, Haiti played an important role in making possible the Louisiana Purchase.

The leadership committee for the Haiti program is chaired by Sens. Christopher Dodd and Mike DeWine and includes Sen. Hillary Clinton. Partnering with the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in the development of the Haiti program are Dr. Leslie Voltaire, head of the Ministry of the Haitians living Abroad; Géri Benoit, president of IFE (Institut Femmes Entrepreneurs); and the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians, along with several Haiti - and U.S. - based nonprofit organizations and NGOs.

The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, inaugurated in 1967, celebrates folk culture with people from across the United States and around the world. The Festival typically includes daily programs of music, song and dance, crafts and cooking demonstrations, storytelling, workshops and narrative sessions for discussing cultural issues. The Festival attracts about 1 million visitors a year. It is produced by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and is co-sponsored by the National Park Service.

About the Center - The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage promotes the understanding and continuity of contemporary grassroots cultures in the United States and abroad. The Center produces the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, exhibitions, documentary films and videos, symposia, and educational materials. The Center conducts ethnographic and cultural policy oriented research, maintains a documentary archival collection, and provides educational and research opportunities.

The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage is located at 750 9th Street, NW, Suite 4100, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560-0953. Telephone: (202) 275-1150. Fax: (202) 275-1119.

Smithsonian Institution Office of Public Affairs http://www.si.edu http://www.folklife.si.edu/CFCH/folklife.htm  

Smithsonian Folklife Festival Media Contacts: Vicki Moeser (202) 357-2627 ext. 108

Posted December 1, 2003

Time for a change in Haiti/Demonstration on December 5, 2003


Coalition for the Advancement and Development of Haiti (CADH)

How many refugees must wash up on our beaches?

How many Haitian women and children must be locked up at Krome and other prisons?

How many people must die in Haiti…Before we say something???

AT 12 noon, December 5, 2003 make your voices heard.

Location: 259 SW 13 street Miami, FL (in front of Haitian Consulate)





"Killings, violent attacks and threats -- committed by political partisans and armed, politically-motivated groups -- are of growing concern, as are violations committed by security forces in responding to political violence.”

US STATE DEPT. HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 2003 “There were credible reports of extrajudicial killings by members of the Haitian National Police and municipal government officials. “

NATIONAL COALITION FOR HAITIAN RIGHTS “It is under this cloud of crisis, deteriorating human rights situation, lack of respect for basic freedoms, political intolerance and economic degradation that Haiti is preparing to celebrate its 200th anniversary.” “All parties must do more, and the United States must engage at a higher level.”

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL - 2003 “ Haiti, third most corrupt nation in the world”

Ayiti Pap Mouri 1804-2004 CADH_64@hotmail.com  

Posted October 17, 2003




Dr. Angelo E. Gousse and his attorney Browne Greene will hold a press conference at 8:30 AM on Monday, October 20 at 500 West Temple Street, Mall of the Kenneth Hahn Administration (near Starbucks), Los Angeles, CA. prior to the start of his civil lawsuit against the LAPD-Rampart Division, City of Los Angeles and Budget Rent-A-Car alleging racial profiling in a traffic stop that occurred on February 11, 2001. In his complaint for civil rights violations and negligence, Dr. Gousse alleges that LAPD police misconduct caused permanent injuries to his left arm and wrist. Racial profiling and other issues will be addressed at the press conference. The trial, is expected to last two weeks and will begin Monday, October 20 at 9:30 AM in Los Angeles Superior Court, 111 North Hill Street, Department 30, Los Angeles, CA. 90012 before the Hon. Elizabeth A. Grimes. Gousse v. City of Los Angeles, Case No. BC 252804.


A Miami, FL. urological reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Angelo E. Gousse, a 40 year-old black man of Haitian descent, was in Los Angeles in February 2001 to lecture at a UCLA School of Medicine conference. He rented a car at LAX from Budget Rent-A-Car that bore the switched license plates of a Budget car that had been reported stolen. Budget let Dr. Gousse leave its lot, violating its policy of not allowing a rental car to exit the premises if its license plates did not match the license plates in its computer.

On February 11, 2001, Dr. Gousse was driving the Budget rental car westbound on the Santa Monica Freeway near Arlington Street when he was stopped by LAPD-Rampart Division officers. Back-up units and a police helicopter were called to the scene. With the guns of at least six police officers pointed at his head, Dr. Gousse was ordered to the ground and handcuffed. He was pulled up from a prone position, put into a squad car and taken to Rampart Division. Arrested, he was never read his Miranda rights.

At the scene, Dr. Gousse alleges the police made no effort to look at his identification or to retrieve the exculpatory rental documents that were in the glove compartment. He kept complaining that the handcuffs were too tight, but they weren't removed until his hands had gone numb and he was jailed. Throughout his almost 2-hour ordeal, Dr. Gousse was subjected to a barrage of racial epithets and verbal abuse. At Rampart, the officers learned that the arrest was improper. Instead of letting him go, they began running a tape recorder and tried to ask Dr. Gousse leading questions in an attempt to "cover-up" the police officers' misconduct, but he didn't succumb to this ruse.

"Budget Rent-A-Car's negligence and the LAPD-Rampart Division police's utter disregard for Dr. Gousse's civil rights and personal safety are responsible for turning his American dream into a Gothic nightmare," said Browne Greene. "Because of them, Dr. Gousse's peace of mind and his career have been ruined forever, and that's why we'll do everything possible to see that justice is served in this case."


MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2003 AT 8:30 AM


500 West Temple Street

Mall of the Kenneth Hahn Administration (near Starbucks)

Los Angeles, CA.


Kathy Pinckert, Director of Marketing & Media Relations, Greene, Broillet, Panish & Wheeler, LLP

Dial: 310 562 0691 Email: Kpinckert@gbpwlaw.com <mailto:Kpinckert@gbpwlaw.com>


Plaintiffs are represented by Browne Greene with Greene, Broillet, Panish & Wheeler, LLP (www.gbpwlaw.com); <http://www.gbpwlaw.com/> Tel: 310.576.1200; and Robert W. Kelley with Sheldon J. Schlesinger, PA of Fort Lauderdale, FL

Defendant City of Los Angeles is represented by Cory Brente and Christian Bojorquez with the City Attorney's Office; Tel: 213 978 7027. Defendant Budget Rent-A-Car is represented by James B. Hardin with Call, Jensen & Ferrell; Tel: 949.717.3000.

Greene, Broillet, Panish & Wheeler LLP

100 Wilshire Boulevard, 21st Floor

P.O. Box 2131

Santa Monica, CA 90407-2131

Tel: (310) 576-1200

Fax: (310) 576-1220

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