HLLN Pays Homage to Father Gerard Jean Juste, page 2
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Thousands attend Little Haiti funeral for Rev. Gérard Jean-Juste, by Trenton Daniel and Jacqueline Charles, June 7, 2009, The Miami Herald

- Father Gèrard Jean Juste


Mèsi Pè Jan Jis travay Père Renaud François

Dessalines Is Rising!!
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!



PhotoGallery/Guest Book/Family Website - Father of the Juste, at No Justice No Peace Haiti.org, June 10, 2009

Our Father Thou Art in Heaven, Institute for Research
in Social Science & Politics, Ambassador Renaud Bernadin (died on 4 October, 2002) |translation from French by Hyppolite Pierre



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A group of Haitian migrants arrive in a bus after being repatriated from the nearby Turks and Caicos Islands, in Cap-Haitien, northern Haiti, Thursday, May 10, 2007. They were part of the survivors of a sailing vessel crowded with Haitian migrants that overturned Friday, May 4 in moonlit waters a half-mile from shore in shark-infested waters. Haitian migrants claim a Turks and Caicos naval vessel rammed their crowded sailboat twice before it capsized. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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zilibutton In a series of articles written for the October 17, 2006 bicentennial commemoration of the life and works of Dessalines, I wrote for HLLN that: "Haiti's liberator and founding father, General Jean Jacques Dessalines, said, "I Want the Assets of the Country to be Equitably Divided" and for that he was assassinated by the Mullato sons of France. That was the first coup d'etat, the Haitian holocaust - organized exclusion of the masses, misery, poverty and the impunity of the economic elite - continues (with Feb. 29, 2004 marking the 33rd coup d'etat). Haiti's peoples continue to resist the return of despots, tyrants and enslavers who wage war on the poor majority and Black, contain-them-in poverty through neocolonialism' debts, "free trade" and foreign "investments." These neocolonial tyrants refuse to allow an equitable division of wealth, excluding the majority in Haiti from sharing in the country's wealth and assets." (See also, Kanga Mundele: Our mission to live free or die trying, Another Haitian Independence Day under occupation; The Legacy of Impunity of One Sector-Who killed Dessalines?; The Legacy of Impunity:The Neoconlonialist inciting political instability is the problem. Haiti is underdeveloped in crime, corruption, violence, compared to other nations, all, by Marguerite 'Ezili Dantò' Laurent
No other national group in the world sends more money than Haitians living in the Diaspora




Ezili Danto's Note:

Father Gerard Jean Juste: Gade Sa Neg D'Ayiti Fè Mwen

Click on above title "Father Gerard Jean Juste: Gade Sa Neg D'Ayiti Fè Mwen" to get to article.



Thousands attend Little Haiti funeral for Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste Father Gerard Jean Juste

The passing of Fr. Gérard Jean-Juste forces South Florida Haitian community to reflect on its past, regard its future.

By Trenton Daniel and Jacqueline Charles, jcharles@MiamiHerald.com,
June 7, 2009
, The Miami Herald

The year was 1977. Haiti's dictator, Jean-Claude ''Baby Doc'' Duvalier, was in the midst of unrelenting repression. Boatloads of Haitian refugees who arrived in South Florida were being jailed. And an unknown, feisty young man in a clerical collar marched up and down the sidewalk in front of Miami's federal building, firing up a crowd that had gathered there.

Intoxicated by his hoarse voice, the excited crowd responded to his calls of justice for Haitian refugees.

'He was going up and down the line chanting -- `Down with Duvalier,' 'Refugee Status for Haitians,' '' Rulx Jean-Bart, a leading organizer of a growing movement at the time, said of the Rev. Gérard Jean-Juste.

``That is what excited us about the man.''

Memories like those were recalled Saturday as friends, family, politicians and comrades in the Haitian refugee struggle bid a final farewell to Jean-Juste, known to many simply as Jeri. His unexpected death at age 62, following complications from a stroke and respiratory problems, comes as Haitians continue to demand equal treatment under U.S. immigration policy for migrants still trying to reach South Florida's shores. His death also comes as the children of one-time refugees now fight for political and economic clout.


Some 3,000 people packed the inside of Notre Dame d'Haiti Catholic Church, while thousands more stood in the rain outside to pay tribute to the Roman Catholic priest who went from a little-known figure on a Miami street corner to the central figure in the Haitian rights struggle. They considered his legacy in shaping a young but burgeoning South Florida Haitian-American community. And they reflected on the community's past and future.

''We had no access to power, we could not get into the doors, but we fought, we challenged the system,'' said Jean-Bart. ``Today, we are at the door. We have a mayor, lawyers, educated kids . . . we passed the torch.''

Mourners wore buttons and T-shirts with the words ''The Struggle Continues.'' The gold casket was covered with the red and blue colors of the Haitian flag and the name of Jean-Juste inscribed on top.

Children and adults, draped in the Haitian flag, took turns standing around his coffin as the image of a younger Jean-Juste -- feeding children, behind prison bars and in the streets of Miami -- streamed across large plasma TVs set up inside and outside the church.

Local politicians as well as a delegation from Haiti were also present.
The theme ''Tout moun se moun,'' or ''Every person is a human being,'' resonated amid calls for the community to unite.

Miami Archbishop John C. Favalora spoke about the importance of power with responsibility, reminding the community that despite Jean-Juste's ``own suffering with cancer, his concern was about God's people.

''He has walked his journey with you,'' Favalora said of Jean-Juste, also a champion of the poor. ``He has given you hope, strength and courage, but your walk is not over.''

Favalora said Jean-Juste was among those God chooses in every generation to walk with his people. He told the crowd that Haitians have come a long way and that their future weighed heavily on Jean-Juste's heart when the two last spoke last year.

"The journey for you has not ended," he said. "The journey for Father Jean-Juste has ended."

Jean-Juste will be buried next to his mother in his birth town of Cavaillon, Haiti.
The 3 1⁄2-hour service, which at times spurred grief-stricken women and men to fall to their feet, closed with Haitian and American national anthems. Even though Jean-Juste fought against a system he sometimes deemed unfair to Haitians, he respected and admired the United States.

''He wanted to see Haitians live with dignity,'' said the Rev. Reginald Jean-Mary.

With street protests no longer having the firepower they had when Jean-Juste held the microphone to his lips, the community -- which has grown from an estimated 10,000 in the late 1970s, to more than a quarter-million today -- finds itself wrestling over how best to continue the crusade as they demand Temporary Protected Status for tens of thousands of undocumented Haitians, and remain divided over the question: Who among them is best suited to speak on the community's behalf?

''One of the most important things Jeri did for us is he was willing to be the front person, the spokesperson,'' said Jean-Bart, 56, now a registrar at Miami Dade College. ``He knew how to use the media, to make sure people were aware of what's going on in Little Haiti, as well as Haiti. He kept the Haitian issue on the front burner. His advocacy, his militancy allowed the Haitian movement to broaden faster than had there not been a voice like his.''

In the early years, the community united around the desperate plight of Haitians and in opposition to the dictatorship, but as Haitians settled into a new life in South Florida, divisions widened.

Community infighting even affected funeral arrangements for Jean-Juste. Activists clashed over whether he should be memorialized along with a 35-year-old Haitian migrant who died at sea last month. The symbolic tribute did not happen.

"He loved people for who they were, not what they had," said Jean-Mary, who in a passionate speech reminiscent of Jean-Juste, begged Haitians to unite as he scolded activists during the Friday night wake, calling them hypocrites and false leaders consumed by the need for power.

Using the dead priest's famous rallying cry -- the Creole word for "Watch Them," -- Jean-Mary told the thousands who gathered, "Veye Yo' because they are in our midst." In the old days, Jean-Juste would have served as mediator in such debates.

''It's not a question of which man is going to replace Jean-Juste; he played his role,'' said Bishop Thomas Wenski, who served as pastor at Notre Dame d'Haiti Catholic Church in Miami from 1984 to 1997. ``You have a community that is very diverse and is showing success in different areas, in business and also politics and civic life. Jean-Juste played a role for the time that he was in Miami: He laid a foundation.''

Before Jean-Juste visited Miami in 1977, the budding Haitian movement was devoted to spotlighting the plight of poor, black Haitians who had begun to flee their homeland in rickety boats and the U.S. immigration policy of detaining them. Led by the Haitian Refugee Center (HRC), which was founded in 1973, it included legal filings and organized protests -- all guided by a network of key Haitians and non-Haitians from Miami to Washington.

Jean-Juste's penchant for publicity -- more than once he threw himself on the asphalt in defiance of immigration policy -- his priestly ways and ease with the people made him just the right person to lead the movement and the HRC in 1979, said Jean-Bart, who was then leaving the job as director.

Jean-Juste's street-fighter, maverick personality often made him appear to be a one-man show as he bashed his enemies and railed against U.S. presidents. He even picketed the Archdiocese of Miami and called a former archbishop ``a racist.''

‘‘He was perhaps one of the original of what they would call the sidewalk diplomats," said Wenski, now head of the nine-county Orlando Diocese. "He was a community organizer and a community agitator, in the best sense of the word."

Ira Kurzban, the Miami attorney who represented the HRC in several lawsuits against the U.S. government, likens what Jean-Juste and the agency did to what the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has achieved for African Americans.

''Without creating the HRC and what they did, I don't think there would be a Haitian community in South Florida,'' said Kurzban. ``He had a profound belief in the need for justice.''

Jean-Juste also had a knack for getting in trouble.

In 1980, he was fired from his $16,000-a-year job at the HRC for what the Christian Community Service Agency called his ''ineptitude'' and ``erratic and unproductive behavior.''

Hundreds protested. The priest responded by forming the Haitian Refugee Center, Inc. But ideological differences would create problems.

While some wanted to return to Haiti after the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship, Jean-Juste believed there was more work to be done on behalf of South Florida refugees. Eventually, he would form his own grass-roots political watchdog group, Veye Yo, Creole for ``Watch Them.''

Jean-Juste returned to Haiti in 1991 after the election of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. By then, many he had helped get legal residency had become U.S. citizens and Haiti had transitioned from a dictatorship into a fragile democracy.

It was the end of a chapter for Miami's Haitian community. But Jean-Juste would continue his struggle in Haiti as a spiritual leader, rabble-rouser and aspiring politician. His provocative methods landed him in jail twice in Haiti. He was diagnosed with leukemia while in jail in 2005.

''The jail time, the illness brought a lot of wisdom,'' Jean-Mary of Notre Dame said. ``I wish he had developed it earlier. At the same time, you have to respect his convictions. He was a fighter.''

As a final tribute, mourners carried Jean-Juste's closed casket from Notre Dame through the streets of Little Haiti, ending at his base, Veye Yo On Northeast 54th Street and North Miami Avenue. A painting of Jean-Juste, surrounded by children, stands before the narrow storefront. "Viv Pè Jeri. . . viv inite kan pep la." Live Father Jeri. Live united among the people."

It was a fitting end for a man whose introduction to Miami came during a two-week visit where he performed mass at Notre Dame, got his fame on the streets of Little Haiti, and took his final journey through the community he helped build with his 30-year crusade for justice on behalf of Haitians.

In the front of the hearse carrying his coffin, supporters waved placards and demanded the arrest of those who had jailed him. In the back of the coffin, the immigrants he championed, and his fellow Haitian priests. Some 10,000 lined the streets trying to get a glimpse. As mourners walked they sang Creole Catholic hymns, a Haitian street band played. And when they finally arrived at Veye Yo, his followers chanted "Justice for Father Jean-Juste," and demanded changes in their homeland.

As Jean-Mary reflects on South Florida's Haitian community, he doesn't see just one leader, but many. But he's also troubled by the absence of unity.

"There are many people who are now working hard, making a difference except we need to embody more of a spirit of togetherness, a spirit of humility, a spirit of wisdom, and value one another," Jean-Mary said. "Jean-Juste was not looking for his pocket or fame, he wanted to see the light."


Mèsi Pè Jan Jis, Travay Père Renaud François


Our Father Thou Art in Heaven
Ambassador Renaud Bernadin (died on 4 October, 2002)
[[ translation from French by Hyppolite Pierre]]
Institute for Research in Social Science & Politics

Dear Lord, teach us the art of praying

With the same spirit as those righteous men and women who worked

• For light to fall upon darkness
• For us all to hear the cry of the poor

With the spirit of

• Karl Lévêque, who fought with conviction for more than twenty years against government-sponsored terror back home, but sadly died after 7 February, 1986.

• Raoul Léger, the Acadian civilian assassinated in Guatemala because of his struggle for the poor.

• Oscar Roméo, the Salvadorian Bishop, assassinated by death squad because he was fighting for human rights in his homeland.

• Martin Luther King, the principled nonviolent man who died victim of violent racism.

• Willy Roméus, our Bishop whose prophetic voice denounces the injustices done to the poor.

• Julia Esquivel, the poet and preacher who uses her voice to loud the cries of the voiceless in Latin America.

Teach us Dear Lord, with the spirit of Your Son our Savior and a Redeemer, whom You sent to us out of love.


• Father of Jean-Robert Cius, Daniel Ismael, Mackenson Michel,gunned down in November 1985 inside their school yard.

You Lord, Our Father,

• Father of Christophe Channel, gunned down in Cap-Haïtien at his tailoring shop while sitting down, sewing.

And You Lord, Our Father,

• Father of those killed with a gun, or through electrocution at Fort Dimanche.

And You Lord, Our Father,

• Father of Bernadette Victor, Vladimir David,

Father of all those Young men and women gunned down by our army. You Father of those whom we knew to remember, and Father of those anonymous victims of atrocities while demonstrating for justice, human rights, and the right to live.

And You Lord, Our Father,

• Father of Charlot Jacquelin of Alpha Mission, captured in September of 1986, and who has since then disappeared, leaving behind a pregnant wife.

And You Lord, Our Father,

• Father of 1042 peasants from Jean-Rabel who have been either assassinated, or severely wounded from machete wounds.

And You Lord, Our Father,

• Father of each and everyone whose life conditions are both painful and degrading, because their misery is the source for:

- the education of our petite bourgeoisie
- the insulting luxury of the leech-minded few, who shamelessly entrap themselves onto our skin
- the wealth of the thieves
- the wealth of our compradors
- the high living standard of wealthy nations
- the mind-boggling expenditures for weaponry

And our Lord, Our Father,

• Father of the poor and the persecuted on earth, whom You have chosen to create a new Church and a new Society.

And our Lord, Our Father,

• Father to all of those who will die to ensure us a better future.

Our Lord, Our Father,

Father, our very own Father

Why this silence?
Where were You when they were killing us?
When our blood was enriching the soil of Haiti, our land?
When our blood was sprinkling the land, leaving in a red spot, redder than the burning sun, so much more potent than flame?
Why do You let them misuse their freedom?
Why don't You react?
If You turn Your eyes off of us, who will we turn to?

They say that we have no Father

… but I know that You are there
… and that You wish us well.

Father, You Father to all of us,
Where is this heaven, Your home, which they promise us
as the reward for all our sufferings on earth?
Today, You tell us, not to despair,
To conquer this new earth and the new skies,
As proof of Your alliance with us mortals,
and that this new earth and these new skies are a deformed image of Your Kingdom among us.

They say that Our Father is way behind the clouds.
But we believe
- that You are among us
- even among those who mistreat us, torture us, crucify us
- always, despite everything else, their Father as well, their Father who is in pain because of their misuse of their freedom.
Dear loving Father
Dear crucified Father
Father who keeps us free
Hallowed be thy name!!!

Be blessed Our Dear Father, through our trials and tribulations. You should not have allowed our hair to fall off had You not known

• that we have the strength to endure the pain
• that we have the courage to support it all and even more, until our very suffering becomes our ultimate weapon
• that we have an ultimate weapon against which our enemies are powerless

Be blessed, our Lord!
Be blessed, for we can see hope passed our repression,
and envision a better life
Be blessed, our Lord!
Be blessed for You give us strength that allows us

• to oppose
• to fight with the spirit of persistence
• to struggle tenaciously
• and to win

Be blessed, our Lord!

For we know that we shall win and when we do, we will proudly call Your name, for other reasons, with those like us who will be reborn in happiness, well-being, and in the spirit of our common humanity…

You, The God of Life,
Be blessed our Dear Lord!


Kingdom of justice

• where swords will become plough shears, and machetes’ blade will become bed frames for our sick.

• where the tax money, from our coffee sorters, from products sold on our public markets, from our farmers, our professionals, will no longer be used to buy weapons that will kill our sons and daughters.

Thy Kingdom come
to ensure the eradication in Haiti of the system which tolerates

• children in virtual servitude in others’ home
• landless peasants, or those who work it to mostly benefit others
• oppression
• suspicion
• the wickedness of spies
• the wickedness of informers
• the impunity for murderers

so that everyone can

• eat when hungry
• rest without fear, sleep with both eyes shut tight
• dress properly in clothes, tailored for them and which fit them well
• learn in school and in life

so that

• the sick can be cured
• the homeless or quasi-homeless can have a real home
• the peasants can once again breed our race of native pigs, our kochon-kreyól
• those who lost their land can recover it
• those in prison for speaking the truth can be returned to their families.
• our ports and sidewalks no longer harbor our sons and daughters who give themselves to prostitution for just a few dollars.

• so that our children’s laughs and smiles no longer have the trace of malnutrition
• so that each one of us can grow up as the human being that each one of us is
• so that our political leaders learn to understand that they are public servants, not the public’s predators.
• so that this new earth be born in Haiti and throughout the world.
So that I do all I can to make this dream a reality.

Lord, You ask me to choose between Your project and all others.
Enlighten me!
Allow me to be part of that project to redeem the world,
Through the baptism in Your Son’s death, and His transfer to this new world.

Thy will is
• that I exercise my freedom in fighting for and giving justice

• that as a people, we rule Haiti, submit it, govern it so that it be good for all its sons and daughters
• that I choose my camp
• that I build my tent with the poor of this land
• that I choose my sidewalk
…if I walk in the middle of the street, I shall get killed by passing cars
…if I walk on the wrong side of the street, I shall only find obstacles along my way
…But if I choose the right sidewalk, I shall, dear Lord, easily get to my destination.

Is Thy will, dear Lord

• that I use my knowledge, talents, my whole self, who I am thanks to Your grace dear Lord to benefit Your sons and daughters

• that I contribute to the transformation of this earth, rather than admiring it as it is, and accepting it as it looks?

• is Thy will, dear Lord, that we enjoy life to the fullest?

GIVE US THIS DAY, OUR DAILY BREADYou’ve created me, Lord, at Your image and resemblance.

I am not begging You, not begging You dear Lord.

I am only requesting the fruit of my labor.

I cannot eat because of the misdeeds of others;

If my brain is weak, it is also because of the same.

God, why is it
• that others pay so little for what we so painstakingly produce?

• that our labor force is so underpaid?

• that our greedy managers profit so much from our work?

Dear Lord, we swear that no one, Haitian or foreigner, will be allowed to exploit us.

We will organize our labor unions, build our organizations, our cooperatives, our associations.

And we will fight until things change.

We have decided to no longer be the prey of vicious hunters.
This is why

• we want to replace those in power

• we want to transform society

• we want to be in control of our lives, our future.

Yes, dear Lord, we swear

• that we will fight until we share equitably from the wealth which we produce

• that we will take the predators away from their sanctuary to court, until they give back to us what has been stolen from us.

• They will have to give us back our jobs and reopen the factories.

You have given us dear Lord, hands and fingers to work with: we shall produce to care for ourselves.

And we will share with the unfortunate, the disinherited of our and other lands, so the bread’s taste can be sweeter

For such is our ultimate goal: live in justice, and share with others.

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us
I have volunteered both my right and left cheek. On both occasions, they have slapped me.

What else do You want me to do, dear Lord?

I will now seek for justice

And once I find it
• Please dear Lord, remove by then, hatred in my heart

• Free my soul from the obsessive hate, so that I the victim, do not become a torturer.

To them, we the poor, the forgotten are called the worst. They say of us

• that we stink

• that from our genes comes the AIDS virus

• that we are a risk to the human race.

They dragged us in the mud, all with the wrong intention. They refused us
A glass of water, and they knew that we were thirsty. They were afraid that their porcelain would be contaminated. But ha, sometimes they needed labor, menial labor. And only then would we be allowed a glass of water.

We were not allowed to even step to their front door. They pushed us away everywhere we went.

They abused us, murdered us in the Bateys, in the prisons of Krome, at Cayo Lobos…

They’ve caused us to become Boat people, and then exposed our dead bodies on the beaches of Miami.

And now we are a people, uprooted and living in exile.

Our sisters’ body is nothing more than merchandise, offered in closed homes and at gentlemen’s club.

Their horses stepped on us; their police officers insulted us.

Help us dear Lord, so we never carry with us the seeds of hatred.

Help us instead dear Lord, to learn from them to be fair, as they are towards their own, as some of them are towards us, those who accompany us in solidarity, out of love, for the sake of humanity.

all we want dear Lord, is for them all to adhere to fairness to all people.


Dear Lord, come to us and help us, so we don’t become what we are fighting against. Help us fight the temptation for

• power, money, intolerance, cupidity, egoism, desire
to be president or chief

• closing our eyes, our ears, our heart … so we can’t see, can’t hear, can’t acknowledge the rightful but difficult demands of the poor, the masses

• keeping silent and becoming the accomplice of the exploiters, the criminals, the torturers, the mischievous leaders of our people

• accusing those who are fighting in good faith for change, that they are communists.

Open our hearts and minds dear Lord, so we can discard the poor advices from wicked hearts, and embrace the wise ones coming from Your wise inspiration.
May the spirit of devotion to all grow into all of us, guide us so that our choices reflect those of Your own Son.


• In military green, in Tonton Makout blue, in soldiers khaki.

• Of the pain spitted out of Uzi, Ghalil, and Springfields, guns which we don’t produce, we can’t produce, but that are bought by our leaders from the taxes levied against the poor who farm our coffee, and work in sugar factories.

• Of the evil that comes out of global offices where they conceive how to give us the so-called aid that destabilizes our agriculture, weakens our economy, and renders us even more dependent upon others.

• of our rice

• of their foreign pigs, their kochon-grimèl

• of their food aid, their manje sinistre

• of their foreign second-hand clothes, their pèpè

• of their thirst for power.

• Of the evil that alienates us, and makes us deny who we are and where we come from, and transform us into torturers of our own brothers and sisters.

I shall sing dear Lord a new song with
- the smile of a child relieved from his hunger
- the joyful Youth who lives in respect
- the proud laborer at work
- the mother happy with her life
- the prisoner in euphoria back at his home
- the confident emigrant thinking about back home
- the gleeful lovers assured of their future
- the beauty of the country, shaded with trees
- the friendship of our foreign friends
- the shared solidarity of our foreign friends
- the admiration of all the marvels that You have provided us.

I shall sing a new song my Lord, and attest to Your name in thankfulness for centuries to come.




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‘...Hayti (is) the glory of the blacks and terror of tyrants...I hope that she may be united, keeping a strict look-out for tyrants, for if they get the least chance to injure her, they will avail themselves of it...But one thing which gives me joy is, that they (the Haitians) are men (and women) who would be cut off to a man before they would yield to the combined forces of the whole world-----in fact, if the whole world was combined against them it could not do anything with them...’ ---David Walker
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"When you make a choice, you mobilize vast human energies and resources which otherwise go untapped...........If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want and all that is left is a compromise." Robert Fritz

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