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26224: Simidor (comment): Pinas Saga: Abducted or Arrested? (fwd)
From: Daniel Simidor <email@example.com>
By his own admission Lavalas journalist Kevin Pina
scaled the wall of a compound, where the special
police was conducting a search-and-seizure operation
led by the equivalent of a District Attorney in
Haiti's legal system. The compound in question being
the rectory of Catholic priest Gerard Jean-Juste,
currently sitting in jail on some very dubious
charges. The police claim they were looking for guns.
Mr. Pina apparently began filming very quickly, and
boldly challenged officials on the scene "as to why
they were destroying church property." When the
police tried to take away his camera, Mr. Pina "would
not let them" and demanded "to see a representative of
my embassy" on the spot. He was arrested and taken to
a detention center where he proceeded to give several
statements to the press.
Now imagine the same scenario in the U.S. A minority
or alternative journalist jumps over the wall of a
building where Homeland Security is conducting a raid.
Said journalist begins to film and to ?interfere"
with agents on the scene... No one in their right
mind, not even Kevin Pina, would try such a stunt in
the U.S. Why? Because the poor fool would have been
knocked to the ground in the blink of an eye, his ass
thrown in a jail cell "where the sun never shines,"
without the least possibility of singing to the press.
At some point in the late 1990s (before 9/11), I
stood on the sidewalk in front of the INS building in
lower Manhattan and tried to videotape its exterior
for a public access TV program on immigration. I was
threatened, my film was confiscated, but oddly it
never crossed my mind to summon my embassy.
But Mr. Pina on the strength of his white-skin
privilege deems himself above Haitian law. His
supporters, all of them by birth or by choice citizens
of the U.S and Canada, urge their governments, not
Haiti?s, to release him. They claim he was
?abducted,? not arrested, and that his life is in
peril. Likewise, Mr. Aristide was "kidnapped" and, in
Mr. Pina's words, "taken from the palace in
handcuffs." Sitting so to speak in their Father?s
house, these modern-day ?Monsieur Jourdain? do not
deign to address mere puppets like the Latortue
government. What is most striking in all this is how
promptly these so-called anti-imperialists embrace
their imperial privilege outside the United States,
also their contempt for the countries they "grace"
with their presence and the lack of proportion in the
stories they tell. Mind you, the worse that can
happen to Kevin Pina is that he will be declared
persona non grata in Haiti, the same way I would be
deported if I ever tried such a stunt in the U.S.
Then he can promote his films, by touring Canada and
the US as the new Lavalas "cause célèbre."
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