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Friday, Aug. 14, the Coalition for Human Rights in the Dominican Republic led a march across the Brooklyn Bridge to show “support in addressing the discriminatory policies and practices taking place in the Dominican Republic against people of Haitian descent.”

The theme of the march was, “Say No to the Racist Policies Affecting Our Dominico-Haitian Brothers and Sisters in the Dominican Republic.”

The coalition said, “Dominican authorities have stripped citizenship from individuals born in the country solely because they have Haitian heritage. As to emulate the precedent set by the former dictator Trujillo, the authorities have threatened to expel these individuals from the country and created an atmosphere of intimidation and fear.”

The coalition called on the public and the dozens of professional, religious and advocacy organizations to march under their banner across the Brooklyn Bridge Aug. 14.

In its call to action, the coalition stated, “More than 20 years ago, Haitians marched across the Brooklyn Bridge demanding fair treatment and an end to the racist ideology that labeled ‘Haitian’ as a risk factor for AIDS. The demonstration led the CDC to retract their statement. Let’s show the international community that our strength and passion has not died down through the years.”

The march began at Prospect Park Grand Army Plaza and proceeded across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall.

Pastor Lesly Thomas, a coalition coordinator, said, “This demonstration is meant to put the world on notice and ask for an immediate end to the racist and xenophobic policies being perpetrated against people of Haitian ancestry in the Dominican Republic.”

For more information, contact info@hacus.org.