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#1912: Refugee remembers journey, joins Haitian protest (fwd)
Published Sunday, January 16, 2000, in the Miami Herald
LITTLE HAITI Refugee remembers journey, joins Haitian protest
RENEE SOLOMON Herald Writer
At age 13, Carlo Ullysse traveled from Haiti to the United States by
hiding in a secret area of a wooden produce boat. For three days, he
huddled and sat anxiously waiting to be reunited with his
mother and father, who had migrated a year earlier. He made it.
Now, at age 32, Ullysse joined hundreds who last week held a peaceful
protest march demanding fair treatment for Haitian migrants. ``God gave
me favor. And I want to give back,'' said Ullysse. ``If it means
marching I will march. If it means screaming I will scream.'' Ullysse
wore a T-shirt that read: ``100 percent Haitian'' and a black hat with
miniature Haitian flags sticking out from the sides. He marched the 25
blocks from Northwest 54th Street in Little Haiti to the Immigration and
Naturalization Service headquarters at Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast
79th Street. Haitian Americans were joined by members of the black
community and others in protesting the repatriation of a boatload of
migrants who arrived New Year's Day. They were stopped off the coast of
Key Biscayne and 407 of 411 passengers were sent back to Haiti.
Edner Germain joined the marchers. He held a holding a sign that read:
``Ask for Respect for Haitian People! And Justice for All. . .''
Before the protest the Haitian-American community gathered for a
ceremonial funeral for the 10 people who reportedly died on the boat
during their four-day voyage. Leonie Hermantin, activist and president
of the Haitian American Foundation, said, ``We are doing this out of
respect for those who did not get a proper burial.''