On the 4 month mark of the coup d'état in Mauritania – on December 6 – students, professionals and community members came together at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey California to hear the President of Mauritania, Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi and his son, Mohamed who spoke to the audience from Lemden where the president is held under house arrest. The Monterey presenters included Institute faculty and students and several Mauritanian citizens speaking on the issues facing Mauritania and the coup d'état.
The event was sponsored by the Monterey Institute of International Studies, the Afro Club, the Conflict Resolution Club, Global Majority and A Global Future. Embassy Suites provided housing to the speakers who travelled to Monterey for the event.
To all participants, we offer our thanks and to all supporters we stand with you in your initiative to return the Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi to his Presidential seat and to the return of democracy to Mauritania.
We encourage all people who believe that
· Democracy is government in which power and civic responsibility are exercised by all adult citizens, directly, or through their freely elected representatives.

· Democracy rests upon the principles of majority rule and individual rights. Democracies guard against all-powerful central governments and decentralize government to regional and local levels, understanding that all levels of government must be as accessible and responsive to the people as possible.

· Democracies understand that one of their prime functions is to protect such basic human rights as freedom of speech and religion; the right to equal protection under law; and the opportunity to organize and participate fully in the political, economic, and cultural life of society.

· Democracies conduct regular free and fair elections open to citizens of voting age.

· Citizens in a democracy have not only rights, but also the responsibility to participate in the political system that, in turn, protects their rights and freedoms.

· Democratic societies are committed to the values of tolerance, cooperation, and compromise. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, "Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit."