SPEAKOUT to mark the 3rd anniversary of the earthquake that devastated HAITI – actions in a number of countries are calling the US government and NGOs on their rape and pillage of Haiti.
Tens of thousands of people have been demonstrating in Haiti for months. Three years after the earthquake, despite billions donated by a generous public, hundreds of thousands of people are still struggling to survive in tent cities, surrounded by rubble. They are still without clean water or food security or income, still fighting the cholera imported by UN troops. And now they face the further devastation of Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed 70% of the crops (but only its impact on the US got publicity).
Haiti has more NGOs per square mile than any other country in the world, yet it is the most impoverished in the western hemisphere. The NGOs have stolen millions intended for earthquake survivors. And joining in the stealing, the corrupt Martelly government put there by the US represses the mass protests of a people who refuse to be defeated.
Solidarity actions are also planned in Guyana, UK and other countries.
(We chose the 11th rather than the 12th, the actual anniversary of the earthquake, because the Red Cross offices will be closed Saturday. Other countries may prefer a different day.)
Some of us spoke out outside the London Red Cross in May 2012. It was one of the biggest beneficiaries of public donations: at least $479m to the US Red Cross alone (whose CEO earns $600,000 a year). Hardly any of these millions have reached the survivors. Instead the Red Cross is using some of it to build a luxury hotel and conference centre in Haiti. We must protest this grand theft.
Western governments and NGOs have used natural disasters as their opportunity to destroy Haiti’s agriculture and impose sweatshops. At this moment almost everywhere in the world there seems no limit to the plunder by the elites. The burden and the trauma are falling especially on women – the first carers, the poorest, and the hardest workers – the main breadwinners in 70% of Haitian families. In protesting the rape of Haiti, we refuse the rip-off we are suffering everywhere by the same elite.
What you can do:
• Bring your networks to the speakout.
• Circulate this call widely. Even those who don’t come will be informed.
• Contact your local media/radio station.
• Invite a GWS speaker to your school, college, community centre, church . . .
• Pledge a regular donation to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund. HERF is led by Haitians and every bit goes to those it is intended for, particularly women’s self-help survival initiatives and food co-operatives – there are no overheads.