News, Views, & Photography

Haiti

Poetry for Peace and Justice: a benefit for Haiti Emergency Relief Fund

UNIFA Graduation Laureates - 20180318_115155-1

_1996_Kiilu Nyasha & Pres Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti

Revolutionary journalist/death penalty abolitionist/and supporter of political prisoners, Kiilu Nyasha, who joined the Black Panther Party in 1969, shared a powerful moment w/President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti who had come to the Bay Area in 1996. While here he spoke at UC Berkeley and at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. The late, legendary 20 year Berkeley City Councilwoman Maudelle Shirek, (6/18/1912 – 4/11/2013) looks on. Known widely as the “heart and soul of the progressive movement” and the “godmother of progressive politics” the veteran councilwoman always stood up for the poor, loved Haiti, and was a fierce advocate for healthy living and nutrition.

It is with great sadness that Haiti Action Committee learned of the passing of our beloved sister and revolutionary warrior, Kiilu Nyasha who joined the ancestors peacefully in her sleep in the early morning of April 10. Kiilu loved Haiti, and the Haitian grassroots movement inspired her and guided her work, just as her solidarity, her intellect, her passion and her rock solid integrity continue to inspire and guide us. We invite you to join us globally as we dedicate this event, “Poetry for Peace and Justice” to the indomitable fighting spirit of Kiilu Nyasha  and to the indomitable people of Haiti.

We who love Haiti cordially invite everyone to come to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund’s dynamic beginning of the new year Poetry for Peace and Justice event! It will be held on Saturday April 14, 2018, at St John’s  Presbyterian Church; 2727 College Ave, Berkeley,CA; between 3-5:00 pm!

And if you can’t be there in person, you can still make a tax-deductible donation. Please click here to do so  or send a check to our fiscal sponsor: East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, 2362 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA, 94704  Thank you!

SO SAVE THIS DATE!

We have an outstanding line up of internationally acclaimed poets:

Poet/Playwright/Multi-Percussionist/Photographer/Teacher AVOTCJA,  Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing and Literature (retired) and Poet Laureate of the City of Berkeley Rafael Jesús González; and full time 30 year peace activist, mathematician, and formidable poet  Carolyn Scarr, followed by Open Mic!

Haiti Emergency Relief Fund gives concrete aid to Haiti’s democratic movement and grassroots community groups organizing to meet Haitians’ needs directly.

Poetry for Peace and Justice: a benefit for the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund is being Co-sponsored by the Haiti Action Committee, Ecumenical Peace Institute & the Mission & Justice Commission of St. John’s Presbyterian Church

It is wheelchair accessible, the suggested donation is $10 – $30, however no one will be turned away for lack of funds. This is a not-to-be-missed-event!

Directions:

St John’s Presbyterian is at 2727 College Ave. between Garber St. and Forest Ave., three blocks north of Ashby. The wheelchair ramp is on Garber. There is underground parking with an accessible elevator at the Garber Street entrance.

The AC Transit #51B bus runs on College between Rockridge BART and downtown  Berkeley.

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Haiti Action Committee • PO Box 2040, Berkeley, CA 94702 • For more information, call: 510-483-7481

Advertisements

BENEFIT SHOW for the HAITI EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND

BENEFIT SHOW for the HAITI EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND

 

Two days ago, on November 5, 2017 demonstrators in Haiti were attacked by militarized police as they protested the corrupt government of Jovenel Moise and the rise of a “new” militarized army reminiscent of the hated regimes of Papa and Baby Doc Duvalier.

We hope everyone can come to the benefit concert for the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund — we have a great line up of musicians!  But if you can’t be there in person, you can still make a tax-deductible donation here  or send a check to fiscal sponsor Women in Dialogue, P.O. Box 14512, San Francisco, CA 94114.  Thank you!

Haiti Action Committee

Omni Commons, 4799 Shattuck Ave Oakland
Saturday, December 9th  7-10pm                                                                                                   Sliding Scale $10+ 
Tickets at the door.  Wheelchair accessible.

For info on Haiti: Go to http://haitisolidarity.net
Contact: Haiti Omni Event Planning Group, c/o GWS Omni Collective, 415-626-4114 or sf@allwomencount.net


Haiti Action Committee Statement: “We Denounce the Trump Administration’s Decision to End TPS for 59,000 Haitians”

Haiti Action CommitteeHaiti Action Committee adds its voice to denounce the decision by the Trump Administration to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an estimated 59,000 Haitians. As we witness the implementation of a previously announced anti-immigrant agenda, we stand in solidarity with TPS and DACA recipients as well as all refugees and immigrants under attack. It is time for the passage of legislation such as HR 4253 and S 2144 or other alternative that is inclusive and beneficial for the broader immigrant community, which allows DACA and TPS recipients to stay, and gives them a path to permanent legal status.

The Immigration Act of 1990 created TPS to benefit people unable to return safely to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. Haiti received TPS after the earthquake of 2010. Thirteen countries had TPS status when Trump came to power. His administration ended the programs for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in April, Nicaragua and Haiti in November 2017. Decisions on Hondurans and Salvadorans will come soon. Haitian recipients of TPS have until July 22, 2019 to leave the US. Including TPS Haitians, their US-born children and spouses. Haiti could face the return of up to 200,000 people.

It is outrageous that the Trump administration has ended TPS for Haitians, given the dire country conditions that make TPS renewal such an absolute necessity. Members of Haiti Action Committee, an organization that works in solidarity with grassroots organizations, frequently visit Haiti. We are appalled at the unchanging miserable conditions – the lack of basic services including clean drinking water, sanitation, and health care. The very, very slow process of recovery from hurricanes and the earthquake has negatively impacted the health and well being of the population. The basic needs of the majority population are not being met. Returning 200,000 people to Haiti unconscionably exposes them to these conditions and will greatly exacerbate the present crisis.

Compounding the above challenges is the on-going political crisis in the country since the bloody 2004 coup d’état against the democratic government of President Aristide. Almost daily, demonstrations break out in cities and towns against the government of Jovenel Moise, increasingly seen as being totally corrupt by a large segment of the population inside Haiti and in the diaspora. Peaceful protests of the government’s abusive extortion practices of women and other small retailers, motorists and transportation workers are met with brutal repression by the police that too frequently result in death or serious injuries.

Sweatshop workers striking for higher wages, teachers owed months of unpaid salaries, students protesting the lack of educational material are similarly beaten and brutalized either in the streets or in filthy, overcrowded jails with most having no access to a judge for years. To many these increasingly frequent killings, arbitrary arrests and deadly acts by government security forces recreate/repeat the impunity that characterized the Duvalier years as shown in the following article –

Mass killing by Haitian police in Port-au-Prince: http://sfbayview.com/…/us-un-backed-haitian-police-massacr…/

The estimated 59,000 TPS recipients provide a major source of support for their families and network of relatives. The remittances keep their dependents in Haiti alive and local economies afloat. Repatriation will result in family break up and deprive former TPS recipients, now returnees, and their dependents of the means to live.

The conservative statistics below are alarming even as other reports claim higher numbers. Though hurricanes Irma and Maria did not hit Haiti directly, the heavy rains and strong winds caused great damage to houses and the local agriculture in northern Haiti. These and hurricane Matthew that struck the south in 2016 compounded the massive devastation of the earthquake from which Haiti has yet to recover. The situation in Haiti is dire according to a report by the Global Justice Clinic of NYU School of Law: http://www.ijdh.org/…/Extraordinary-Conditions_A-Statutory-…

– Hurricane Matthew displaced 180,000 people, destroyed 104,000 houses and damaged an additional 133,000, affecting the well being of more than two million people. Housing loss and damage totaled USD 856 million. The hurricane destroyed or damaged 133 hospitals, clinics, and health posts and affected 1670 schools. People have not received sufficient aid to rebuild their homes, farms and businesses. A severe hunger crisis is spreading in that area and people are migrating to Port-au-Prince to live with family in order to survive.
– Matthew killed 350,000 farm animals
– 200,000 people live in Canaan, a makeshift settlement created after the earthquake, without drinking water or sanitation
– 30,000 new cholera cases were projected to develop in 2017. Cholera has killed 10,000 people and sickened 815,000 [some reports conclude almost 15,000 dead.]
– 60% of the population live under $2 a day; 1 in 4 lives on less than $1 a day. Haiti is the most food insecure nation in the western hemisphere according to the Global Hunger Index
– 22% Haitians face food insecurity; 50% Haitians are undernourished
– Haiti imports more than half its food, including 80% of its rice, and prices keep rising

The income from TPS recipients and other Haitian immigrants plays a vital role in Haiti’s recovery by providing economic support for friends and relatives back home. The resources they send regularly are reliable, received directly and are put to good use by community residents striving to rebuild their lives. Similar situations exist for other countries that are also striving to recover from wars, natural and human-made disasters, and who do not have the capacity to repatriate tens of thousands of people. We call for the passage of inclusive legislation that benefits the broader immigrant community, which allows DACA and TPS recipients to stay, and gives them a path to permanent residency and citizenship.


AN APPEAL FOR SOLIDARITY FROM THE HAITI EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND

HERF

HAITI EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND

c/o EAST BAY SANCTUARY COVENANT, 2362 BANCROFT WAY, BERKELEY CA 94704

EBSC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, tax ID# 94-3249753

510-595-4650 – herf1804@hotmail.comhttp://www.haitiemergencyrelief.org 

Since its inception in March 2004, following the brutal coup d’etat against the
democratically-elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the Haiti Emergency Relief
Fund (HERF) has given concrete aid to Haiti’s democratic movement. HERF supports
grassroots organizations on the ground in Haiti including emergency disaster relief,
women’s agricultural cooperatives, schools for the most impoverished Haitian children,
mobile health clinics, the University of the Aristide Foundation (UNIFA) and more.
Donations go directly to grassroots organizations in Haiti. HERF pays no wages and takes
no cut – volunteers do all the work, and all the money HERF collects goes directly to those
who need it, starting with women – the primary caregivers in every community. Help
support HERF’s important work, which is a lifeline especially for the most impoverished
Haitians in order to support the long-run development of human rights, sustainable
agriculture and economic justice in Haiti.

Popular organizations in Haiti are hard at work trying to ensure that families and
communities can survive and rebuild. Though hurricanes Irma and Maria did not hit Haiti directly in September 2017, the heavy rains and strong winds caused great damage to houses and the local agriculture in northern Haiti. Communities are struggling to rebuild from Hurricane Matthew that devastated cities and villages in the south in October 2016. More than 2 million people were affected; the widespread destruction of crops and livestock reversed the gains in food production made by women’s agricultural cooperatives and other local farmers. The massive flooding from this year’s hurricane season and recent torrential rains has caused a deadly spike in water-borne diseases, particularly cholera (brought to Haiti by UN troops), severely taxing the much limited resources of already overburdened communities.

We urge all friends of Haiti donate as much as they can to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund. Your donations will go directly to grassroots organizations in Haiti that are at risk in their work for democracy, human rights, social and economic justice. They save lives by helping people on the ground access education, health care, clean water, food and shelter, and reconstructing their lives.

Here are just a few examples of what your generous contributions have supported:
* The Aristide Foundation For Democracy has organized mobile health clinics for un-derserved communities.
* Women’s Agricultural Cooperatives – Production of locally grown food crops.
* Radio Timoun, based within the Aristide Foundation, and other local independent
radio stations that have received support from the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund, have
provided consistent and needed information on various topics including education and
health.
* HERF-supported schools and women’s organizations in the Port-au-Prince area
provide education for disadvantaged children and support women’s organizing.

This is but a short list of the work that you are supporting. In essence, you are
supporting the work of the democratic movement in Haiti, which is determined to aid Haitians assisting Haitians in the spirit of solidarity and dignity. We are responding to their call and their lead.

Please donate on line at: www.haitiemergencyrelief.org
Or Send Checks To:
Haiti Emergency Relief Fund
c/o East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, 2362 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, California 94704
All donations are tax-deductible. East Bay Sanctuary Covenant is a non-profit 501(c)(3)
organization, tax ID# 94-3249753 Tel: +510-595-4650

We Thank You!
Haiti Emergency Relief Fund Board of Directors: Walter Riley, Maureen Duignan, O.S.F.,
Pierre Labossiere, Marilyn Langlois, Robert Roth


Reports of a mass killing by the police in Port-au-Prince; brutal beatings of protesting teachers and students in Cap-Haitien on 11/13/17

Dragged from their homes and shot by police

 

Haiti Action Committee

  • Reports of a mass killing by the US/UN occupation trained and supervised Haitian police in Port-au-Prince
  • Police brutally beats teachers and students in Cap-Haitien demanding money for education, not to restore the murderous army

Monday 11/13/17 was a day of extra-judicial killings of men and women estimated by community residents to total 14 not counting a number of disappeared according to Radio Timoun (Youth Radio).

The reporting was live from the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Grand’Ravine on the Maranatha school grounds and nearby where 8 of the bodies including those of a teacher and the school caretaker still lay as of 2 hours ago this morning, Tuesday 11/14/17. Other bodies were stated by witnesses to be in nearby bushes. Many are reported wounded by police gunfire and beatings with hammers. In addition, news reports make mention of 31 arbitrary arrests.   (See video Masak lapolis fe nan Gran Ravin 13 Novanm 2017: Warning graphic content)

These killings were conducted by units of the Haitian police according to a number of survivors beaten by the police and other witnesses interviewed by Radio Timoun. It is also reported that at the very early hour when the police attack against the community took place, many children and adults were injured by the very potent tear gas used by the police.

Also on Monday 11/13/17 in the northern city of Cap-Haitien, marching students shouting “Down with the army, long live education, long live schools!” were brutally attacked by the police using tear gas and batons. Many teachers and students were beaten and severely injured. Schools have been closed there for the past week. The students were saying no to the government’s plan to restore the old disbanded Haitian military. They are demanding that the money instead should be used to pay long overdue salaries to the already much-underpaid teachers.

The demonstrators are also denouncing a reported plan by the corrupt US/UN-occupation government of Jovenel Moise (PHTK Party) to fire teachers en masse, replace them with his supporters and not pay them the overdue wages.


Haiti Action Committee Denounces the Attempted Assassination of Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

3-21-2017

_3-20-17_Aristide supporters#3Supporters of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide   Photo courtesy of HaitiInfoProj

See also: Video footage of Aristide supporters just prior to assassination attempt. Video courtesy of Wendy Joseph Lerisse

Yesterday, there was an assassination attempt against former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s first democratically elected president. President Aristide had been summoned to appear as a witness in a court case. While returning from court, his motorcade was attacked by armed Haitian police. A number of people were injured in the attack. Mass protests against the police broke out immediately.

In the wake of the electoral coup which installed Jovenal Moise, a right-wing protege of former president Michel Martelly, as Haiti’s new president, there has been a marked increase in repression directed against grassroots activists.

This attack on President Aristide signals a new stage of terror in Haiti. It harkens back to the days of the Duvalier dictatorships. Human rights activists and all supporters of democracy in Haiti need to condemn this attempted assassination and demand that those who committed this act be brought to justice.

_3-20-17_fmr pres AristideFormer president Jean-Bertrand Aristide greets thousands of supporters in Port-au-Prince  3-20-17  Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Haiti Action Committee


ASSASSINATION attempt against former president of Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide by Haitian National police “BIM” units

 

_3-20-17_BIM

Hundreds of thousands of supporters of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and FANMI LAVALAS were in the streets today, protecting the former president from the murderous  Brigade d’intervention Motorisee or (BIM) unit of the Haitian National Police, responsible for the 3/20/2017 assassination attempt on the former president’s life. Note that their uniforms say SWAT, just like the militarized police that kill Afrikans in the U.S. Photos are courtesy of the Haiti Information Project

Resisting the lynching of Haitian liberty!

Displaying their usual murderous arrogance, U.S./UN trained and supervised Haitian National Police Brigade d’intervention Motorisee (BIM) units attacked the motorcade and supporters of former president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide in a blatant but failed assassination attempt.

According to eyewitness accounts and reports on Radio Timoun, the former president’s car was fired on as he responded to a fake court summons that we now know was a trap.

Thankfully, hundreds of thousands of people had mobilized to accompany the much beloved former president to the courthouse, and were able to foil the assassination attempt.

The court’s “invitation” was for former President Aristide to appear as a witness in a case that he has nothing to do with. The case in question appears to be a frame up of Jean Anthony Nazaire, one of the defenders of the national palace who was gravely wounded during the failed U.S. instigated, December 17, 2001, coup d’etat  against President Aristide, led by the recently arrested drug running/money laundering, and fraudulently elected ex-senator Guy Phillipe.

There was a great deal of concern that the 10:00 a.m. Monday morning, 3/20/2017 court appearance, though innocently perceived, was a continuance of the state sanctioned persecution of President Aristide and FANMI LAVALAS.

There was therefore, a great deal of concern for the former president’s safety. Many suspected a nefarious purpose behind these repeated excuses to constantly drag him through Haiti’s (in)justice system. As it turns out – again – the instincts and experience of the people were true. As the former president’s car arrived, police opened fire into a huge crowd.

Massive protests against police are gathering in Port au Prince, Haiti in response to the attack on former president Aristide’s motorcade.

Reports are that several supporters and security guards were gravely injured.

FANMI LAVALAS is calling for calm and to avoid police.

Now, more than ever, we must remain vigilante.