Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tear Gas in Cananea

by David Bacon, The Nation
June 17, 2010

When the Mexican government moved to bust the three-year miners' strike in Cananea on June 6, it brought 2,000 Federal Police into the tiny mountain town in the state of Sonora -- two cops for every striker. As darkness fell and helicopters clattered overhead, they charged the gate with riot shields and batons, filling the streets with tear gas. Miners retreated to the union hall with their families, and the police followed, barricading the doors and lobbing more tear gas inside. [...]

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Friday, June 25, 2010

NYC, 6/26/10: Haiti in Crisis

Fowòm Ouvriye and The Batay Ouvriye Solidarity Network
Invite you to a progressive community gathering

What is the current situation for working people?
In whose interest is the reconstruction plan?
What needs to be done?

Saturday, June 26, 6:00 PM

Community Hall
Jean-Jacques Dessalines
La Différence Auto School
836 Rogers Ave, Brooklyn
(between Church and Erasmus, take #2 train to Church Ave.)

Video about Haiti
Political Analysis
Refreshments & Debate

for information call: 646-829-9519

Haitian Farmers Leery of Monsanto's Largesse

By Peter Costantini, Inter Press Service
June 21, 2010

PÉTIONVILLE, Jun 21, 2010 (IPS) - Haitian farmers are worried that giant transnational corporations like Monsanto are attempting to gain a larger foothold in the local economy under the guise of earthquake relief and rebuilding.

"Seeds represent a kind of right to life," peasant leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste told IPS. "That's why we have a problem today with Monsanto and all the multinationals who sell seeds. Seeds and water are the common patrimony of humanity." [...]

Read the full article:

Friday, June 11, 2010

NYC, 6/12 and 6/14: "Fighting Monsanto in Haiti"

Chavannes Jean-Baptiste will be in New York this week speaking about the campaign against the Monsanto seeds in Haiti. Jean-Baptiste is the coordinator of the Mouvman Peyizan Papay (MPP), the Papaye Peasant Movement; a leader in the international Via Campesina movement, he was one of the winners of the 2005 Goldman prize for environmental activism.

Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 5:00 pm
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, 85 South Oxford Street in Brooklyn

Monday, June 14, 2010 - 6:00-8:00 pm
Martin Luther King, Jr. Labor Center, 310 West 43rd Street in Manhattan, between 8th & 9th Avenues

Contact: Seeds for Haiti, , , (917) 378-2192

For more information on Monsanto in Haiti:

Haiti: Thousands of Farmers Reject Monsanto Seeds

Groups Around the U.S. Join Haitian Farmers in Protesting "Donation" of Monsanto Seeds

Batay Ouvriye Communiqué May 18, 2010

Port-au-Prince, May 27th, 2010

In the context of the Workers Mobilization Month launched during the camps’ first march on April 28th, 2010, and following up on the various activities developed May First, May 18th was a major date (see our previous document: “The mobilization is launched!”).

In Haiti, May 18th is Flag Day. 1803 was when the revolutionary forces decided to have a flag of their own, of struggle and freedom. A crucial date, to establish once and for all direct confrontation with the already open state of occupation-trusteeship upon us today. [...]

Read the full communiqué:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Groups Around the U.S. Join Haitian Farmers in Protesting "Donation" of Monsanto Seeds

By Beverly Bell, Huffington Post
June 4, 2010

"We're for seeds that have never been touched by multinationals. In our advocacy, we say that seeds are the patrimony of humanity. No one can control them," said Doudou Pierre, national coordinating committee member of the National Haitian Network for Food Sovereignty and Food Security (RENHASSA), in a recent interview. "We reject Monsanto and their GMOs. GMOs would be the extermination of our people."

A march is being held in Haiti today for World Environment Day, called by at least four major national peasant organizations and one international one. The march's purpose is to protest the new arrival of Monsanto seeds. The day's slogans include, "Long live native seeds" and "Down with Monsanto. Down with GMO and hybrid seeds." [...]

Read the full article:

"We are at a Crossroads" - Yannick Etienne on Sweatshops as a Development Model

By Beverly Bell, Huffington Post
June 3, 2010

The U.S. and U.N. have based their plan for Haiti's redevelopment on the expansion of the assembly industry. Toward this end, the U.S. Congress passed legislation last month which would expand benefits and income for U.S. investors yet again. Haitian workers will continue to earn $3.09 a day.

Worker rights groups and other sectors of Haiti's social justice movements are adamant that a sweatshop-based development model cannot advance either the country or its workers. First, the investments are unstable, and companies can and do pull out at a moment's notice. Second, the work does not offer a living wage, benefits, possibilities for advancement, or skills training. Third, with the primary products and the machinery imported and the finished products exported, assembly does not stimulate Haiti's economy.

Here Yannick Etienne, an organizer with the labor rights group Batay Ouvriyè (Worker's Struggle), talks about the assembly sector and why it is neither a sustainable nor humane development model. [...]

Read the full interview:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Haiti: Images

During the coverage of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the mainstream media further perpetuated Haiti's image as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. This 8-min documentary explores this representation and uncovers what mainstream journalists have neglected to tell us about Haiti's history.