Saturday, June 18, 2011

Growing Ties Between Mexican and U.S. Labor

By David Bacon, Americas Program
June 14, 2011

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth article of a series on border solidarity by journalist and immigration activist David Bacon. All articles in the series were originally published in the Institute for Transnational Social Change’s report Building a Culture of Cross-Border Solidarity. To download a PDF of the entire report, click here.

IN Mexico, the NAFTA debate led to the organization of the Action Network Opposing Free Trade (RMALC), which in turn helped to spark the relationship between the U.E. and the Authentic Labor Front (FAT). That relationship, examined in detail in several books, remains a model for solidarity between two unions, based on equality and mutual interest, preserving each union’s ability to make its own decisions autonomously. It has been a relationship based on real campaigns on the ground – organizing drives, strikes, and resistance to proposals like the PRI labor law reform. Rank-and-file workers in both unions have played an important part in those efforts. [...]

Read the full article:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Behind the closed doors of Port-au-Prince “reconstruction”

Port-au-Prince, June 9 2011 – Why hasn't reconstruction begun in downtown Port-au-Prince, the area of Haiti most savagely hit by the January 12, 2010, earthquake?

Why are there still tent cities surrounding the National Palace?

Why is planning conducted and decided behind closed doors, with secret contracts nobody sees?

Why are the beneficiaries – the capital’s poor majority – also kept out of the planning and in the dark?

Two new investigations by Haiti Grassroots Watch and students from the Laboratoire de Journalisme at the State University of Haiti tried to figure out what is blocking the reconstruction of downtown, and why the Champ de Mars is still home to thousands of families.

Journalists found a lack of transparency, lack of coordination, rivalry and sometimes even outright disagreement, in a context where no single authority seems to have a complete picture, or accept complete responsibility.

The results of the apparent impasse? Thousands of families braving the rains, winds and cholera under tarps and infrahuman conditions, undisbursed funding, and a rubble-strewn downtown characterized by empty plots and dying businesses.

Read the two series here

Impasse ? What’s blocking the capital’s reconstruction?

While the heroes are watching

Haiti Grassroots Watch is a partnership of AlterPresse, the Society for the Animation of Social Communication (SAKS), the Network of Women Community Radio Broadcasters (REFRAKA) and the community radios of the Association of Haitian Community Media (AMEKA).

Friday, June 3, 2011

Haiti: July 2011 Delegation with the Mouvman Peyizan Papay

Subject: A 5-day delegation to Haiti from July 15 to 19

Greetings everyone,

Bassin Zim Education and Development Fund / Seeds for Haiti Program invites all to a 5-day delegation to Haiti to visit the Papay Peasant Movement (MPP) and its projects, peasants' farms, farmers' market, several other sites and institutions. You will meet and have the opportunity discuss with MPP leaders, a women's group, a youth group, displaced people, etc. You will be staying at the MPP training center.

The delegation meets in Port-au-Prince on July 15th and travels to Hinche in the Central Plateau, where the whole time will be spent. The return date to Port-au-Prince is July 19th in the morning. All participants are to arrange for their air travel (we urge all to book their flights in advance to find the best rates). Room, board and transport will cost $300.00 altogether and a deposit of $50.00 should be paid to Bassin Zim EDF no later than June 30th. The balance should be received by July 7th.

Please contact us at (917) 378-2192 or at


Bazelais Jean-Baptiste
President of Bassin Zim EDF


The Mouvman Peyizan Papay (MPP) is a large movement of peasant cooperatives based in the small town of Papaye near Hinche in Haiti's Central Plateau. It is affiliated with Via Campesina, the international campesino movement, and it has been a leading force for sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty in Haiti. The MPP organized a large demonstration in June 2010 to reject the "poisoned gift" of hybrid seeds from the giant US corporation Monsanto; in contrast, the Seeds for Haiti program, which MPP supporters started in response to the hurricanes and tropical storms in 2008, supplies peasant families with locally produced seeds that are appropriate to Haitian farming conditions.

For more information on the MPP and the Seeds for Haiti, go to these English-language websites (which may be slightly out of date):

For information on the campaign against Monsanto seeds, go to:

Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds

For a slide show on an earlier delegation and the Monsanto demonstration, go to:
MPP Delegation, January 2010, and Monsanto Protest, June 2010