[News] Stand with Haiti actions in 24 cities - Haiti Earthquake International Solidarity Week

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jan 25 10:17:58 EST 2010


24 cities and communities in solidarity with Haiti during Haiti 
Emergency Earthquake International Solidarity Week:
A partial list of marches, demonstrations and events:

1. New York City - Friday 1/29, "Stand with Haiti" Mass March across 
the Brooklyn Bridge. Sponsored by New York's Haitian community. 
Gather at 4 pm at Cadman Plaza Federal Building in Brooklyn, and 
march across the bridge to the Federal Bldg at Foley Square in Manhattan.

Earlier in the week, on Wed. 1/27, 4:30 pm, there will be a 
demonstration for Haiti and Honduras at Union Square, sponsored by 
Honduras USA Resistencia and the International Action Center.

2. Montreal - Mon. 1/25 at noon - Protest outside the Ministerial 
Preparatory Conference on Haiti. The conference, called to plan 
reconstruction financing for Haiti, will be attended by the foreign 
ministers of the 3 countries that engineered the 2004 coup [US, 
France & Canada], including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 
Bernard Kouchner. Protest organized by Haiti Action Montreal, part of 
the Canada Haiti Action Network (CHAN). Location: 999 University 
Street. Metro: Square Victoria. Theme of the demonstration: Haiti 
needs emergency relief, not military intervention! Protesters are 
also demanding a temporary loosening of immigration controls to allow 
Haitians to enter Canada. ** [See below] Interest in Haiti is high. 
The previous Friday nearly 400 people packed a theater at Concordia 
University to see the film Aristide and the Endless Revolution.

3. San Francisco - Mon 1/25, Demonstration 5 pm, Powell & Market 
(Powell Street BART), followed by a march through downtown San 
Francisco. Sponsored by Haiti Action Committee, with sound provided 
by the Answer Coalition. Demands include: Get water, food and 
medicine to the people now! Denounce the U.S. for militarizing and 
stalling the relief effort! Return President Aristide from forced 
exile in South Africa, as the vast majority of Haitians demand!

4. Baltimore - Monday, 1/25, 6:30 pm, demonstration for Haiti in the 
well-traveled area near City Hall at 100 North Holliday Street. 
Sponsored by International Action Center and the Bail Out the People 
Movement. Demands include: Demilitarize the Haiti relief effort!

5. Toronto - Thurs Jan 28 - 7pm. Eyewitness report from Haiti by BC 
Holmes of the Toronto Haiti Action Committee, part of the Canada 
Haiti Action Network. Event is being held at OISE, 252 Bloor Street 
West. Report on an 11-day visit by a Canadian human rights 
delegation. Co-sponsored by Pan African Solidarity Network.

6. Oakland, California - Two weekend concerts for Haiti relief capped 
a week of activities in Oakland to support the Haitian people.
+++ The Vukani Mawethu Choir and the musical group Troublemakers 
Union packed the house at the Bay Area Christian Connection in 
Oakland on Sat. 1/23, raising $4,000 for the Haiti Emergency Relief 
Fund and $1,000 for Partners in Health. [Concert sponsored by Haiti 
Action Committee and Vukani Mawethu.]
+++ The San Francisco Boys Chorus, with mezzo sopranos Frederica von 
Stade and Zheng Cao, filled Oakland's Cathedral of Christ the Light 
on Sun.1/24, in a concert to benefit Catholic Charities' Haiti 
project. The event was sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Oakland, 
and the Bishop of Oakland spoke.
+++ Some 200 people came out in the rain on Martin Luther King Day, 
to attend a candlelight vigil for Haiti outside the Oakland Federal 
Building. Speakers included Congresswoman Barbara Lee, chair of the 
Congressional Black Caucus; civil rights attorney Walter Riley, chair 
of the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund, just returned from Haiti where he 
witnessed the earthquake; Rev. Phil Lawson, with the Black Alliance 
for Just Immigration (BAJI); Sister Maureen Duignan, director of East 
Bay Sanctuary Covenant and longtime friend of Haiti; Rev. J. Alfred 
Smith Jr., pastor of Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland; 
Supervisor Keith Carson; and Pierre Labossiere, co-founder, Haiti 
Action Committee.
+++ The Golden State Warriors basketball team joined up with the 
Oakland Black Firefighters Association to collect donations at the 
next two home games for Haiti Earthquake relief. One of the 
recipients will be East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, sponsor of the Haiti 
Rural Education Project. At the Warriors' home games on January 20 
[vs. Denver] or January 22 [vs. New Jersey], Oakland Firefighters 
carrying firefighter boots will encourage fans to "Fill The Boot" 
with donations for Haiti.

7. Miami - Mon. 1/25, 7 pm, meeting of a newly formed committee 
called Haiti Solidarity, at Veye Yo, 54th Street and North Miami 
Avenue, in the Little Haiti neighborhood. Members will discuss a 
proposal to mount a demonstration in Miami to raise these demands: 1) 
Demilitarization of US aid to Haiti and Prioritizing aid to the 
popular neighborhoods devastated by the earthquake; 2) Cancellation 
of Haiti's debt [there is now a temporary moratorium on repayment of 
the debt, but it has not been cancelled]; 3) Opening of US borders to 
Haitians; 4) Restoration of Haiti's sovereignty.

Also in Miami, on Sat. 1/23, a fundraiser at the Tap Tap Haitian 
Restaurant in Miami's South Beach neighborhood raised $1,800 for the 
late Father Gerard Jean-Juste's What If? Foundation, which provides 
free meals to children at St. Clare's Church in Port-au-Prince. [The 
St. Clare's food program has just gotten back in operation after the 
earthquake, thanks to the efforts in Haiti of Lavarice Gaudin, from 
the Veye Yo organization in Miami, who has been shuttling truckloads 
of food and supplies from the Dominican Republic.]

8. London, England - On Wed. 1/20 Global Women's Strike called an 
emergency Haiti earthquake vigil, on the steps of St. Martin in the 
Fields Church, Trafalgar Square. About 150 people, many of them 
Haitian, attended. The vigil was called "to press for urgent relief 
and rescue for Haitian people, not military occupation. As the US 
military blocks supplies getting through, health providers estimate 
that 20,000 people perish daily whom they could save."  Placards 
called for the return of Haiti's elected president Jean-Bertrand 
Aristide, removed by a US Coup in 2004. Global Women's Strike leader 
is Selma James, widow of C.L.R. James, author of Black Jacobins, the 
definitive historical account of the 1804 Haitian Revolution that 
defeated Napoleon's army [then the world's most powerful] and ended 
slavery in Haiti. Selma James says that now, after the earthquake, 
"only Aristide has the mandate to lead Haiti's recovery." At the 
Trafalgar Square vigil, Global Women's Strike encouraged donations 
"to the long established Haiti Emergency Relief Fund, dedicated to 
helping grassroots people. Funds go directly to those in immediate 
need, beginning with women and children, without taking any 
'administrative cut'."

9. Johannesburg, South Africa (Auckland Park) - On Mon.1/25 the radio 
station Channel Africa, affiliated with the South African 
Broadcasting Corporation, will tape a program in the English language 
devoted to the Haiti Emergency Earthquake International Solidarity 
Week, hosted by radio personality Faz da Hall, for airing later in 
the week. The program will discuss the many bottlenecks imposed by 
the US military, that have prevented aid from getting where it is needed.

10. Detroit - Sat. 1/23, Emergency public meeting and dinner for 
Haiti, at 5920 Second Avenue, north of Wayne State University in 
Detroit, on the theme, "US Imperialism: No Friend of Haiti; 
Humanitarian Mission or Military Occupation?" Speakers raised the 
demand for the permanent lifting of the deportation orders on 
Haitians, withdrawal of U.S. military troops from the country, and 
the return of the ousted President Jean Bertrand Aristide, who was 
overthrown by the U.S. and exiled in 2004. Sponsored by Workers World 
Party and the Harriet Tubman School.

11. Bronx, New York - Sunday 1/24, 2:30 pm into the evening, Benefit 
Concert in Solidarity with the People of Haiti at St. Margaret 
Church, 940 East 156th Street in the Bronx. Sponsored by many 
organizations, principally from the Garifuna community (immigrants of 
African descent from Honduras and other Central American countries). 
Featured performers include Tormenta Agrupacion, Amistad Garifuna, 
T.N.C Libana Maraza, Paula Castillo, El Maestro and Alagany Band.

12. Richmond, California - The Richmond City Council voted 
unanimously last week to demand immediate and widespread distribution 
of water and supplies to the people affected by the earthquake in 
Haiti. They faxed letters to this effect to President Obama, 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senators Boxer and Feinstein, and 
Rep. George Miller.

13. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada - Mon 1-25, Haiti earthquake relief 
fundraiser, at Lo Pub, Ellice & Kennedy. Artists and DJ. Sponsored by 
Mass Appel.

13. Dublin, Ireland - Latin American solidarity activists are meeting 
this week to form a countrywide action committee on Haiti. This will 
be followed by a speaking tour in three cities of Ireland - Galway, 
Cork and Dublin - featuring Elsie Haas from the Haitian community in 
Paris, and raising funds for the Haitian doctors' association in 
France. Organizers called for "ending the occupation of Haiti by 
foreign powers" as a prerequisite for Haiti's sustained recovery.

14. Portland, Oregon -Sat., 1/23, Haiti-El Salvador Dinner Benefit 
attended by 400 at Sunnyside Elementary School.
Sponsored by Salvadorenos Unidos de Oregon, Portland Central American 
Solidarity Committee, and Portland Jobs with Justice.
The community event raised $2,500 for Haiti and El Salvador.

15. Philadelphia - Wed. 1/27, 4:30-6:00, Demonstration for Haiti and 
Honduras on the steps of City Hall, 15th & Market. Sponsored by 
Honduras USA Resistencia and the International Action Center. Held on 
the occasion of the inauguration of the new "President" of Honduras, 
elected in fraudulent elections. In both countries, US-backed 
governments have excluded from elections candidates of the popular movements.

16. Galway, Ireland - Haiti activists will visit Galway next week, on 
a speaking tour about Haiti, as solidarity efforts ramp up to include 
other cities of the Emerald Isle in addition to the capital. Elsie 
Haas, former director of the Haiti Tribune in Paris, will be speaking.

17. West Oakland - Haiti Relief Fundraiser Sunday evening 1/24 at the 
Black Dot Cafe, 1195 Pine St. in the heart of the historic African 
American community in West Oakland. Speaking are civil rights 
Attorney Walter Riley, chair of the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund, who 
was in Haiti when the earthquake struck, and Pierre Labossiere, 
co-founder, Haiti Action Committee. Benefits the Haiti Media/Medical 
Team, which is being pulled together by JR, a broadcast journalist 
and associate editor of the San Francisco Bay View-National Black 
Newspaper, and his friend, a young doctor. They plan on traveling to 
Haiti "to work in solidarity with the people, ministering to their 
medical needs and reporting the truth to the outside world: the 
stories of the Haitian people, from their point of view."

18. Buffalo, N.Y. - Wed. 1/27, late afternoon demonstration for Haiti 
and Honduras, against the US military presence and influence in both 
countries. Sponsored by the International Action Center.

19. Vancouver, British Columbia - Fri 1-22, afternoon panel 
discussion on situation in Haiti at University of British Columbia, 
Freddy Wood Theatre. Sponsored by a university-wide coalition.

20. Boston - Sat., 1/23, Forum on Haiti featuring Claude St. Germain, 
Fanmi Lavalas representative and exec board member, United Steel 
Workers Local 8751 (Boston School Bus Drivers), and Larry Hales, a 
leader of the youth group F.I.S.T. (Fight Imperialism, Stand 
Together). Speakers at the Workers World forum, held at the 
International Action Center, 284 Amory Street, denounced the fact 
that aid is not getting through to the people who need it, and 
opposed the militarization of Haiti relief by US authorities.  The 
School Bus Drivers, a majority of whom are Haitian, have taken the 
lead in building support in Boston for Haiti during this time, 
starting with an emergency mass meeting at their union hall on the 
day after the earthquake.

21. San Jose, California - Monday, 1/25, 5 pm, Speakout and 
leafleting about the situation in Haiti, at south end of Cesar Chavez 
Plaza, corner Market and San Carlos, downtown San Jose, to reach many 
people pasing by on foot and in cars.

22. Cork, Ireland - A three-city speaking tour next week, including 
Cork and Galway, hopes to expand Haiti solidarity work beyond the 
Irish capital of Dublin. Elsie Haas, from the Haitian community in 
Paris, will cross the English Channel to make the connections.

23. Los Angeles - On Thurs, 1/21 Global Women's Strike and the 
International Action Center sponsored a picket at the downtown 
Federal Building, demanding that U.S. authorities in Haiti "Stop 
Blocking Aid to those in Need". They also called for "No 
militarization of aid to Haiti" and the return of President Aristide 
to Haiti. SEIU Local 721 Latino caucus, the Answer Coalition and the 
Filipino American organization Bayan USA participated in the 
demonstration. These same organizations are planning a fundraiser for 
Haiti in Los Angeles later in the month.

24. Joseph, Oregon - Vigil for Haiti, late afternoon on Wed., 1/27, 
in the small town of Joseph.

** Note about the Montreal protest: A background document, circulated 
by Haiti Action Montreal, in preparation for Monday's demonstration, 
cast a scornful eye on the motives of the US, France and Canada in 
planning earthquake relief and reconstruction in Haiti: "Can these 
so-called Friends of Haiti be trusted now to respect the best 
interests of the Haitian people? In the aftermath of the earthquake, 
they've militarized the relief efforts, jeopardizing the lives of 
thousands more Haitians who are desperately awaiting food and 
medicine, not soldiers. They've refused to temporarily loosen 
immigration controls that might alleviate the suffering in Haiti.

"The development they've controlled in the past have benefited only 
the country's small, wealthy elite and foreign investors, while 
further impoverishing the majority of Haitians. And they have not 
hesitated to brush aside Haiti's democracy when it served their 
interests. Bay kou bliye, pote mak songe (Those who deal the blows 
forget, those who carry the scars remember).

"There is a danger," the Haiti Action Montreal document continued, 
"that these major powers will try to exploit the earthquake to 
further narrow pro-corporate ends, if reconstruction of New Orleans 
after Katrina and in Asia following the tsunami are any indication. 
But there is also an opportunity to help our brothers and sisters in 
Haiti reconstruct the country according to their needs, to build back 
better, to respect Haitian sovereignty, and to welcome homeless 
Haitians into Canada. The true friends of Haiti must be in the 
streets on Monday, to demand that reconstruction not be carried out 
at the expense of justice and democracy."

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