Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Haiti Earthquake

I'm sure all readers have seen the distressing images coming out of Haiti throughout the day. There are no trade union aid campaigns set up at the moment but a number of non-governmental organisations have moved into action. Here's the appeal video put out by the British Red Cross:



Red Cross volunteers are already active in Port-au-Prince. You can donate to them here.

Oxfam have launched a similar appeal
here.

In addition
Channel 4 news have set up a Twitter list to aggregate information (the primary Twitter trend is here). There is also a Facebook group doing the same.

An early report comes from Cuba's
Granma.

As was seen with the
Italian earthquake in April last year, natural disasters do not occur in a political vacuum. In the CWI's article on the Haitian earthquake, Niall Mulholland puts this latest catastrophe in the context of the political shortcomings of the country's domestic elite and its relationship with the US. As Niall puts it, "President Obama issued a statement after the latest disaster: “We are closely monitoring the situation and we stand ready to assist the people of Haiti." But the record of US imperialism in Haiti, and indeed the region, is anything but helpful for the Haiti poor."

6 comments:

andy newman said...

i THINK THE BEST APPEAL FOR THE LEFT TO PROMOTE IS THE HAITI EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND

https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=yBpulOVVj018YVezxp8NCU2Jfudd3M2ntK5dVkN43p25LLzgHMdKO59iCke&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1ffc45dc241d84e953c6c47237de2bc4f5b43fafc6513a8a86

sorry for the caps, i just realised I had caps-lock on.

HERF prmotes social equality and trade unions in addition to the usual humaitarian angles, and is supported by thre haiti Action network

Phil BC said...

Cheers for that, Andy. At times like these it's always difficult to determine where aid money can have the best effect.

ibs said...

I've been re-reading some of CLR James' writings on Haiti this evening. I heard Gordon Brown's comment that the quake has put Haiti at the centre of world attention, but it should have already been there. The self-emancipation of Haiti was one of the most important events in human history. Its role in the ending of slavery can't be underestimated. It sometimes feels to me like the world has never forgiven that brave little country...

Thanks for the links.

Phil BC said...

I agree. A tiny, dictatorial and wealthy local elite combined with incessant meddling first by the colonial powers and later the US have kept the country in a condition of almost permanent instability. They're influence, however well it is dressed up in humanitarianism has proven time and again to be toxic.

Left Unity said...

Peter Hallward has written an interesting response to the earthquake with some of the details of this history (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/13/our-role-in-haitis-plight).

My reflections are somewhat more modest (http://leftunity.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/haiti-political-economy-and-history/).

aberfoyle said...

Like to many of the plundered no more profit worthy countries it is a shame on the face of the capitalist.

Haiti is a basket case left to be controled by a incompetent and inhumain regime who!s absence in this catastrophy is appauling.The people are now building barricades with the dead,looting and anarchy has broken out, and uncle sam is off shore ready to move in.

Although a natural disaster it has to be said that the cramped living conditions 8 to 10 per dwelling, or should that be hovel,the over populated city the collapsed infastructure and the incompetance of the regime has to be laid at the feet of the capitalist.

And without doubt uncle sam, will be moving back in.