Capitalism leaves Haiti to rot

Published on: Wed, 09/02/2011 - 10:27

On 12 January 2010, Haiti was rocked by an earthquake which killed 230,000 people. One year on, in the capital Port-au-Prince, between 1.3 and 1.7 million people continue to live in squalid tents with little hope of moving.

Despite the huge sums of money charities and aid organisations received in a show of international solidarity following the quake, less than 30,000 of those displaced have found permanent homes. A recent cholera outbreak killed more than 3,300 people; and of the 20 million cubic metres of rubble created by the disaster, less than 5 per cent has been cleared.

Already the

Haiti solidarity

Published on: Fri, 05/03/2010 - 16:08

Gareth Munro

No Sweat activists met in London for a forum on Haiti to follow up the massively successful music and comedy benefit which raised over £1,000 for Haitian workers' organisation Batay Ouvriye.

The meeting heard from Andy Taylor of the Haiti Support Group, who gave an inspiring account of how grassroots organisations in Haiti have tried to pick themselves up and continue organising after the devastating earthquake. He explained how the hyper-exploitative sweatshop capitalism operating in Haiti directly worsened the impact of the earthquake; 500 workers in a single factory were killed because

'No Sweat' raises £1,000 for Haitian workers' federation

Published on: Thu, 18/02/2010 - 20:58

Daniel Randall

Anti-capitalist activists and comedy fans (and a few people who fell into both categories) packed out London's Cross Kings pub on February 10 for a music and comedy benefit to raise money for Batay Ouvriye, the radical Haitian workers’ federation with a proud history of organising amongst Haiti’s hyper-exploited workers and urban poor. We were responding to an appeal for international solidarity in the wake of the devastating earthquake.

High-profile comedians such as Jeremy Hardy, Robin Ince and Shappi Khorsandi appeared on the bill, alongside folk-rock singer Robyn Hitchcock. The comedy, as

Haitian workers call for solidarity

Published on: Fri, 05/02/2010 - 14:24

Ira Berkovic

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti, some sections of the British labour movement are stepping up to deliver the solidarity that Haiti’s workers and poor so desperately need.

With aid being delivered predominantly by various US or UN military bodies, or by unaccountable NGOs, there is (as ever) no guarantee that aid can be delivered on the basis of need or without strings.

For this and other reasons it’s vital for the left and the workers’ movement to organise direct material support and solidarity for our counterparts in Haiti who have experience in self

Haiti, emergency aid and the left

Published on: Mon, 01/02/2010 - 18:56

Dan Katz

For the call for funds and solidarity from the radical Haitian workers' organisation Batay Ouvriye, see here.
For Liverpool TUC's initiative in support of Haitian workers, see here.

On 12 January Haiti was struck by a gigantic 7.0 magnitude earthquake. The scale of the devastation is difficult to comprehend. In a desperately poor country of around nine million people between 200,000 and 300,000 have died.

The Haitian President, René Préval has said that in the first eight days after the quake 170,000 bodies were cleared from the streets and rubble-reduced buildings. Perhaps two million people

Haitian workers call for solidarity

Published on: Sat, 30/01/2010 - 14:59


Batay Ouvriye

After the fatal earthquake in Port au Prince, January 12, 2010

For us, the Haitian people, the earthquake in Port au Prince, on 12 January 2010 hurt deeply. In fact, apart from the destruction of the public buildings most of our neighbourhoods were destroyed. Not surprisingly they are the most fragile and the most unstable: the state never gave them any service, any attention or helped them consolidate. On the contrary, we need to be able to move, so we have neither time nor capacity to be

Tubeworker 26/1/10

Published on: Tue, 26/01/2010 - 20:52

The new issue of Tubeworker celebrates a 'triple whammy', as Underground workers fight back on Alstom, Signals, and against the five pound minimum Oyster top-up.

Other reports include the fight for Bakerloo drivers' jobs, the absurdities of the mystery shopper surveys, and the CSS bonus. Another article explains why Haiti needs not just charity but change.

Click '1 attachment'/ file name to view and download it. Click here to read Tubeworker's blog.

Haiti: whose recovery?

Published on: Tue, 26/01/2010 - 11:36

Patrick Rolfe

A recent post on the blog of The Heritage Foundation, a US think tank, argued that any humanitarian intervention in Haiti should "prevent any large-scale movement by Haitians to take to the sea ... to try to enter the US illegally." The document goes on, "Long-term reforms for Haitian democracy and its economy are also badly overdue." In 2009 the Heritage Foundation was rated by the journal Foreign Policy as the fifth most powerful think tank in the US. That an organisation with such serious political clout is arguing for "humanitarian forces" to take advantage of a natural disaster to

Solidarity with the workers and people of Haiti

Published on: Mon, 25/01/2010 - 17:52

In fact a Batay Ouvriye representative, Yannick Etienne, also visited the UK on a No Sweat speaker tour in 2004. (There is a No Sweat speaker benefit for Haitian workers' organisations on 10 February: see here and Facebook event here.)

We hope to work with Liverpool TUC on this.

Liverpool TUC motion

Labour movement solidarity to the Haitian Labour movement

A tragedy has deeply affected Haiti. The epicentre of the worst earthquake in Haitian history was near the capital of the country, destroying two thirds of Port-au-Prince. The situation is dramatic, three million homeless, over 100,000 dead,

Policies pushed by global capital worsen Haiti disaster

Published on: Fri, 15/01/2010 - 09:37

Charles Arthur

Charles Arthur of the Haiti Support Group has issued this statement.

The magnitude of this terrible tragedy is directly linked to the massive influx of people who have come to live in Port-au-Prince over recent decades.

Hundreds of thousands of people have abandoned the countryside and come to capital to try and make a living. This human wave has overwhelmed the city and the rudimentary services that serve the city's population.

The result is completely unregulated construction, poor or non-existent sanitation, a meagre supply of water, constant power outages, and the spread of poverty

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