by Global Women’s Strike
Tens of thousands of people have been demonstrating in Haiti for months. Three years after the earthquake, despite billions donated by a generous public, hundreds of thousands of people are still struggling to survive in tent cities, surrounded by rubble. They are still without clean water or food security or income, still fighting the cholera imported by U.N. troops. And now they face the further devastation of Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed 70 percent of the crops – but only its impact on the U.S. got publicity.
In London, a speakout will be held for the second year outside the Red Cross. It was one of the biggest beneficiaries of public donations: at least $479 million to the U.S. Red Cross alone – whose CEO earns $600,000 a year. Hardly any of these millions have reached the survivors. Instead, the Red Cross is using some of it to build a luxury hotel and conference center in Haiti. We must protest this grand theft.
Haiti has more non-governmental organizations (NGOs) per square mile than any other country in the world, yet it is the most impoverished in the Western Hemisphere. The NGOs have stolen millions intended for earthquake survivors.
Western governments and NGOs have used natural disasters as their opportunity to destroy Haiti’s agriculture and impose sweatshops. At this moment almost everywhere in the world there seems no limit to the plunder by the elites. The burden and the trauma are falling especially on women – the first carers, the poorest and the hardest workers – the main breadwinners in 70 percent of Haitian families. In protesting the rape of Haiti, we refuse the rip-off we are suffering everywhere by the same elite.
What you can do
- Organize and attend a speakout.
- Contact your local media.
- Invite a speaker to your school, college, community center or church.
- Pledge a regular donation to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund at www.haitiemergencyrelief.org. HERF is led by Haitians and every bit goes to those it is intended for, particularly women’s self-help survival initiatives and food co-operatives. There is no overhead.
To learn more, go to http://globalwomenstrike.net/content/protest-red-cross-theft-haiti. To reach GWS in the San Francisco Bay Area, email firstname.lastname@example.org.