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Haitian President Michel Martelly has managed to inspire popular opposition to his regime almost since his election in May 2011. Martelly, who came to office in a grossly unrepresentative process which excluded Lavalas, the country’s most popular party, has been closely linked with figures around former dictator Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.
Mathias O is 34 years old. He is one of about 600,000 people still homeless from the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He lives with his wife and her 2-year-old under a homemade shelter made out of several tarps. They sleep on the rocky ground inside. The side tarp walls are reinforced by pieces of cardboard boxes taped together. Candles provide the only inside light at night. There is no running water. No electricity. They live near a canal and suffer from lots of mosquitoes.
One year after the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake, more than a million people remain homeless in Haiti. People are living under plastic tarps or sheets in concrete parks, up to the edge of major streets, in the side streets, on the sides of hills, literally everywhere. One year later, it is critically important for the international community to assist Haitians to secure real housing. The million homeless Haitians are our sisters and brothers and still need our solidarity and help.
There is no food. The children are terribly hungry. The food aid program was terminated in April and nothing took its place. The authorities cut off the food so people would leave the camps, but where is there to go? Not a single cent of the U.S. aid pledged for rebuilding has arrived in Haiti. Don’t miss Randall Robinson discussing ‘An Unbroken Agony’ with Pierre Labossiere of the Haiti Action Committee and Walter Turner of KPFA’s Africa Today on Saturday, Oct. 16, 5 p.m., Black Repertory Theater, 3201 Adeline St., Berkeley.
Kiilu Nyasha, Tarika Matilaba Lewis and Gail Asali Dickson are featured in the exhibit, "Woman Artists of the Black Panther Party," at the West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline St. The reception is Saturday, March 14, 1-3 p.m.