On Monday, Nov. 21, the Department of Homeland Security announced its inhumane decision to end Temporary Protected Status for nearly 60,000 Haitian immigrants, putting people who have lived legally in the United States for years – and some, decades – at risk to be detained and deported. On the eve of Thanksgiving, the Trump administration has decided to contravene basic humanitarianism in favor of an immigration agenda that is drenched in racism, nativism and xenophobia.
On Treasure Island May 28 and 29, 2015, the earth trembled and shook in a fenced-off location between the Island Cove Market and the Starburst Barracks. Engineers from Lennar’s vibro-compaction geotechnical subcontractor, Jafec USA, repeatedly sank four huge vibrating shafts 50 feet deep into Treasure Island fill, testing for the effect on the soil, groundwater and mud of the man-made island.
March 11 will make the second anniversary of the triple catastrophes that occurred in Japan: the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima. Over the last two years people are asking whether the Fukushima nuclear disaster is worse than what occurred in 1986 in Chernobyl.
Broken and collapsed buildings remain in every neighborhood. Men pull oxcarts by hand through the street. Women carry 5-gallon plastic jugs of water on their heads, dipped from manhole covers in the street. Women carry 5-gallon plastic jugs of water on their heads, dipped from manhole covers in the street.
The North Anna Nuclear Power plant reactors are located about 10 miles from the epicenter of the 5.8 earthquake that shook Virginia on August 23. The plant is built to sustain a 6.2 magnitude earthquake, but this does little to comfort those who live close by.
As one of his first measures in office, Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim plans to conclude Brazil’s participation in the notorious United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Various sectors of the Brazilian government, including Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, agree with Mr. Amorim, who says that the important thing now is to formulate an exit strategy. This story has now been translated into French and Spanish; the translations follow the English version.
"I was at his (President Aristide's) house, we heard a roar of shouts of joy, and then over the walls people started coming in, pouring into the courtyard of the house when they saw the car. People were accompanying the car as many as three miles from the airport to his house," relates Pierre Labossiere of the jubilant welcome that greeted the Aristides on their return to Haiti ending seven long years of exile for them and brutal repression of the people they had to leave behind. Pierre tells the story of the Haitian people and how their never-say-die spirit continues to inspire the world.
The return of Jean Claude Duvalier, "Baby Doc," to Haiti as a free man was excruciating to veterans of the struggle that overthrew the 30-year dictatorship. The traumatizing symbolism of Duvalier’s return at Haiti’s weakest hour is an insult to the dead and an assault on the living.
One of the stories least reported has been the one about Haitians organizing for themselves. This is one woman’s story of how she, her family and the people in the various communities in which she works came together collectively to care for each other’s needs and how that struggle has become the foundation of a new movement of the poor for change in education and the material lives of women and men – a struggle for dignity.
Obama denounced the recent “elections” in Burma as “neither free nor fair.” The Haitian “elections” are also neither free nor fair. The largest party, Fanmi Lavalas, is excluded, as it has been in every election since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in 2004; 1.3 million earthquake victims are displaced; and cholera has already taken 1,600 lives.
Haitians say protests are the inevitable outcome when troops who have occupied Haiti for five years with seeming impunity have introduced a deadly, misery-multiplying disease.
Nicolas Rossier conducted an exclusive interview with former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in forced exile in Johannesburg. Aristide concludes: "We are poor – worse than poor because we are living in abject poverty and misery. But based on that collective dignity rooted in our forefathers, I do believe we have to continue fighting in a peaceful way for our self-determination, and if we do that, history will pay tribute to our generation." Rally for democracy in Haiti and Aristide's return Wednesday, Nov. 17, 5 p.m., Montgomery & Market, San Francisco.
Cholera, a "disease of poverty" caused by lack of access to clean water, has spread to Haiti's capital city of Port au Prince. At a small, desolate camp of ripped tents nearby, a gleaming water tank is propped up on bricks. But it’s empty.
The cholera epidemic has killed 250 Haitians and over 3,000 more are infected and may die. This cholera is caused by drinking dirty, toxic water. According to Haiti’s health minister, cholera “can kill in three hours because once the diarrhea starts it doesn’t stop.”