Tags Bill Quigley
Tag: Bill Quigley
Eight young people, who the Fire Department said were “trying to stay warm,” perished in a raging fire during the night of Dec. 28 in New Orleans. Will we look into our abandoned buildings and look into the eyes of our abandoned daughters and sons and sisters and brothers? Will our nation address unemployment, high housing costs and low wages? Or will the fires continue and the lives end?
Since 9-11, the U.S. government, through Presidents Bush and Obama, has increasingly told the U.S. public that “state secrets” will not be shared with citizens. Candidate Obama pledged to reduce the use of state secrets, but President Obama continued the Bush tradition. The courts and Congress and international allies have gone meekly along with the escalating secrecy demands of the U.S. executive.
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.
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.
It will be five years since Katrina on Aug. 29. The impact of Katrina is quite painful for regular people in the area. This article looks at what has happened since Katrina not from the perspective of the higher ups looking down from their offices but from the street level view of the people.
Foreclosures are soaring. Some housing experts say 4 million foreclosures are possible in 2010. To fight back, organizations across the U.S. are engaging in “housing liberation” and “housing defense” to exercise their human rights to housing. Here are a few examples.
The Coast Guard estimates 5,000 barrels of crude oil a day, 210,000 gallons a day, are pouring out of a damaged British Petroleum well in the Gulf of Mexico. Plans to set parts of the Gulf on fire have been pushed back by bad weather. In 1975, the New Orleans group, The Meters, released their album, “Fire on the Bayou.” In 2010 the idea of a fire on the bayou may well be coming true.
Triple Canopy, a private military company with extensive security operations in Iraq and Israel, is advertising for business in Haiti. Jeremy Scahill reports on a number of bloody incidents involving Triple Canopy, including one where a team leader told his group, “I want to kill somebody today … because I am going on vacation tomorrow.”
We have learned the lessons of Katrina, and we seek to work for the accountable reconstruction that New Orleans never had. The Louisiana-Haiti Sustainable Village Project seeks to support the Haitians in leading their own recovery.
It is time for a revolution. Government does not work for regular people. It appears to work quite well for big corporations, banks, insurance companies, military contractors, lobbyists, and for the rich and powerful. But it does not work for people.
I think it is going to get worse for us in the camps. We need tents and food. We need water and school and jobs. We need help to find a place to stay. The rain is coming soon. Water is going to come and our babies will lose their lives.
Despite the fact that over a million people remained homeless in Haiti one month after the earthquake, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Ken Merten is quoted at a State Department briefing on Feb. 12, saying: “In terms of humanitarian aid delivery … frankly, it’s working really well. And I believe that this will be something that people will be able to look back on in the future as a model for how we’ve been able to sort ourselves out as donors on the ground and responding to an earthquake.”
A million people are still homeless or needing shelter in Haiti. A million have been given food by the U.N. World Food Program in Port au Prince – another million in Port au Prince still need help.
You can walk down many of the streets of Port au Prince and see absolutely no evidence that the world community has helped Haiti. Twenty three days after the earthquake jolted Haiti and killed over 200,000 people, as many as a million people have still not received any international food assistance.
Haitians are helping Haitians. Young men have organized into teams to guard communities of homeless families. Women care for their own children as well as others now orphaned. Men and boys are scavenging useful items from the mounds of fallen buildings. Women are selling mangoes and nuts on the street. Teens are playing with babies.
The U.S. has worked to break Haiti for over 200 years. We owe Haiti. Not charity. We owe Haiti as a matter of justice. Reparations. The U.S. owes Haiti Billions – with a big B.
Hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti have had no access to clean water since the quake hit. Have you ever felt the raw fear in the gut when you are not sure where your next drink of water is going to come from? People can die within hours if they are exposed to heat without water.
Allow all Haitians in the U.S. to work and send money home. Do not allow U.S. military in Haiti to point their guns at Haitians. Do not allow the victims to be cast as criminals. Give Haiti grants as help, not loans. Enact Temporary Protected Status for Haitians. Release all Haitians in U.S. jails who are not accused of any crimes. And more.
This month marks four years since Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. The world saw who was left behind when Katrina hit. The same people have been left behind in the “rebuilding.” In the rebuilding, those with money have done OK. Those without have not. It is the American way. Here is a statistical snapshot illustrating some of the legacy of Katrina and the U.S. response.
Haitian priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste was a Jesus-like revolutionary. In jail and out, he preached liberation of the poor, release of prisoners, human rights for all and a fair distribution of wealth. Though he died May 27, he remains present in the hearts of millions. Watch a video he recorded just for SF Bay View.