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Displaced Peoples' Camps & the Urgency of Housing

It’s been five years since Haiti’s earthquake. And the ‘redevelopment’ hasn’t been about helping Haitians.

The rebuilding of Haiti is not working.

By Nixon Boumba

Cross-posted from Washington Post

Orignially released on January 12, 2015

Anti-government protesters in Port-au-Prince last month called for President Michel Martelly’s resignation. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Five years ago this month, a terrible earthquake struck my country. I was in the capital city, Port-au-Prince, when suddenly the earth shook and buildings around me and across the city collapsed—taking with them hundreds of thousands of lives and the hopes of my nation. The world stood with us that day and in the weeks and months that followed. Donations poured in; the United States and many other governments pledged to help us rebuild Haiti. But five years into the reconstruction, as a Haitian, I must ask: For whom are we rebuilding our country?

FIVE YEARS AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI, THE SAD STATE OF DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS

An Interview with Human Rights Organizer Jackson Doliscar

By Beverly Bell

Jackson Doliscar, community organizer and human rights defender.

Some things never change. In Haiti, no matter the century or decade in question, one can be certain that: the state and elite are trouncing the rights and needs of the majority, the population is protesting to demand land and justice, and the international community is taking the wrong side.

Five years after the earthquake that killed an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 (no one knows for sure) and rendered 1.9 million more people homeless, the fraudulently elected administration of Michel Martelly has abandoned any pretense of democracy. Having failed to hold elections three years in a row, instead letting national and local elective seats become vacant, the government now rules by decree. It is also attacking and killing human rights defenders. The elite, in combination with foreign corporations, are seizing land for agribusiness, mining, tourism, and free trade zones. The grassroots has taken to the streets to demand democratic government and an end to foreign occupation by the UN. Social movements are also mobilizing for defense of land, housing, and rights. The US has, until recent months, staunchly supported the government. It has backed this support with “security” funding, including more than $7 million for the police in 2015, for a nation not at war against anyone but its own people.

Jackson Doliscar is a community organizer and human rights defender. Since the earthquake, he has been the primary outreach worker in an international campaign for the right to housing for those left languishing under tents, through the Force for Reflection and Action on Housing (FRAKKA, by its Creole acronym). This is the first in a two-part series.

Garifuna communities in Trujillo and Puerto Castillo endure collective displacement, fisheries contamination, threats to fresh water

Part IV of Series from Journal of Agricultural Missions Delegation to Garifuna Territories in Honduras

Released on Agricultural Missions, Inc (AMI) November 5, 2014

 

Ag Missions’ Honduras Delegation Journal October 23-24, 2014

Part IV:  Garifuna communities in Trujillo and Puerto Castillo endure collective displacement, fisheries contamination, threats to fresh water.

The towns of Trujillo and Puerto Castillo are in the heart of Garifuna territories on the Northern Honduran coast. In May the People of Puerto Castillo protested blocking the road leading to the port, which provoked a violent police attack on their community.

Haitian activist tours U.S. demanding housing rights for the country’s 400,000 displaced

Housing activist Reyneld Sanon is beginning a tour to key cities in the United States. The tour will raise awareness about Under Tents, the international campaign for housing rights in Haiti. The campaign is a joint initiative of Haitian grassroots groups and more than 30 international organizations that are demanding a solution for Haiti

Other Worlds Event in New Orleans! Fighting for Public Housing in Haiti and New Orleans

Like so many New Orleanians since Katrina, Haitians are fighting to have housing recognized as a basic right.  Since the massive 2010 earthquake devastated their country, there has been NO large-scale housing plan to shelter the nearly half a million people who remain displaced and homeless.  Displaced people, Haitian grassroots organizations, and international allies have launched a campaign called Under Tents, demanding public or affordable housing. International solidarity will be vital to their success!