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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gihan Perera on the Huffington Post Blog: Haiti: Canada's New Imperialism?

Haiti: Canada's New Imperialism?
Gihan Perera
Executive Director of the Miami Workers Center
Posted: January 26, 2010 12:37 PM

On Monday, the world's political and financial powerhouses met in Montreal, Canada to deliberate the future of Haiti. It was a six hour meeting between the United States (Haiti's most recent military intervener), France (Haiti's colonial ruler), and the IMF and World Bank (Haiti's financial creditors/despots). The United Nations, which is now the official security force, was also in the room, to referee the proceedings, while Canada played the role of a cordial and humanitarian host (that couldn't happen directly in the U.S.). Meanwhile... Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua boycotted the meeting along with Fidel Castro, who condemned it and accused the United States of turning the humanitarian effort into a military invasion of Haiti by the United States.

So begins the politics of recovery and reconstruction of Haiti. While the dust clears, in the midst of prayers, and while the dead are still being buried, 'recovery' plans are being made and lines drawn. As much as our hearts are drawn to the devastation and victims of the disaster, our bodies, minds and souls have to get in motion and fight for the integrity of Haiti and its people. We must lay the foundation for a people centered, justice focused, prosperous, and sustainable agenda for the beleaguered nation. We must bring our voices together, learn lessons from disasters and invasions past and fight new battles for the sake of and in solidarity with the people of Haiti.  Read more. . . 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Residents Knockin on HUD's Front Door

Tomorrow a group of public housing residents that includes members of Community Voices Heard, Miami Workers' Center and People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER) as well as DC and New Orleans, amongst other cities, will meet with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan.

HUD wants to hear directly from residents and with folks from across the country on hand, there will be plenty to say. This meeting will be a great opportunity to push findings and demands from the resident led report by Right to the City HUD work group.

For nearly two years RTTC's HUD Work Group has engaged public housing residents in an effort to develop recommendations for improving public housing in the U.S. This report on the state of public housing, from the perspective of residents, will be released in March.

During the meeting at HUD headquarters in Washington, DC residents will highlight the need to build more public housing, investment in existing housing housing stock, replacement of demolished units, and improved conditions in housing developments. Many groups from across the country will be on hand, with coordination and advisement provided by the National Housing Law Project, National People's Action, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, and National Low Income Housing Coalition. Be sure to check your inbox for more updates on this meeting and the report as the week progresses!