Citizen Organizing & Politics

Guatemala ex-dictator to stand trial on genocide

January 30, 2013

Cross-posted from York Dispatch

GUATEMALA CITY—A former U.S.-backed dictator who presided over one of the bloodiest periods of Guatemala's civil war will stand trial on charges he ordered the murder, torture and displacement of thousands of Mayan Indians, a judge ruled Monday.

Guatemala's former dictator Jose Efrain Rios Montt, top, attends his hearing in Guatemala City, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. Rios Montt, a former U.S.-backed dictator who presided over one of the bloodiest periods of Guatemala's civil war, will stand trial on charges he ordered the murder, torture and displacement of thousands of Mayan Indians, a judge ruled Monday. ((AP Photo/Moises Castillo))

Reclaiming Our Imaginations from 'There Is No Alternative'

January 27, 2013

Cross-posted from Common Dreams

By Andrea Browner

We live in a time of heavy fog. A time when, though many of us dissent and resist, humanity seems committed to a course of collective suicide in the name of preserving an economic system that generates scarcity no matter how much is actually produced.

January 12, 2013: What are the Memories? Where are the Lessons?

January 11, 2013

Today, the Haitian Collective to Defend the Right to Housing commemorates the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Titanyen, the site of the earthquake’s mass graves.

January 11, 2013
Haitian Collective to Defend the Right to Housing

It has been three years since falling rubble, bits of concrete, iron bars, and collapsing walls killed countless courageous women and men while they were at work, at school, in their homes or on the streets. In less than one minute, we lost many beautiful people – people filled with love, whose hearts were filled with hope. We lost elders, children, youth, academics, professionals, factory workers, peasants, and vendors. They were lost. We lost them.

Today, we have come to Titanyen where so many of their bodies lay in mass graves, to ask ‘Where have they gone?’ What have we done with their memories, their stories, their suffering?

A Message to Occupy Sandy from New Orleans And Haiti

November 29, 2012

Cross-posted from Occupy Wall Street.

By Beverly Bell

As a native New Orleanian and as someone who has lived and worked in Haiti off and on for more than three decades –since the earthquake, mostly on– I offer some recommendations on catastrophe aid and solidarity. The suggestions come from my own experience and observations, as well as critiques from communities in Haiti and New Orleans about their experiences after their epic disasters.

KOFAVIV co-founder Malya Villard-Appolon Named 2012 CNN Hero

October 16, 2012

Cross-posted from CNN 

By Allie Torgan

Malya Villard-Appolon is a rape survivor who co-founded KOFAVIV, an organization that helps victims of sexual violence in Haiti. She is a top 10 nominee for CNN's 2012 Heroes award. 

A LETTER FROM THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS AND MOVEMENTS OF THE AMERICAS TO THE DEFENSE MINISTERS

October 8, 2012

 

In this letter to defense ministers of the Americas, an agglomeration of social justice organizations across the Americas rebuke the recent (and longstanding) militarization of development on the continent, calling for both an ideological and a practical paradigm shift on the part of the United States. 

On the occasion of the X Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas to take place in Punta del Este, Uruguay, on October 8-10, 2012, we make the following statement:...

What dreams are made of: Haiti Kanpé

October 3, 2012

Cross-posted from the Trinidad & Tobago Review Column, posted on Miriam Chancy's website.

Trinidad & Tobago Review Column, Sept. 2012

Prince Luc, artist, Director, FOSAJ, w/Papier Maché Carnival Puppets, Jacmel 2012©MJA Chancy

Who has never dreamed? Of a desired object, person, or state of being? Who has never dreamed? Who has never dared to dream?

A week ago today, I sat in Cyvadier, on the outskirts of Jacmel in southern Haiti, and listened to Guerda Constant tell me the story of her ad-hoc work with rural youth, work she does in addition to her full time occupation working with NGOs.  I listened to her telling me of how she speaks with young Haitians, especially in rural areas, hoping to raise in them an awareness of their own gifts, of the beauty of their country, despite all evidence to the contrary.  Guerda told me the story of one little girl gifted with a beautiful singing voice.  She asked the girl what was her dream and the girl responded that she had none.  Guerda pressed her, asking her what she thought of when she let loose with her friends, what she wondered about.  The girl responded that she did not wonder about anything.  And when you are alone? Guerda asked, what do you think about.  And the girl answered that she did not think about anything in particular but that, occasionally, when a day, or two had gone by and she had not eaten, she would make her way to the side of a river running close to her house, find a spot, and sing there, alone, until she felt better, until the pangs of hunger left her and the song lifted her beyond the pain and despair.  This gift, this song, Guerda asked, thinking of the long history of Haitian troubadours, don’t you dream of doing something with it, of singing for others?  No, the girl answered. Here, I can’t afford to dream.  Guerda is one of many Haitians working to restore the capacity to dream and to hope to the youth of Haiti.  But we may well wonder what it means when a generation of children cannot dare to dream, refuses to dream, because they have already seen too much, or too little, to warrant what must strike them as reckless optimism.

Some Haitians Are Still Waiting for Permanent Housing

October 3, 2012

Cross-posted from PRI's The World.

By Amy Bracken October 1, 2012

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

September 11, 2012

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’s homeless.

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