Two new stories out this week highlight the ways indigenous peoples are protecting their land from environmentally destructive mining and energy projects, while leading the way towards sustainable and renewable power. On October 21st, organizers in the municipality of Santa Cruz del Quiché, Guatemala undertook a massive task: at 93 voting centers across the municipality, they consulted 98% of the adult residents about whether or not they supported mining, dams, and other destructive mega-projects in their communities.
From Leif Rovick
Helping Haitian Rice growers to bale their rice straw to be used as a seismic safe small home construction method. This would allow them to gain value from a struggling crop. Encourage relief agencies to purchase bales from farmers reversing the trend of outgoing monies and helping to rebuild a segment of the agriculture of Haiti. Would like to be personally involved even to working in Haiti to train and share knowledge.
Haiti is a reminder of a lesson we in New Orleans got after Hurricane Katrina and the broken levees: the capacity of humanity to survive, sustain culture, and create joy – no matter the external circumstances - is without limit. That capacity is unsinkable, like trying to keep a cork underwater. Ronal Toussaint, who sometimes takes me around in his taptap – pick-up converted to public transport vehicle - on especially meeting-packed days, and who walks with a permanent limp from a building having fallen on him during the earthquake, evinced the spirit of resistance so common here.
“I came to protest so we can find a solution. Misery is killing me,” said Mascarie Sainte-Anne, 70, at the edge of a rally in front of Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive’s office on October 12. Haitians have been taking to the streets with increasing frequency since August in calls for redress of the economic and social crisis which has followed the earthquake.
We asked dozens of Haitians from different social sectors how they felt about the November 28 elections, and what they want or expect from a new government. Here are some of their responses.
Louisiane Nazaire defines herself as a peasant. She is a member of a local peasant farmer group in the Grande-Anse, and is coordinator of the National Commission of Peasant Women.
Three new reports have been published on the conditions in the displaced persons camps currently housing an estimated 1.2 million Haitians.
Rony Charles, a rice grower and member of the Agricultural Producer Cooperative of Verrettes, said, “Instead of foreigners sending us food, they should give us the chance to do our own agriculture so it can survive.”
Giving domestic agriculture the chance to survive would address four critical needs: