Call for Solidarity and Funds for the Working People of Haiti!

Miami Autonomy & Solidarity (MAS) and Batay Ouvriye Haiti Solidarity Network seek help and solidarity funds to aid Haitian working class.

01/14/09- A natural disaster has descended upon Haiti whose scope we only are seeing the surface of at this time. The Haitian people will be struggling to rebuild their lives and their home possibly for decades in light of unprecedented collapse, both physical and social. Yet despite the unpredictability of earthquakes, this disaster is unnatural, a monstrosity of our time. The extent of the damage of the earthquake is part of the cost of unrestrained exploitation which at every step put profit above the health, safety, and well being of the Haitian people. While the world watches on ready to help, power is being dealt an opportunity. The Haitian workers and peasants have been fighting for their rights to even the most basic level of existence for decades, while the UN-occupying force, the state, and the ruling elites maintain the social misery without relenting. Now as Port-Au-Prince is in rubble, new opportunities arise for rulers to rebuild Haiti in their own interests, and likewise for the Haitian workers and peasants to assert their right to their own Haiti, one where they will be not be forced to live in dangerous buildings, and work merely to fill the pockets of elites, foreign or domestic.

As we move from watching in horror to taking decisive action, progressives can offer an alternative. There is a strong and beautiful desire to do something, to help others in this time of need. Our actions are strongest when we organize ourselves, and make a concerted effort in unity. Right now we can have the deepest impact by committing ourselves to act in solidarity with the autonomous social movements of Haiti directly. They present the best possible option for the Haitian people, and are in the greatest need. At the same time, we are in the best position to help them out our common interest as people engaged in struggling against a system that works to exploit us all. We are calling for solidarity people-to-people engaged in common struggle. It is not only a question of money for AID but also an autonomous and independent act of international solidarity that illuminates the bankruptcy of the occupying forces, multinational corporations, and Haitian elites that are primarily responsible for the decayed state of Haiti. There will be aid flowing and money given as a form of charity until the next disaster. Our act of solidarity should, in no shape or form, be solely an act of humanitarian aid. It should not be an apolitical act, and we shouldn't give the green light to those that wish to capitalize on the suffering of others. It should be an act of solidarity to the struggling people of Haiti and their organizations while at the same time rejecting the totally inept Haitian elites and their state apparatus for bankrupting Haiti. The earthquake is a natural disaster, but the state of Haiti, the abject poverty of the masses and the vile injustice of the social order, are unnatural.

We have a relationship with one organization, Batay Ouvriye, and are putting our resources and time into helping Batay Ouvriye to help rebuild from the catastrophe and maintain the struggle for a better Haiti and a better world. Batay Ouvriye is a combative grassroots worker and peasant’s organization in Haiti with workers organized all over Haiti, especially in the Industrial sweatshops and Free Trade Zones.

We have set up a means to send money to Batay Ourviye. If others wish to send money to Batay Ouvriye, please email miamiautonomyandsolidarityATyahoo.com.

Miami Autonomy & Solidarity and Batay Ouvriye Haiti Solidarity Network

Posted By

syndicalist
Jan 14 2010 18:57

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Caiman del Barrio
Jan 14 2010 20:45
Quote:
Now as Port-Au-Prince is in rubble, new opportunities arise for rulers to rebuild Haiti in their own interests

As happened in Mexico City following the 1985 earthquake.

Is this article in Spanish perchance? I know MAS have a lot of Latin members...

syndicalist
Jan 14 2010 21:25

For those in NYC,

Quote:
Batay Ouvriye Haiti Solidarity Network
Join us on Saturday January 16, 2010 at 5 P.M. at 963 Rogers Ave, between Beverly Road and Tilden Ave in Brooklyn. The Batay Ouvriye Haiti Solidarity Network has been active and doing solidarity work with Batay Ouvriye for the last decade while its members are experienced activists who have been working in the People’s Camp for over thirty years.

We would like to differentiate our orientation for the disaster relief effort from other organizations and imperialist institutions on the ground.

We want to empower the People’s Camp to take charge of rebuilding their lives with dignity independently of reactionary and imperialist control.

Mario

For the Batay Ouvriye Haiti Solidarity Network

Caiman del Barrio
Jan 15 2010 01:40

Reports of Haitians blocking roads with corpses to protest the slow response of the authorities: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22/20100114/tts-uk-quake-haiti-roadblocks-ca02f96.html

neoclassic
Jan 15 2010 03:03

Batay Ouvriye seems to be a bit sketch, no?

http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/4643

Or is this false information?

grupo_ruptura
Jan 15 2010 10:36

Preparing a translation to Spanish right now. Just 10/15 minutes.

grupo_ruptura
Jan 15 2010 11:05

¡Solidaridad con el pueblo trabajador de Haití!
Miami Autonomy & Solidarity (MAS) y la Batay Ouvriye Haiti Solidarity Network piden ayuda y fondos solidarios para ayudar a la clase trabajadora haitiana.

14 de enero de 2009 – Haití ha sido devastado por un desastre natural de cuyo alcance tan sólo tenemos un conocimiento superficial. El pueblo haitiano va a tardar décadas en la reconstrucción de sus vidas y hogares, tras sufrir un desmoronamiento sin precedentes, tanto físico como social. Pero a pesar de lo impredecible de los terremotos, este desastre no es natural, es una monstruosidad de nuestra época. La extensión de los daños ocasionados por el terremoto es parte del costo de la explotación sin freno que en cada momento prioriza el beneficio sobre la salud, la seguridad y el bienestar del pueblo haitiano. Mientras que el mundo se prepara para ayudar, el poder afronta una oportunidad. Los trabajadores y campesinos haitianos han luchado durante décadas por sus derechos más básicos, mientras que las fuerzas de ocupación de la ONU, el Estado y las elites gobernantes mantienen la miseria social sin cesar. Ahora que Puerto Príncipe está hecha escombros, surgen nuevas oportunidades para los gobernantes de reconstruir Haití en su propio interés, del mismo modo que a los trabajadores y campesinos de reafirmar su derecho a vivir en su propio Haití, en el que no estén obligados a vivir en edificios peligrosos y trabajar tan sólo para llenar los bolsillos de las elites, locales o extranjeras.

A medida que pasamos de observar con horror la tragedia a la acción, podemos ofrecer una alternativa. Hay un fuerte y bello deseo de hacer algo, de ayudar a los demás en este momento de necesidad. Nuestras acciones son más fuertes cuando nos organizamos, y hacemos un esfuerzo coordinado. Ahora mismo podemos comprometernos a actuar en solidaridad directa con los movimientos sociales autónomos de Haití. Son la mejor opción posible para el pueblo haitiano, y realmente necesitan ayuda. Al mismo tiempo, estamos en la mejor posición para ayudarles por un interés común como personas comprometidas en la lucha contra un sistema que funciona para explotarnos a todos. Llamamos a la solidaridad entre gente implicada en una lucha común. No es tan sólo una cuestión de dinero para SOCORRO, sino también un acto autónomo e independiente de solidaridad internacional que deje en evidencia el fracaso de las fuerzas de ocupación, las corporaciones multinacionales y las elites haitianas, que son las principales responsables de la decadencia de Haití. Habrá flujos de ayuda y dinero en forma de caridad hasta el próximo desastre. Nuestro acto de solidaridad no debería ser de ningún modo tan sólo un acto de ayuda humanitaria. No debería ser un acto apolítico, y no deberíamos dar luz verde a aquellos que desean sacar provecho a costa de los demás. Debería ser un acto de solidaridad con el pueblo luchador de Haití y sus organizaciones, y al mismo tiempo, de rechazo a las totalmente ineptas elites haitianas y su aparato de Estado, que han llevado a Haití a la bancarrota. El terremoto es un desastre natural, pero el Estado de Haití, la miserable pobreza de las masas y la injusticia del orden social, no lo son.

Tenemos relación con una organización, Batay Ouvriye, y estamos empleando nuestros recursos y nuestro tiempo en ayudar a Batay Ourviye a reconstruirse tras la catástrofe y mantener la lucha por un Haití y un mundo mejores. Batay Ourviye es una combativa organización de base de trabajadores y campesinos de Haití, con trabajadores de toda Haití, especialmente en las zonas industriales en las que son explotados y en las Zonas de Libre Comercio.

Hemos establecido medios para enviar dinero a Batay Ourviye. Si más gente quiere mandar dinero a esta organización, por favor, contacten con nosotros en la siguiente dirección: miamiautonomyandsolidarity [arroba] yahoo.com

Miami Autonomy & Solidarity and Batay Ouvriye Haiti Solidarity Network

Caiman del Barrio
Jan 15 2010 15:25
Quote:
Batay Ouvriye seems to be a bit sketch, no?

http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/4643

Or is this false information?

The article seems to essentially be criticising BO for not openly - or vigorously - supporting Aristide, the sort of so called 'anti-imperialist' contrarianism you'd expect of guilty, quasi-colonialist American liberals.

The issue of being funded by the US State Dept is worthy of discussion but I don't see why we should be against organisations blagging funds off the state in principle. I've worked with groups who have blagged it, through the backdoor admittedly. In a country as poor as Haiti, I'd imagine they're grateful for what they can get. The article needs to demonstrate how this funding compromises BO's independence.

EDIT: why is the post I quote reported btw? Might it have something to do with the lack of a quote button on News stories (which is well annoying btw)?

EDIT 2: thanks for the Spanish translation, fwded onto Latin American contacts.

Farce
Jan 15 2010 15:36

Have you seen BO's reply to that article? Not that I have that much invested in the debate one way or another, but they seem to do a decent job of defending themselves/ the principle of working-class independence.

syndicalist
Jan 15 2010 16:36

Pardon the crudeness of this, but here's from a private email I sent to a comrade this
AM.

Quote:
Surprise! How did I know this was to come up? It has already on Libcom.

The bottom line is BO, in my opinion, fucked up, worked opportunistically with the Soli Center in an effort to win a big fight against Grupo M.* I think they realized this error, backed away and have indicated the same in a statement on this.

Jeb's [Sprauge] article was part of a broader anti-BO campaign endorsed by the likes of Workers World Party and the pro-Aristide camp. There's no doubt in my mind that suporters of the pro-Aristides CTH trade union, etc have received funds from overseas trade unions. All of which get some government funding.

I think the situation is semi-complicated, filled with tremendous power plays and, at times, outright opportunism. The sad part is that BO has the longest and most consistant record at building grass-roots unionism in Haiti and has become tarnished due to opportunism and dogmatism within the workers/peoples movments.

I would hazard to say that the workers' movement in Haiti has its own nuances and issues. Have there been problems, yes, obviously. Has there been a rectification process within BO regarding the international trade union community, mainly. Is BO an anarcho-syndicalist union, no. Is there practice close to a grass roots unionism that many of us would support, yes, mainly.

What I find curious, is even in a time of severe crisis, there are those who would take up the banner of attack against the BO In this instance, I will defer to our Miami comrades who have an organic connection with BO members and former BO members (now living in the US). If, in their judgement, they feel there's been enough rectification and sincere efforts by BO, I will go with that , unless absolutely proven otherwise by events on the ground.

*http://ipsnews.net/interna.asp?idnews=24820

BO website: http://www.batayouvriye.org/English/Welcome.html

Steven.
Jan 15 2010 18:30

thanks for doing the Spanish translation so quickly!

JoeMaguire
Jan 15 2010 20:50
syndicalist wrote:
What I find curious, is even in a time of severe crisis, there are those who would take up the banner of attack against the BO

I don't think your saying this explicitly, but implying people shouldn't be criticising during a crisis as quite huge connotations. Its sad to hear whats going on in Haiti, and I haven't grumbled giving reformist trade unions in struggle money prior and I won't start now, but everyone still has every right to criticise what they see as shortcomings.

comradely

syndicalist
Jan 15 2010 21:20

basically, yes. I guess I just feel there is a time and place for things. I just didn't think coming straight out of the box was the right time.I guess my concern is more about the fact that the Haitian situation has certain complexities which we discussed before. And I've no problem discussing them in the furutre if folks wish. But to each their own.

Mark.
Jan 16 2010 00:33

Another translation into Spanish: http://www.alasbarricadas.org/noticias/?q=node/12685

AIW
Jan 19 2010 12:33
Quote:
To support Batay Ouvriye in this effort, you can mail a check payable to: "Miami Workers Center"(who's collaborating with us on the collection) with a note “for: MAS/BO” in the memo line of your check.
Here's their address:
Miami Workers Center
6127 Northwest 7th Avenue
Miami, FL 33127-1111
If you'd prefer to donate online, we are addressing some technical issues with this. We should the way to donate online resolved within the next few days.
Thanks for your support!
Miami Autonomy & Solidarity
Entdinglichung
Jan 19 2010 14:04
thomas.mas
Jan 22 2010 05:57

The online donation function has been fixed. You can make an online donation HERE

Updated information will be at the Miami Autonomy & Solidarity Website

Thanks for everyone's support!

miamiautonomyan...
Jan 23 2010 21:58

Update of BO Solidarity Fundraising
Dear comrades,
This is a quick update on the fundraising effort for Batay Ouvriye, as well as some information about the group and some of the controversy that has been brought up.
First of all, Miami Autonomy and Solidarity would like to thank all the groups and individuals that have donated money, spread the word, and defended Batay Ouvriye and their organizing work. It is inspiring to see the networks that we have created and the quick response from so many people. The money that we are sending will go to directly support workers impacted by the earthquake by providing food, water, and health care. It will also support the purchasing of minutes on cell phones so survivors can contact loved ones, and coordinate a grassroots relief effort.
We now have a way to donate online. The link is http://tinyurl.com/BatayOurviye. Please update this and help us spread the word! Help with translating this into other languages is also appreciated.
For those who are interested in learning more about Batay Ouvriye check out their website—it is in 4 languages: http://www.batayouvriye.org/
Also, there have been many people who have been criticizing Batay Ouvriye for taking money from the Solidarity Center in the past and are attempting to undermine their work. Here is a link to two responses by BO for those who want more information and also need some help in the debates they may be having
http://www.batayouvriye.org/English/Positions1/responseithp.html
http://www.batayouvriye.org/English/Positions1/clarificationithp.html
We will continue to send updates periodically. If you want to contact us directly our email address is miamiautonomyandsolidarity@yahoo.com or you can visit our blog http://miamiautonomyandsolidarity.wordpress.com/ which will also contain updated information.

In solidarity,
Miami Autonomy and Solidarity

miamiautonomyan...
Feb 4 2010 15:38

Latest Update on Haiti Solidarity

Dear comrades,
We wanted to update everyone on the money that has been raised for Batay Ouvriye , as well as what Batay Ouvriye has said they will use it for. In the next week we will have a report of BO’s activities with more detail.
So far $6,724 have been donated to Batay Ouvriye.
If you would like to donate there are three ways to do so:
Online: https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/811/t/3678/shop/custom.jsp?donate_page_KEY=5875

Mail: Miami Workers Center, 6127 Northwest 7th Avenue, Miami, FL 33127-1111 Please write “for MAS/BO” on the memo line

Bank: City National Bank of New Jersey
900 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102
ABA Number: 0212-0163-9 City of NJ Newark
For further credit to:
Account Number: 01 000 9845
Account Name: Batay Ouvriye
Account Address: Ave. Jean Paul II, # 7
Here is a direct quote from BO’s appeal letter sent on January 20th, breaking down their expenditures:
According to the inventory we have made up to now, here are our most immediate needs:
Destroyed homes US $ 50,000.00
Destroyed belongings 20,000.00
Hurt, crippled 10,000,00
Daily existence 30,000.00
Dealing with deaths 10,000.00

Total US $ 120,000.00

We need to add 40% to this calculation because the various prices keep skyrocketing and will continue to do so. So, the real TOTAL of this section is about: $US 170,000.00.

We will continue to send updates periodically. If you want to contact us directly our email address is miamiautonomyandsolidarity@yahoo.com or you can visit our blog http://miamiautonomyandsolidarity.wordpress.com/ which will also contain updated information.

In solidarity,
Miami Autonomy and Solidarity
*******************************
Ultimas Noticias sobre Solidaridad con Haití y Batay Ouvriye
Hola compañer@s,
Queremos darle la ultima noticias sobre el dinero recaudado para Batay Ouvriye y los gastos que el terremoto ha causado en sus comunidades. En la próxima semana vamos a tener un reporte sobre las actividades de Batay Ouvriye en mas detalle.
Hasta el momento 6,724 dólares han sido donado a Batay Ouvriye. Hay tres maneras para donar:
Internet: https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/811/t/3678/shop/custom.jsp?donate_page_KEY=5875
Correo: Miami Workers Center, 6127 Northwest 7th Avenue, Miami, FL 33127-1111. Favor escribe “para MAS/BO” en la línea de memo.
Banco: City National Bank of New Jersey
900 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102
ABA Number: 0212-0163-9 City of NJ Newark
For further credit to:
Account Number: 01 000 9845
Account Name: Batay Ouvriye
Account Address: Ave. Jean Paul II, # 7
Aquí incluimos una parte de la carta que Batay Ouvriye escribió para la comunidad internacional que explica los gastos que tienen después del terremoto.
Casas destruidas US $ 50,000.00
Bienes perdidos 20,000.00
Heridos 10,000.00
Sobrevivir por ahora 30,000.00
Resolver lo de los muertos 10,000.00

Lo que da US $ 120,000.00

A lo cual se debe añadir un 40% debido a una inflación por ahora galopante y que no sabemos hasta donde iría. Para, entonces, un TOTAL verdadero de aproximadamente : US $ 170,000.00.
Todavía hay mucho que hacer para seguir apoyando a nuestros compañeros en Haití. Continuaremos mandando información periódicamente. Para contactarnos directamente envía un correo a miamiautonomyandsolidarity@yahoo.com o visite nuestro sitio de Web http://miamiautonomyandsolidarity.wordpress.com/.
En solidaridad,
Miami Autonomía y Solidaridad

Mark.
Feb 9 2010 11:52