April 5, 2007
Update: Thanks to everyone who contacted their member of Congress about the Haiti Debt Cancellation Resolution. Many of you reported your Member has agreed to sign on (often without needing much persuading). That progress is not yet reflected in the official co-sponsor list, which now stands at nine. That might be because the House is on recess this week. The recess, which extends until April 16, is an excellent time to reach your Representative in the district office or at community meetings. So unless you have a firm commitment to co-sponsor H.Res. 241, please keep asking. For details, see last week�s alert, for advocacy tools see our Haiti Debt Relief Activist Toolbox.
Coming Attractions: ��The Latin America Solidarity Coalition Conference in Chicago, April 13-15, will include several Haiti activities, including workshops on bringing Haiti into the mainstream of Latin American solidarity work and on violence against women. Peasant activist Bolivar Ramilus will address the plenary.
This week�s action: If a picture is worth a thousand words, videos (including films) are a treasure-trove. So this week we are featuring video resources for Haiti advocacy that you can watch to inform yourself and show to your network. Videos are especially important to the Haiti solidarity movement because the large organizations we often target- especially the U.S. government and the United Nations- have sophisticated PR systems that effortlessly turn out thousands of words denying the reality that our Haitian collaborators keep describing to us. Videos can overcome the PR mismatch by bringing �poor Haitians� reality, and �their words, directly to us.
These resources are available because of new tools like YouTube and Google Video. Like many tools, these ones need to be sharpened to work well. You can sharpen them by visiting the sites, viewing the films, rating them and adding comments. The internet works like a snowball: each visit, rating and comment raise the videos� internet profiles, which in turn attracts more visitors, ratings and comments. A short investment of your time will help get the snowball rolling.
Videos are collected on the Haiti Justice Videos section of our website (if we are missing anything, let us know). But here�s a sample of the highlights:
Haiti: �We Must Kill the Bandits�: This full-length film just released from Kevin Pina �explores the current foreign interventions in Haiti, through the historical context (the US Marine Occupation, 1915-1934), the coups of 1991 and 2004, the role of the UN Peacekeeping mission, MINUSTAH, in supporting the brutal Interim Government of Haiti (IGH) and the recent brutal MINUSTAH raids in Cite Soleil and other poor neighborhoods. It also highlights the Haitian people�s inspiring and persistent resistance to oppression. The film cannot be seen online, but this link tells how to get it.
Haiti: The Untold Story, Kevin Pina, 2006 (6:52), about MINUSTAH in Haiti.
Let Haiti Live, February 23, 2007 (6:00) a simple mini-documentary about the 2004 coup and U.S. involvement, and about a February 7, 2007 solidarity demonstration in California. A good example of the type of� video that small groups can put together.
UN Raids Haitian Market, Isabel McDonald, March 6, 2007(2:09) footage of UN troops shooting in Cite Soleil, makes you feel like you are there.
Haiti recibio con jubilo a Chavez Reed Lindsay, Telesur, March 13, 2007 (3:05). This one is for inspiration: Hugo Chavez cavorting with the crowds that jubilantly follow him in Port-au-Prince. I don�t speak Spanish, but still understood everything.
Haiti Today: Occupation and Resistance, September 9, 2006, St. Joseph the Worker Church, Berkeley, California, remarks by �Dr. Paul Farmer , Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, Marilyn Langlois and Brian Concannon Jr. Film by Ivan Olsen.