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August 20, 2009 Weblog:

Haiti Liberte: Diaspora Unity Congress Ignores Class Struggle

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By Wadner Pierre

From August 6 - 9, 2009, about 300 Haitians from different corners of Haiti's diaspora - often called the 11th Department - gathered in Miami Beach, Florida for the 2009 Haitian Diaspora Unity Congress. The event was organized by the Haitian League, whose Chairman of the Board is Dr. Bernier Lauredan. He is a Haitian pediatrician living in New Jersey, where the first conference was held last year without, apparently, too much success.

The chair of this year's Congress was Dr. Rudolph Moise, a physician and actor well known in Miami for his more or less conventional activism.

Several former Lavalas government officials took part including former Minister for Haitians Living Abroad Leslie Voltaire, former minister without portfolio Marc Bazin, former Justice Minister Camille Leblanc, former Planning Minister Anthony Dessources, and former inspector of the Haitian National Police Luc Eucher Joseph, now Secretary of State of Justice and Public Safety. These officials are considered by Haiti's masses as politically bourgeois and, excepting Voltaire, were never Lavalas Family party members.

Meanwhile, there were also members or associates of President Boniface Alexandre's and Prime Minister Gérard Latortue's de facto government (2004 - 2006). The most prominent of them was Bernard Gousse, the former de facto Justice Minister, whom the Miami-based popular organization Veye Yo brands as a criminal for his role in ordering several deadly crackdowns on rebellious shanty towns and the first arrest of the late Father Gérard Jean-Juste, Veye Yo's founder.

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June 10, 2009 Weblog:

The Funeral of Father Gerard Jean-Juste

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By Wadner Pierre-www.haitianalysis.com

People were there from the USA, Canada, and all over the Caribbean - people of different religions and cultures. Veye Yo, his organization, organized a viewing as did his family at Notre Dame D'Haiti church in Miami,

It was crowded for the two days as approximately 3000 people gathered. Catholic bishops from Haiti and United States were in attendance. People tearfully marched for hours in Little Haiti in front of Veve Yo headquarters where a stage was set to receive his body for the last time.

Lavarice Gaudin, a close ally in his struggles, cried out during the funeral service that "Father Gerry" was poisoned.

During a sermon that honoured Father Gerard Jean-Juste, Father Reginald Jean-Mary condemned the hypocrisy within the Haitian community in the US. He wondered who could fill the priest's shoes - continue his humanitarian work in Saint Claire's parich in Haiti or his political activism on behalf of the most vulnerable. Father Reginald Jean-Mary said "they killed Father Gerry for power, because he represented a threat to them as someone who could lead Haiti."

In attendance during the sermon were Ira Kurzban and Dr. Paul Famer, both close friends and allies of Father Jean-Juste. Some Haitian officials were in attendance but not in any official capacity.

Father Adonai Jean-Juste, the late priest's cousin, said "Father Gerry did not die for his family, but for the people of Haiti and the Haitian immigrants in the USA. He did not live for himself, but according to the gospel: feed people who are angry and preach the good news to the poor. He was a father to all in his life."

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May 19, 2009 Weblog:

Haitian Government Raises Minimum Wage to $5.50 per day

May 19th, 2009

By Wadner Pierre-www.haitianalysis.com

Haitian labor activists applauded the Preval administration's decision to raise the minimum wage in Haiti from 70 to 200 gourdes ($5.50 USD) per day. However, the increase has been strongly opposed by Haitian industrialists. Georges Sassine, president of ADIH (an association of Haitian industrialists) warned that the wage increase would cost tens of thousands of jobs. He claimed that similar minimum wage increases in Cambodia have proven disastrous.

HaitiAnalysis asked Jose Cordero, an economist with Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), to respond to the arguments that Georges Sassine and other businessmen have made against the increase. Cordero said ”In the case of Cambodia, I am not sure what disaster they are talking about, but I know that between 2004 and 2007 the country grew at about 11% per year. When inflation rose in 2008, and real wages declined, many factory workers left their jobs to go back to the country or to other informal activities which provide them more revenue than their work at a factory."

Cordero also pointed out that "Workers (especially those making only the minimum wage) have a higher propensity to consume than higher paid workers or company owners. They also have a lower propensity to import. These mean that a higher wage will likely increase aggregate spending, which could stimulate local production, and employment."

Georges Sassine was quoted by the Canadian online journal, the tyee.com, as saying, "Do we want 100,000 jobs paying 200 gourdes (US$5) or 200,000 jobs at 100gourdes (US$2.50)? What's better? 200,000 people working if I were a politician"

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January 6, 2009 Weblog:

Haitians Celebrated, not without pain, Day of Independence

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By: Wadner Pierre - HaitiAnalysis.com

The dream of the heroic liberators is still - in many ways - far from becoming a reality - the dream that every Haitian without distinction should live comfortably and without any fear; a dream in which the father of the country, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, declared that no foreign soldier violate the soil of Haiti.

After defeating the largest and most powerful army at the time, the army of Napoleon, on November 18, 1803 in Cap-Haitien, Haiti became the first Independent Republic of black people and the second country in the Americas to declare its Independence. However, the powerful countries branded Haiti an outlaw nation and France extorted a payment of 90 million francs in "compensation" for its lost "property" which included 600,000 slaves.

Haitian artist and political activist Farah Juste ("La Reine Soleil") organized a concert in the Haitian community in Miami to honour those who fought to liberate the Haitians of slavery. This year (2009) marks the twentieth year of the great traditional concert.

"My brothers and sisters you represent the second largest ethnic community in Florida, you represent a force both socially and politically. We must unite" said Farah Juste. This year's concert was dedicated to the famous Haitian singer Martha Jean-Claude. Martha Jean-Claude fled from Haiti to Cuba in 1952. She incurred the wrath of Haitian president Paul Eugene Magloire for publishing a journal entitled "Avrinette".

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May 24, 2007 Agriculture

¡Si, Se Puede!

Field workers in Florida say “Yes we can!” - and are

March 30, 2006 Agriculture

Throwing Tomatoes

CIW_fp.jpgCarole Ferrari talks to the people at the bottom of McDonald's food chain and investigates a new campaign targeting the fast food giant.

Field workers in Florida target McDonalds buying policies

December 22, 2003 Accounts

Barn-Raising on Air: the Prometheus Radio Project

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Janna Graham helps the Prometheus Radio Project out with a radio barnraising in Immokalee, Florida.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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