imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

“Red Cross, Where is Haiti's Money?”

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

“. . . All of the generous people who donate to the Red Cross have no idea that very little of those resources get to the victims of the disaster. It's being used for administrative costs. The CEO of the Red Cross is earning $600,000 a year." -- Margaret Prescod, Women of Color in Global Women's Strike

“Red Cross, Where ...
haitiredcrosscorner3no.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

Saturday January 12 marked the three-year anniversary of the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti. Yet, despite the huge influx of donations from generous individuals in the U.S. and around the world to NGOs (Non-Government Organizations), particularly the Red Cross (the largest recipient, which received at least $479 million), life for Haitians has changed little. While over 300,000 displaced Haitians remain in tent cities, part of the Red Cross's money is being used to construct a luxury hotel and conference center. NGOs are also spending large amounts on staff salaries. For example, the CEO of the U.S. Red Cross is paid at least $600,000 a year. Meanwhile, It has been estimated that it could take 10 years for Haiti to start seeing any significant recovery.

Last weekend, protests occurred in front of Red Cross offices including London, England; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Oakland, California on January 11th; and Los Angeles, California on January 14th. Fifteen people turned out in the late morning at 11355 Ohio Avenue in West LA.

The event was called by Global Women's Strike, Women of Color in Global Women's Strike, and the Haiti Working Group/LA and endorsed by the Haiti Action Committee, Alexandria House, IAC/LA, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, Kids Village@OccupyLA, the Martin Luther King Coalition, Pat Alviso, member of Military Families Speak Out, and WomensCircle@OccupyLA.

The Red Cross building is located far back from the street. We stood in front of the long roadway that meanders uphill to both the Veterans (VA) hospital and Red Cross, and received a fair amount of positive responses from passing motorists, both on Ohio Avenue and coming in and out of the roadway. Chanting was lively and passionate. Our many chants included “Red Cross, where is Haiti's money?” “Red Cross-Double Cross,” and “Viva Haiti!”

Participants of our speak-out included Margaret Prescod from Women of Color in Global Women's Strike. Here is part of her statement: “Haiti has more non-governmental organizations per square mile than any other country in the world, yet three years after this devastating earthquake, there are hundreds of thousands of people living in tent cities. One of the tent cities I visited, that had about 25,000 residents, told me they got a letter from the Red Cross saying that they could no longer assist them with getting clean water because of lack of funds. Would you believe that? The Red Cross complaining about lack of funds? This in the middle of a cholera epidemic where water is vital.

“Meanwhile, what is the Red Cross doing with the money? We know that some of the money that they collected for disaster relief they are planning on building a luxury hotel and conference center with the people's money. How dare they!

“. . . All of the generous people who donate to the Red Cross have no idea that very little of those resources get to the victims of the disaster. It's being used for administrative costs. The CEO of the Red Cross is earning $600,000 a year."

She also noted, “You might know that Haiti is an indigenous name, and that name remains.” Pastor Logan added that the word Haiti meant “elevated mountains.”*

The pastor himself also spoke. “. . . As we continue to see the devastation of people of African descent, we understand the blatant racism that's involved in the misallocation of resources. In the hood we call them pimps when [they] misuse people for financial gain. These are disaster pimps. The newest disaster pimp on the block is the Red Cross pimping the misery of people, pimping the misery of earthquake victims, suffering from cholera, suffering from a lack of housing, a lack of infrastructure, a lack of education. The aftermath and the aftershocks of this terrible earthquake continue to reverberate throughout Haiti. We're here today because we want to raise awareness of the constant contradiction of raising money to help Haitian people that have not used the money to use the Haitian people, to declare that some of those funds are being used for a luxury hotel when people can't live in Haitian housing. It's obnoxious, it's an abomination before God.

“And I stand as a faith leader today along with my good sister Margaret Prescod; along with my brother Nkrumah; along my First Nations brothers and sisters, who of all people know how it is to be misused and pimped and decimated; along with all my other brothers and sisters who are here. We stand in solidarity today because if we don't stand somewhere, we'll be pushed around everywhere.”

He closed with a prayer for the suffering people of Haiti and even those responsible for the misuse of money. He observed that this was appropriate for a protest “because prayer is a form of protest as well--we have the audacity to believe that God is on the side of those who are oppressed and that God hears our cries. . . .”

Some speakers mentioned that had it not been for the revolution in Haiti, there would very likely still be slavery.

There was also mention of current attacks against former Haiti president (and victim of two U.S.-sponsored coups) Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who remains highly popular with the Haitian people. These attacks are seen as an attempt to discredit Aristide's highly popular party, Lavalas. (Lavalas, in Haitian Creole means “flash flood.” The movement “flooded” across Haiti. Source: the Porto Alegre Declaration on Haiti, January 2005.)

Other points made during the speak-out concerned the role of the U.S., which used aid money collected by different countries and repaid itself $655 million to its own Department of Defense, $50 million to Homeland Security, and more money to the Department of Agriculture.

Also, it was noted that $670 million a year is spent on the U.N. occupation of Haiti when the people of Haiti could meet so many desperate needs with that money.

The relevance of Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday fell the following day, was emphasized by Kwazi Nkrumah of the Martin Luther King Coalition. King stood against injustice anywhere and everywhere and asked others to do the same. He also observed that a society that spends more resources on warfare than on human needs is one nearing spiritual death--symptoms of which include lack of social responsibility. Thus this action was intended to give the Red Cross “an infusion of Dr. King's antidote.”

After the speak-out, we decided to relocate to the Red Cross building, which, as mentioned earlier, is not clearly visible from the street, and meet with or present a packet of information to representatives. We marched up the hill, led by Aztec drummers, and shortly after reaching the front of the Red Cross parking lot, were approached by security men representing Veterans Affairs. (The Red Cross leases Federal land also occupied by a Veterans Affairs.) We were asked to proceed no further and stop any photography, recording or video.

Though we were on the sidewalk, the police told us we could not demonstrate on Federal land. It was pointed out to them, to no effect, that we the people are supposed to own Federal land and thus have the right to exercise free speech on it. We contacted a National Lawyers Guild lawyer by phone. The police refused to speak to him directly, but messages were exchanged. The lawyer concurred that we were entitled to be there with our signs and chants, and the vigil resumed. However, we as a group still wanted to send a delegation in to the Red Cross. After many minutes of sometimes tense negotiations (one participant described the security as “very hostile”), and the threat of being arrested and receiving a Federal charge of disorderly conduct if we did not leave, two representatives of Red Cross came out to us, the regional CEO and Director of International Affairs

The representatives said they understood our concerns about Haiti, that their work in Haiti had not been without problems, and agreed that a lot of work remains to be done there by Red Cross. One of them described Haiti as a particularly difficult area to work in. Although, he expressed satisfaction in progress he claims the Red Cross made in improving Haiti's water. We were given printed material about Red Cross activity in Haiti (which is also available online at http://www.redcross.org//what-we-do/international-services/haiti-assistance-program), and it was agreed there would be a follow-up meeting.

For those interested in supporting the people of Haiti, by means other than the Red Cross and other NGOs, the organizers of this event recommend pledging regular donations to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund (HERF). HERF is led by Haitians, and every bit goes to those it is intended for, particularly women’s self-help survival initiatives and food co-operatives – there are no overheads.  See:  www.haitiemergencyrelief.org (Coverage of a local fundraiser for HERF circa 2011 can be found here: http://la.indymedia.org/news/2011/09/247858.php)

-----

*This was not brought up during the speak-out, but Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States describes how the native Arawaks were completely annihilated by 1650 due to European brutality, mass suicides, and flight (page 5). Interestingly, as soon as slaves started arriving from Africa circa the early 1500s, they very quickly began "teaching disobedience to the Indians" (Zinn, 32).


Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Demonstration in front of the Red Cross

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Demonstration in fro...
haitiredcrosstheftdisaster.jpg, image/jpeg, 2134x2848

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Participant in demonstration at Red Cross regarding Haiti

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Participant in demon...
haitiredcrossmillionsraised.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Margaret Prescod

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Margaret Prescod...
redcrosshaitimargaretsignngosstealing.jpg, image/jpeg, 1944x2592

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Speak-out and demonstration

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Speak-out and demons...
redcrosshaiticornergroup.jpg, image/jpeg, 2592x1944

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Aztec participant during the speak-out

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Aztec participant du...
redcrosshaitispeakout.jpg, image/jpeg, 2113x1200

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Pastor Logan

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Pastor Logan...
redcrosshaitispeakout2.jpg, image/jpeg, 2592x1944

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Kwazi Nkrumah

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Kwazi Nkrumah...
redcrosshaitispeakout3kwazi.jpg, image/jpeg, 2466x1944

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Another speaker

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Another speaker...
redcrosshaitispeakout4.jpg, image/jpeg, 2592x1944

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Marching up hill to the Red Cross

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Marching up hill to ...
redcrosshaitimarch.jpg, image/jpeg, 2592x1944

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


March to the Red Cross cont'd

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

March to the Red Cro...
haitiredcrossmarch.jpg, image/jpeg, 2848x2134

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Police arrive in front of the Red Cross

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Police arrive in fro...
redcrosshaitipolicearrive.jpg, image/jpeg, 2482x1355

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 3 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Haitian corruption Jay Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013 at 1:03 PM
Re: Haitian corruption RP Monday, Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Local News

The Eagle Rock Peace Vigil Marks 15 Years N27 11:23AM

12/2-3 LA Binational Conference To Cancel NAFTA and Unite Workers Of Mexico and the US N27 3:44AM

Winter 2017 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly News Alert! N26 9:22PM

Nuclear Shutdown News November 2017 N26 4:23PM

Report Back on November 18th Counter Demonstration Against Anti-Muslim March N20 10:57AM

Report Back on November 18th Counter Demonstration Against Anti-Muslim March N19 7:12PM

National US Gov as wellas EPA slow to act on Abandoned uranium Mines Cleanup in Southwest N15 10:50AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Comedy Fundraiser N14 10:47AM

BUSTED: Watch LAPD cops plant drugs in black suspect’s wallet – unaware body cams were on N10 5:32PM

lapd shootings 1998 - 2015 N06 11:21PM

“Oh Say Can You See” How the LAPD Singing the National Anthem Cost the Dodgers WS Game 7? N03 7:30AM

Car drives into immigration protesters outside Rep. Ed Royce's office in Brea N02 2:06PM

PACIFICA RADIO BOARD SECRETLY OK'S BANKRUPTCY FILING & SEEKS NY SIGNAL SWAP O25 4:49PM

LAUSD, Privatization, Charters And The Fight To Defend Public Education Education Conferen O04 12:10PM

Afghan Women Read RAWA.org founded 1977 S27 9:42PM

[France] The State Attacks Indymedia-Grenoble and Indymedia-Nantes… Solidarity! S25 5:18PM

Segregation in the City of Angels: A 1939 Map of Housing Inequality in L.A. A15 7:44PM

Justice Dept. seeking info, IDs on 1.3M visitors to protest website DisruptJ20.org A15 1:04PM

San Francisco Rally Protests Hate Crimes in Charlottesville A14 5:38PM

New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites A02 1:52PM

Tracking Twenty Years of Stockton Killings by Law Enforcement A02 1:27PM

Garcetti Cronyism - Why and How to Ignore Your LA Dog License A01 5:05PM

Nation's Worst Meltdown Was In LA J31 4:54PM

As RV towing resumes in LA, officials say program won't 'target homeless' J31 1:15PM

Class War on the Waterfront: Longshore Workers Under Attack J21 10:18AM

Limits to Growth Published Forty Years Ago J18 5:15AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de la prohibition D16 2:14AM

Philippines: We condemn extension of Martial Law in Mindanao D14 9:37PM

The Shortwave Report 12/15/17 Listen Globally! D14 4:27PM

What the State Can Do D14 5:50AM

November 2017 Honduras Pre-Coup Repeat Update: Part 1 D14 5:23AM

Le système, ses agents, ses exécutants D13 11:49PM

Police problem officers D12 11:13AM

Masturbatorium de capitalisation D11 10:15PM

Palestinians, Beware Jewish Days of Rage, Hanukkah is Coming to Israel! D11 5:28PM

Asian Superstar's Book Finding Julia, Based on the Movie, Goes on Sale D11 11:16AM

I am the victim of murder for hire and need help to file a police report D11 12:29AM

Modus operandi de l'apocope D10 10:04PM

Archbishop and Evangelical Leader Tell Congress to Protect Puerto Rico in Tax Plans D08 9:51AM

Fbi is Gestapo D07 6:12PM

The Shortwave Report 12/08/17 Listen Globally! D07 5:10PM

Paraphysique de l'argutie D06 10:18PM

Holiday Tips for Grievers D06 1:27PM

Stand Against Reem's. Stand Against hate. Stand Against Violence D06 8:44AM

Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) D06 7:53AM

Philippines - Why there is nothing Revolutionary about the call for a "Revolutionary Govt" D06 2:04AM

Historicisme d'hybridation D04 10:08PM

Real filthy fbi D03 7:30PM

People in Uproar in West Virginia-US Public lands Hearings 2017 D03 10:42AM

Le capital ou la société des inégalités D03 12:11AM

Stop Trump's tax plan D02 3:10PM

Government Regimes Are On A Global Kill Spree D01 8:29PM

Global High Crimes By Government D01 7:47PM

The Right to the City and the Greed of the Rich D01 3:32AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy