Freedom Rider: Useless Aid, No Donation Without Agitation

Submitted by Margaret Kimberley on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 01:02
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from the rubbleby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The time has come for a new paradigm: No donation without agitation.” The United States has succeeded in plunging mainstream disaster “relief” into disrepute. “No donations to groups like the Red Cross, who sit on millions of dollars but do nothing but hand out blankets and move victims away from their homes in order to convenience the powerful.” And, especially, no donations to any group associated with George Bush or Bill Clinton.
 Freedom Rider: Useless Aid
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Dollars must come with demands of non-interference in Haiti’s affairs and demands of accountability to charitable organizations.”
A telethon hosted by celebrities succeeded in raising more than $57 million in funds for the relief of Haiti earthquake victims. Yet that sum and the many millions more donated by individuals around the world will do little to relieve Haiti’s plight.
Haitians are living in their latest hellish incarnation created by American meddling and the crushing of that nation’s democracy. As long as the United States directs Haiti’s affairs, and empowers a corrupt elite instead of the will of the masses, suffering will continue whether caused by natural or human-made disaster.
The scenes of devastation, death and injury move most human beings first to empathize and then to take some action in order to help. The sad stories tug at the heartstrings and the miraculous tales of survival lift the spirit. However, in the absence of an infrastructure built by Haitians to help Haitians, the images do nothing but create a kind of twisted voyeurism. Bringing change to Haiti should not be the equivalent of gawking at a crash on the side of the highway.
An illegitimate government whose very existence is opposed by the population is incapable of building new homes or treating the injured.”
Haiti is still ruled by a clique of criminals put in place by the United States government. Lavalas, the party supported by a majority of citizens, is barred from participation in the electoral process that is now a sham. An illegitimate government whose very existence is opposed by the population is incapable of building new homes or treating the injured. Haitians have already begun to scatter throughout the country in search of food and shelter, despite the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars have been donated to help them.
The sad fact of the matter is that individuals cannot help Haiti or end human suffering anywhere on earth unless their assistance is combined with political action. The dollars must come with demands of non-interference in Haiti’s affairs and demands of accountability to charitable organizations. If the Red Cross doesn’t even spend all of its enormous contributions, as it shamelessly did after the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the Asian tsunami, then donors must stop giving before the next disaster strikes.
The ‘bottleneck’ in Port au Prince was a direct result of the militarization of aid to Haiti.”
If American aid to Haiti comes in the form of military occupation, then even reputable organizations are unable to do their jobs adequately. Doctors Without Borders has had a presence in Haiti for many years, but flights containing 85 tons of their medical supplies were diverted to the Dominican Republic. Precious time was lost in the process of retrieving life saving medicines and equipment from another country.
The much talked about airport “bottleneck” in Port au Prince was a direct result of the militarization of aid to Haiti.The United States army decided who would be permitted to land and who would not. While VIP flights were given priority and created the diversion of medical supplies, the environmental group Greenpeace gave Doctors Without Borders use of a ship to carry less urgent equipment, allowing the medical group to prioritize delivery of its most desperately needed cargo.
It seems cruel to advise against helping human beings in need, but we have seen this movie many times before and we know the ending. The time has come for a new paradigm: “No donation without agitation.” No donations to groups like the Red Cross, who sit on millions of dollars but do nothing but hand out blankets and move victims away from their homes in order to convenience the powerful. No donations must be made to any group headed by a Bush or a Clinton. The old presidents’ old boys club did nothing for the Gulf Coast victims of hurricane Katrina. It would be not only a waste but a terrible wrong to give them another opportunity to collect funds which never seem to be used for people who need it.
The time has come for a new paradigm: ‘No donation without agitation.’”
This earthquake should be the last instance of easy text message philanthropy. Instead of pressing a few buttons, concerned people should ask questions and make demands. Current and former American presidents should not be allowed to grandstand when their policies made life hell for Haitians in the first place. The first president Bush ousted president Aristide, Clinton restored him to power only after promises of “market reform” and Bush the younger kidnapped him and tossed him out of his country. Yet a Bush and a Clinton now have the nerve to pose for photos and behave as though they are interested in helping the very people they crushed.
There will always be hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes. They are the inevitable results of nature at work. Starvation, illness and displacement are inevitable only if the people who create those conditions are permitted to continue their actions without opposition. It can be a waste to send money, even if the cause is a righteous one. Let us make this the last time we take the easy and useless way out.

 Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.com. 

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9 comments

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Yes. Last night's show "Haiti:the Struggle Continues" was on a

Submitted by NYCartist on Fri, 01/29/2010 - 13:43.

very similar theme.  WBAI archived www.wbai.org  "Haiti:The Struggle Continues" Th. 8pm.  Note:WBAI has had a coup and please see www.takebackwbai.org which I support.  The show is archived,free for 90 days.  One of the hosts is Kim Ives, who has been a journalist and activist for several years and this radio show has been ongoing for some years (brought in by the management that got "banned and fired").  Ives was in Haiti last week with DemocracyNow.  There's a march across the Brooklyn Bridge today by Haitians and supporters.

beverly:found cross talk, but not show of Jan. 25 - a whole new

Submitted by NYCartist on Tue, 02/02/2010 - 18:02.

website. Thanks.

tnanks for your patient teaching, beverly.

Submitted by NYCartist on Wed, 02/03/2010 - 11:32.

Feeling my age and illness today, but will go and follow your instructions.  I got to Jan. calendar first time go, but couldn't figure out what to do with it. My hearing is going (as all women in my family),but I'll check it out.  (Have low attention span as well as low stamina.) I like all your website suggestions.  Still "new", still learning, and slow. PS My wicked sense of humor was going to do something with the title, reply to "when you are on the Cross"...but I decided to behave....smiling.  PPS. MUST READ essay: Alice Walker's goodbye to Howard Zinn on Znet, Feb. 2. www.Zcommunications.org/znet   The link only goes to top of Zcommunications, which lists Znet as top of choices.  At Znet, they list the daily essays/articles and she's on the Feb. 2 list. Good links at end.  Also, on Feb. 1, a good excerpt from recent Zinn book.  
Eureka, I found it (Jan.25 Cross Talk seg on Haiti).  You are a good teacher.  (Good teachers are born, I think, altho many can be taught to teach OK.) I have bookmarked it for later, when can sit...Off to rest and do a little art in my Countdown to 7 0 (no leap year, so my birthday will be the last day of this month, if I make it).
 

OK beverly:just found yours. Came to post update: "Building

Submitted by NYCartist on Mon, 02/01/2010 - 20:49.

Bridges:Community and Labor Report" just had a segment of live sound from the Haiti March over the Brooklyn Bridge last Fri. evening, Jan.31 on tonight's show. Feb. 1: www.wbai.org  show is archived free for 90 days, or google Building Bridges Radio - they have their own website.  (NOTE: show hosts are Mimi Rosenberg Esq. who was fired and banned from her morning segment, but retaining her night spot; and cohost is Ken Nash, labor librarian.  So see www.takebackwbai.org
2nd segment tonight is Mayor Bloomberg is planning to close 19 schools in NYC - almost all in neighborhoods of people who are mainly African-American or Latino.  Guests talking about it.  Closing some of the long big highschools in NYC, then reopening smaller schools, many as charter in elementary and secondary public schools.  Some being closed were smaller set up by the chancellor a year ago.  Charter hanky-panky.  Also check out "Education at the Crossroads", another (another favorite show of mine) on related topics on Th. nights at 7pm.  Basir Mchawi is one of the "good guys".
PS Bruce A. Dixon was on "Talk Back" today, 3:30pm segment, I think is the hour he was on; excellent.  Archived free on WBAI for 90 days.  I called in with a question.
 
 
 

the need for more truth..

Submitted by christianslayer1955 on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 23:47.

The same intuition which tells us that we should not believe  the official story about the events of 9/11/2001 are true,we also should not accept the CNN or MSNBC explanations for what happened in Haiti on Jan 12th 2010.Unless and until we expose the big crimes,the persons who commit them will continue to evade justice.....www.google.com ....Put HAARP technology in the search engine and let whatever is left of your minds to do the rest.....It just so happen that both the US and Israel were drilling for major catastroophes around the same time that the so called earthquake hit my birth country...Coincidences like that rarely happen.

 

 

 

 

 

HAARP and other explanations for quake activity

Submitted by Enlightened Cynic on Fri, 01/29/2010 - 18:07.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/01/haitis-earthquake-natural-or-engineered/
 
Haiti’s Earthquake: Natural or Engineered
by Stephen Lendman / January 29th, 2010
 
 
 

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