We were warned to pay close attention to the recovery efforts in Haiti. People who experienced the trauma of Hurricane Katrina like rap star David Banner emphatically told us that the lights and cameras would be there for only a short period and without warning the tragedy would be yesterday’s news. It would be during the recovery when CNN and ABC weren’t on the ground that people would be facing their greatest challenges. It would be during this period that people’s generosity would be taken advantage of, while the resources and money given would become political footballs. It would be during this period that there would be major land grabs by those who are rich and powerful. It happened during Katrina and it’s happening now in Haiti. The situation is very sad. The conditions are dire. Our government is at the center of the mischief making.
For those missed it.. Here’s our interview with David Banner http://www.swift.fm/mrdaveyd/song/21400/
Last week long time Bay Area journalist JR the Minister of Information for the POCC and associate editor for the San Francisco Bayview Newspaper and owner of the Block Report Radio along with several comrades including Chris Zamani, M.D., Naseema McElroy, R.N.
We sat down and spoke with them yesterday as they explained what went down on their 5 day humanitarian mission to Cite Soleil and Del Mar. Sadly 2 of the 5 days was spent standing on long lines and waiting as long as 8-9 hrs for infrequent flights to get to and from Haiti. During our interview the group described in great detail the wretched conditions many of the people are living under. It’s enough to make you sick to your stomach and get you angry at the callousness of our own military and government. They described the horrific conditions on the ground and went into detail about the types of atrocities the mainstream media is deliberately ignoring.
We heard the whispers about AID not getting to the people and the large military presence which seems bent on intimidating people versus helping folks. The group confirmed the stories. They talked about how tons of food and supplies are sitting on airports warehoused and not getting to the people. They talked about their own efforts to feed people and some of the road blocks encountered. Dr Zamani talked to us about treating people and was disturbed by the reports he kept hearing via our news agencies about there being a shortage of doctors. He said that was one big lie and talked us about what was needed in the places he visited. He really goes in on alot of the conditions and what road many are likeli to travel as recovery efforts continue.
JR who got to see much of the city Port Au Prince described the whole scene as one big occupation. he noted that it was more than obvious there’s a political agenda at play..
Nurse Naseema McElroy talked to us about the living conditions the people were dealing with. She reminded us that there are no toilets and plumbing and that when it started raining pee and fecal waste would rise up from the ground and seep into the tents that people are now living and cause even more complications. The group talked about the over exaggeration of looting and violence. In fact if anything they talked about how people were going out of their way to help one another and laid out several stories highlighting people’s resilience in the face of such horror
In pt2 of our interview we spoke with JR who went in and talked about the politics and policies of what he encountered in Haiti. This was not his first trip to Haiti. He was there in 2004 when former president Aristide was ousted. He talked about what that was like then and what its like now and how US policy has been a hinderance to the Haitian people.
JR really goes in on this and breaks stuff down..He talked how both white and Black elite Americans are exploiting Haitians during the recovery efforts and gave us details that hark back to the terrible days of Jim crow where Blacks were made to be seperate from whites. He says this is happening with Haitians now. He talked in detail about the militarization of whats going on and how certain communitieslike Cite Solei known for being outspoken are seemingly being singled out and having aid withheld while being surrounded by well stocked military bases.
JR also talked about the way Wyclef and the efforts of other Hip Hop groups and organizations are being received. He highlights some of the on the ground Haitian leaders and activists we should look out for…Finally JR also offers up sound solutions on how to continue building. He strongly urges that we develop Haitian correspondants and we here in the states make it about to get news and information from Haitians on the ground. This is avery compelling interview.
Here’s the link to t2 of our interview