Posted by: piedrasyluz | April 26, 2012

LONG HAUL TO JUSTICE-NONVIOLENTLY

“PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI “
04.10.12
The news and opinion bulletin of Hurah
(Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti,
dedicated
to non-partisan, non-violent basic human rights action in Haiti)
Hurah’s Blog:
(for an archive of previous bulletins and history)
Tom Luce, Editor

Dear Friends,

We’ve been busy!

Thanks to several donations here is what we’ve been able to do:

  • We have met our commitment to Gentilhomme! We had
    to make repairs on his motorbike. We have paid his rent for the year.
    Then there are the monthly expenses: phone, internet, gas. And there
    will be unforeseen and special events. Please consider contributing
    as below.
  • Justice for Gran Ravine: Then GH and a Hurah ally,
    Nadine Dominique have been very instrumental in helping an historic
    major step in pursuing justice for the Gran Ravine victims
  • Hope For Haiti:Education:Gentilhomme has been busy keeping
    in touch with our Grand Ravine partners in the 170 student scholarship
    program.
  • Watchdogging The Political Struggles: with help from
    Gentilhomme I’ve been jumping into the political arena where the President
    and Parliament are severely at odds causing a lot of stress. Specifically
    I have written in defense of Sen. Moïse Jean-Charles, someone I
    have known and worked with on public witness, who has led an inquiry
    into the citizenship of the President. I have underscored the absolute
    necessity of the separation and balance of powers and mutual respect
    in a democracy. See our blog and check out the menu to the right for
    Action-Research

I need to ask for $108
now to renew our website where we have our archival files on the Grand
Ravine and Central Plateau group cases.

Thanks!

Tom


The Long Haul To Justice For Grand Ravine
2005-???:

Review the History (click left)

AUMOHD OFFICE March
5, 2012: Our own Gentilhomme (2nd r), our ally Nadine Dominique (3rd r),
and a half dozen victims from Grand Ravine meet to continue putting the
case together for justice dating from 2005-06, massacres and houseburnings.
The meeting, as usual over the last 7 years was facilitated/organized
by our partners, the Grand Ravine Community Human Rights Council (GR-CHRC) and AUMOHD

BLOODY MILESTONES In August of 05 and
again in 06 there were three massacres that totaled about some 70 dead
and 300+ house burnings involving Grand Ravine innocent men, women and
children. These were victims of political backlash, part of the violent
coup against Pres. Aristide which has been reported to rise to 8,000 dead
and 35,000 rapes between 04 and 06. (See LANCET.study.).
Their crime: accused of being Aristide supporters, members of the Lavalas
party. I call this the absurd but all too prevalent, “War by Proxy”,
wherein poor people are convinced of their vital interest in shooting
their neighbors who are supposedly political enemies. In this case it
was opponents of Aristide/Lavalas taking revenge once they obtained power
in February 04 and gained support from the interim regime of a Haitian
man from Florida, Gérard LaTortue.(illegally named Prime Minister
by pressure from the US, France and Canada.)

The non-violent approach: In this most unique approach,
AUMOHD, supported by Hurah, organized the 05 victims into an advocacy
group, helping to get the dead identified and documented for prosecuting
the people, including government officials–police especially–guilty
of this crime. Without this unique support these victims would have been
abandoned and forgotten and relegated to the history bins as one more
group victimized by the War By Proxy so prevalent in poor countries taught
by rich/powerful countries that “might is right”. The route
is tortuous and long as most cases that go through the courts and avoid
the violent process. It takes a tremendous amount of faith in a system
that is always flawed, but seriously so in Haiti. AUMOHD has worked laying the groundwork for judicial reparations as you can read in the history
So far one key case has been prosecuted only to be undone by the very
people in charge when Grand Ravine’s government sponsored crimes occurred.
This was the Raboteau Massacre prosecuted successfully by the Haitian law firm,
Bureau des Avocats Internationaux–partnered with the Institute for Justice
and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). Other cases have been fought with some
success internationally. We are hoping for success for Grand Ravine. It
is a long, painstaking, slow haul.

“Idalia” twice victimized–son
killed, home burned, small business destroyed–has maintained faith in
the process as wel as the main core of victims. Leaders such as current
President Point-du-Jour and 3rd President Joseph (included in the first
picture above) continue to pursue justice, non-violently.

HALTING STEPS, ADD CENTRAL PLATEAU: The many years of work by AUMOHD did
manage to get on the agenda of the Haitian government which began an agreement
to pay reparations–the government was party to the injuries. The Prime
Minister at the time (07), Mr. Alexis combined Grand Ravine and Central
Plateau
(click for history) cases–in the hundreds. No other
advocacy group was helping these victims. Then in 08 the Haitian Parliament
fired Alexis over the food crisis. That sent the Grand Ravine/Central
Plateau cases back into oblivion. Not as far as the GR-CHRC or AUMOHD
is concerned. And Hurah.

This year’s planning was facilitated by Gentilhomme
long involved with AUMOHD’s work. Immediately after hearing about the
need for Creole translators, Nadine Dominique volunteered. Nadine is the
daughter of Jean Dominique, leading radio journalist assassinated in 2000
and champion for exposing the injustices of the Duvalier regimes. Nadine
has worked with Hurah in the area of cooperative development and rural
sustainable development. She advocates, of course, for the victims of
the Duvalier regimes, her family being one such victim.

HELP! At this point
specific plans cannot be publicized but there will continue to be a great
need for financial and personnel support to keep the justice process going.
Obviously it will have to entail going beyond Haiti to get any justice.
Stick with us. Help us keep Gentilhomme supported. Write us for more details.


Hurah’s Blog: for an archive of previous bulletins and history

To Donate:

1. Check to “Hurah” 1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

2. DWOLLA: DWOLLA
is an internet, safe, money transfer for those of us trying to move away
from “banks”. They only charge $0.25 for a transfer–or nothing
if the transfer is under $10! Try it! Send your DWOLLA donation toHurah
at this address:
president@hurah.org

Posted by: piedrasyluz | February 15, 2012

New Year Revival!

“PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI “
02.15.12
The news and opinion bulletin of Hurah

(Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti,700 members dedicated
to non-partisan, non-violent basic human rights action in Haiti)

Hurah’s Blog
:
(for an archive of previous bulletins and history)

Tom Luce, Editor

“Old/Former” Supporters’ Edition

Dear Friend,


We’re back! Tom Luce here in Berkeley, and Gentilhomme Jean-Gilles (r)
in Port-Au-Prince. And, we hope, you. We have a big boost from a new donor.
Read on!

This is a new year pitch for you to stay with us in a reborn Hurah, a
group of advocates for human rights in Haiti. We’ll do what we’ve always done– advocate in person, on the internet, P.O. Boxes. We’re without
corporate status now and seek no funding except for providing Gentilhomme
some expense money as he still volunteers for us.

This is already happening thanks to a generous donation from a new donor.
Gentilhomme, our onsite “Defender of Human Rights” will be there
as our eyes and ears, as an advocate for specific issues. For new
folks, GH has been in the camps, working on our ag coop project, researching,
and being central to Hope
For Haiti:Education
, the scholarship program for 170 children
in Gran Ravin–a volunteer role basically. He hosts me and is my ride
whenever I am in PAP.

Community
Human Rights Council-CHRC

There are actually many more of us. Those
of you who have been with us from the beginning know how unique the Haitians
are whom we have supported, embodied in the model of the Community
Human Rights Council-CHRC
.

We–Hurah, Inc–helped AUMOHD, our Haitian legal assistance partner, for
6 years to build 4 CHRC’s in the capital, groups of volunteers willing
to put themselves on the line to stand up for human rights over partisan,
violent battles. In the aftermath of the illegal overthrow of the Aristide
government it was a matter of life and death, the “war by proxy”
for our friends. One, Esterne Bruner, was brutally murdered, another,
Frantzco Joseph, was driven out of the area and we provided safe house
and protection for his wife and 2 children.

Above is an historic photo, Aug 07, when Hurah was able to bring financial
support for opening up an office, a visible, bold presence as the GR-CHRC
vowed to honor their fallen president, Esterne Bruner. They lost all this
in the ’10 quake but they are still there advocating. They are the managers
of the 170 student scholarship program, Hope
For Haiti:Education
we’ve consulted on with St. Columba
Parish in Oakand.


GRAND RAVINE LEADERS

June ’11: Here I am with (l) Frantzco Joseph
#3 President of the GR-CHRC whom we had to rescue from death threats in
09-10, and (r) Jean-Ernest Point-du-Jour, the current #4 President. These
are fathers/husbands of children of their own, teachers, plus community
leaders. They have been risking their lives beyond being busy by being
responsible for handling money in a very crime-prone area. My hopes with
the reborn “Hurah” are that we can help these men and their
compatriots to bring more support to their community. After the scholarship
program for 170 children, Hope
For Haiti:Education
we’re starting on water and nutrition
problems.

FUTURE STATUS:SUPPORTERS

O.K. If you wish to stay with us there is
nothing you have to do. I’ll keep your name in our active data base. If
you wish to leave us, simply send an “Unsubscribe” e-mail to
Tom Luce Should
you want donate money we will keep track, but are no longer tax exempt.
If we develop more specific plans that could use some money, we’ll let
you know the details.

As issues arise that need our endorsement,
like, for example, signing a petition calling for the prosecution of Jean-Claude
Duvalier, I will sign for Hurah. I’ll send a draft to you if time permits and you can “opt out”. I won’t publish your name anywhere in any case. I just state the number of our supporters. There is much that is disturbing in the
political scene for the future of human rights. If you are not comfortable
with this, you may “unsubscribe” by e-mailing me now. Tom
Luce

Thanks so much! And best wishes to all your
family and friends.

Sincerely

Tom


Hurah’s
Blog
: for an archive of previous bulletins and history

To Donate:

1. Check to “Hurah” 1515 Fairview
St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

2. DWOLLA:
DWOLLA is an internet, safe, money transfer for those of us trying
to move away from “banks”. They only charge $0.25 for a transfer,
or nothing if the transfer is under $10! Try it! Send your DWOLLA donation
toHurah at this address:
president@hurah.org


Posted by: piedrasyluz | August 11, 2011

Free The Children!

” PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI
The news bulletin of Hura 6.14.11

Tom Luce
, Editor

Free The Children To Learn!

Dear Friends,

Phew! The heat has arrived. 97+F here in
the shade. Sunday I was wiped out by being in the sun too much on the
motorbike, going to St. Bernadette’s and Grand Ravine. I had to take a
long nap. Eyes stinging with sweat. Now I’m much better having bought
a fan ($58) and a makeshift sweat band!

Today I’m putting forth the biggest challenge
that is facing us on this end in Haiti: Securing our people, kids, parents,
teachers, Community leaders.

I
sit here on the nice side of the city watching the kids come home here
in their uniforms. I can chat with them, no problem. But I can’t even
go over to Grand Ravine and visit our kids, schools, parents! I’m working
on this and I hope you’ll be able to support me.

On Wednesday I meet with Fr. André
about possible twinning. Thursday is the big gathering with the children
at one of the safer schools. We’ll have a snack, take pics and meet with
the staff afterward to go over our “Vision” paper.

Thanks for all you are doing to make this
possible. You can be sure you’re making a lot of folks happy.

Sincerely,

Tom Luce


INDEX TO TODAY’S UPDATE:click
on the title below to go directly to the section you prefer.

1. CAMPAIGN TO SECURE
GRAN RAVINE

2. FORMAL TWINNING?

3. LIFE DAY BY DAY


#1. CAMPAIGN
TO SECURE GRAN RAVINE

Pic 1: Grand Ravine from below

Grand Ravine is the hill top community
in the upper center of this pic. Population around 30,000. It extends
down the ravine to the next community connected, Martissant. I gave
you the recent history of violence there. Now in 2011 I find it totally
unacceptable that our partners are not safe in relating to us, that
I can’t make normal in-class visits, that we can’t celebrate our sharing.
So I’ve been working on a campaign. I’ve written to Pax
Christi
— Haiti and International (the current Sec. Gen.
is a renowned Haitian leader, Claudette Werleigh) — to the Irish “Frontline
Defenders
” who have supported Grand Ravine in the
past, and to the Catholic Bishops’ Commission on Peace and Justice.
Maybe St. Columba could enlist some allies to join the campaign?
That’s a start and I’ve asked them for ideas, whether they can help
the GR-CHRC. Of course eventually this will have to involve the state
agencies–police, judiciary etc.– if there is going to be real peace
with justice. But you can imagine what would happen if we started by
calling the police! A non-violent group? No. So we need moral support,
visibility for non-violent practitioners. You know the MLK, Gandhi,
Jesus types. The GR-CHRC has a list of priorities that will help build
them up. First is a new office (see below pics #6a, #6b, about a possibility.)

Pic #2: Typical Street in Grand
Ravine

Gentilhomme and I rode motorbike yesterday
after church through Grand Ravine. It looks pretty normal. Everyone
walking around, doing their shopping at the little sidewalk shops. But
the place is outlaw at an unacceptable level. No police protection that
is effective. No respect for judges. Crooks preying on people with “money”
connections.

Pic #3: Marvelous Haitian Bus in
Grand Ravine: Merci Jesus! Thanks Jesus!

Pic #4 Nicole, our Catholic member
of the GR-CHRC

It was quite clear that serious precautions
have to be taken to protect our friends. Yesterday Nicole agreed to meet
us after the 6am Mass and she could not spend any time with us except
to renew acquaintances (I’ve worked with her since 05). This simply has
to be changed.

Pic #5 GR-CHRC Franzco Joseph (3rd
president, now VP), Ernest Point-du-Jour President

So yesterday after Mass and chatting with
Nicole, we talked about the campaign to secure Grand Ravine. They want
very much to do what has to be done. They are willing to work on increasing
their visibility, spreading the news of non-violent ways to work for justice.
They want their office back. I’ve offered to help them form a cooperative as a way to earn money. A friend of mine put me onto a program that
is giving away free portable
classrooms
that would be ideal for this. We’re hoping shipping costs will be paid by a Florida donor. We will need to get furniture and equipment.
This would be where they would have materials, meetings, a showcase for
human rights.They have been doing this since the massacres and house burnings
in 05-06. Franzco had to be evacuated in 08-09 with his family. But he
is still working for the CHRC-GR.

Pic #6a CHRC-GR Office, financed
by Hurah in 09, destroyed by the quake; #6 b Free portable module from
a coalition using Florida surplus buildings.

Pic #6b. Free portable module Website:portables4haiti.org

Free Portable Classroom!

O.K. what about Hope for Haiti:Education?
Isn’t this more than enough to be working on? Of course, but even if St.
Columba cannot help the CHRC-GR financially, there is plenty to contribute–moral
support, exchanges, accompaniment etc–to help them. And remember it’s
because of them that the children were recruited out of a crowd of very
poor families, that the 5 Catholic schools closest to their homes for
safety were selected. Managing the purchase of materials, paying the schools,
keeping track of the kids–a big job, all volunteer. They need help with
internet services, transportation, materials and training in non-violence,

-back to index-


#2. FORMAL TWINNING?

Pic #7 Fr. Frank Rouleau, Twinning
Director for Norwich, Conn. Diocese Click here to see their website and
to download information:
TWINNING
Applications are handled through the Norwich office as noted.

Before the earthquake for over 20 years
the Diocese of Norwich, Conn had two major programs in Port-Au-Prince,
Hospice St. Joseph and Norwich House. The Hospice was both a guest house
and a major clinic for people from the area of Christ Roi, another inner
city area. Norwich House was a guest house for visitors from twinning
parishes. The program now has some 18 parishes in the Archdiocese and
is rebuilding its former programs into one.

Pic #8 Hospice St. Joseph, upper
guest rooms survived, clinics demolished.

This is where I stayed first and got my
boot camp training in 2004. It was where we were able to put freed prisoners
into hiding who were at risk of being shot. A nostalgia trip for me. In
terms of whether we should do a formal “twinning”, a place like
this would provide us with guest space and the renewed program will provide
orientation to Haitian realities–the beautiful and the sad.

Pic #9 Nostalgia my original room
in front, the PAP bay in back

Pic #10 St. Bernadette parish church

O.K.back to realities and the tougher side
of town. Do we need to formalize a “twinning” arrangement with
Norwich and the Archdiocese of PAP? We need to check out the requirements.lick
here: TWINNING
Right now we’re doing the real thing, providing education for the poorest
kids in one of the most dangerous spots in the city. I’ll talk with Fr.
André on Wednesday about this. He has his list of needs, of course.
I’ve pointed out that we are very limited and we want to put our educational
service into a religious context, working to join hands and hearts with
his parishioners. Our “mission” statement does talk about other
programs, i.e. microcredit. The church buildings are intact and there
are obviously programs ongoing there.

Pic #11 Catholic Relief Services
continues to do a mammoth service to Haiti- Hospice St. Joseph, “We’re
Together In Haiti!

I haven’t noticed Catholic Relief Services
signs in Grand Ravine such as there are here at Hospice St. Joseph. Maybe
we could help Fr. André tap into CRS? I’m meeting with Dr. Paul
Farmer’s rep tomorrow and she may have some health services available.

-back to index-


#3. LIFE DAY
BY DAY

Pic #12 LATEST INUNDATION- Yeah,
that’s me taking pics on the bike! On our way to GR.

Pic #13 How much more can they take?
There are still the major hurricanes to come.

Pic #14 Sure is rough going on the
side streets, had to get off bike on our way to Fr. Rouleau!

Pic #15 No wonder the Hurah donated
bike needs regular repairs, already just since I’ve been here!

Pic #16 I take credit for pushing
full sun power to run AUMOHD’s office including freezers! No, Hurah didn’t
pay, AFL-CIO did.

While I’m really in a chatty mood, let me
point out that in terms of “twinning” there has always been
the guest house facility connected with these programs. Our first program,
Parish Twinning of the Americas, has Matthew 25 house. I am the invited
guest–for free- here at the AUMOHD offices. So if people wanted to come
and stay, that is a question. We don’t have to be in a formal “twinning”
arrangement to use these guest houses
. BTW the price per day has now
risen to about $45 per day which covers bed, breakfast and dinner. Transportation
to/from airport and special trips is extra.

Pic #17 Last night we had a rainbow
from the south, taken from our upstairs porch.

-back to index-

========================================================================

If you are interested in supporting Hurah
as it winds its official “tax-exempt” self down, CLICK
HERE TO DONATE
Online and see our projected needs. Send Checks
to Tom Luce, 1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703
Even
after June 30, we’ll still be glad to receive monetary help and/or solidarity
work in pursuing human rights.

========================================================================

If you are interested in the St. Columba
scholarship program please check out their Facebook page to find out more
about it and how to contribute Hope
For Haiti: Education
This program is specifically for Grand
Ravine. There are many other “Hope for Haiti” projects dealing
with education. Certainly Grand Ravine deserves major attention. To get
the particulars about St. Columba Parish, go to their website at St
Columba Parish, Oakland, CA.

Human
Rights Accompaniment In Haiti-Hurah, Inc.

1515 Fairview St., Berkeley Ca. 94703 President, Tom Luce, president@hurah.org
Blog Site Hurah

To DONATE click
here.Or mail a check to Tom Luce,

1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

TO UNSUBSCRIBE: send an e-mail to president@hurah.org

-back to index-

Posted by: piedrasyluz | August 11, 2011

Revisiting Grand Ravine-June ’11 Trip

“PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI “
6.5.11
The news bulletin of Hurah, Inc.
(Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti,

dedicated to non-partisan, non-violent basic human
rights action for the disenfranchised in Haiti (soon to become an informal
group committed to the same ideals)

Tom Luce, Editor

Dear Friends,

You are now one of 42 people from different
parts of my life connected to justice for the poorest of disenfranchised
Haitians. Some on this list have been with my organization, Hurah, since 2004.  See our blog at HURAH

Some are family. Some are in a new group of friends, the “Hope for Haiti: Education” committee of St. Columba Parish in Oakland. Click here to learn more: Hope For Haiti: Education

Both groups are connected because of basic
human rights advocacy in Haiti. I started out in 04 limiting our work
to the basics: life, freedom, legal resolution of disputes. From 2004-06
some 8000 people lost their lives in political conflicts, thousands more
were jailed illegally. Much of the violence was government involved. Hurah
and our partner, AUMOHD concerned ourselves with the most disenfranchised,
poor Haitians in the slums of Port-au-Prince and a couple of country areas.
We did good work. But now I’m finishing out the last month of “Hurah”
because this basic human rights work is most difficult to sustain, financially
and volunteer-wise. On June 30 Hurah will cease to exist as a 501(c)(3)
organization. I will continue on advocating using the name Hurah as a
group of interested advocates.We will continue to accept donations, but
won’t have the tax-exempt status.

So with these updates on my current “mission”
to Haiti, I’m working on tying up Hurah business in pursuing basic justice:
1) the “Soccer” massacre of 05; 2) promoting opportunities for
cooperative economical development among the poor, and 3) the latest project,
an expansion into advocacy for education that the St. Columba scholarship
committee has taken on with the most violent and deprived community in
Haiti, Grand Ravine.

Pleas know that I count you all as friends
of Haiti and I thank you profoundly for being with them in whatever way
you can.

Sincerely,

Tom Luce


INDEX TO TODAY’S UPDATE:

click on the title below to go directly
to the section you prefer

1. GRAND RAVINE–SOCCER
MASSACRE (St. Bernadette Park)
2. ST. BERNADETTE CHURCH
2.
TRIBUTE TO JEAN DOMINIQUE CHAMPION RADIO
JOURNALIST

3. BONUS-DELMAS-CORN


#1. GRAND RAVINE:
Struggling for justice
SOCCER MASSACRE – Aug 20, 2005

The “Soccer” Massacre at St. Bernadette soccer stadium in the Martissant section of Port-au-Prince, Aug. 20, 2005, followed by another massacre on Aug. 21, 2005 in the nearby Grand Ravine “commune”, noted for its violent, “outlaw”
conditions. A 3rd massacre and burning of 300 homes occurred in July 06
and Esterne Bruner, #2 President of the Community Human Rights Council-Grand
Ravine, was assassinated.

For those wanting more details of this shocking, government perpetrated killing spree, go to this site as a starter:SOCCER MASSACRE

I was up north in Haiti on Aug. 20 accompanying people demonstrating for fair elections when I heard about a police organized massacre of some 50 people right in the St. Bernadette soccer stadium filled with 5,000 people. I came right back to Port-au-Prince to work with our Haitian human rights legal team, AUMOHD, in identifying victims, bodies, providing protective services and setting the stage for
prosecution of the perpetrators including many key police staff.
It
was a political vengeance act against people identified as supporters
of the ousted president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Residents of Grand Ravine
were specifically targeted.

Today 6 years later I returned to the scene for the first time, stopping first at the church, St. Bernadette, and then the soccer field which is now a tent city filled with quake refugees. AUMOHD is now engaged with a legal team from Seton Hall university pursuing justice for these victims at the Interamerican Commission For Human Rights (IACHR). I’m here to help them coordinate matters. First the IACHR must hear the complaint and, if valid, the case can be referred to the Interamerican
Court For Human Rights which can pressure member states to take action.
NOTE: The US signed the convention setting up the IACHR and the
Court, but never has ratified it, a step necessary to officially engage
the US. Once again the US is avoiding any responsibility as a member of
the OAS.

-back to index-

#1: St. Bernadette Stadium: meeting
rooms, terraces for spectators (right) facing what was once the soccer
field, now a tent city with quake refugees living there.

#2 The soccer field tent city. Today
I couldn’t spent much time there getting information on this specific
camp. I was told that there were some “bad” people around who
could become difficult if we spent much time there, if not for me, for
my companions from the area. Life is unbelievably desperate in these camps.
Just the living conditions are abysmal. There are rampant crimes committed
in many of these places, rape being one of the major crimes that don’t
get prosecuted.

#3: Ernest Point-Du-Jour, father
of two young children and a primary school teacher (L) is the fourth president
of the Grand Ravine Community Human Rights Council formed in 05 with Hurah’s
help to bring people together–victims, families, community leaders to
deal with this crime perpetrated by the government. The first president
was driven away by violent threats. The second president was brutally
assassinated for doggedly pursuing justice non-violently and in a non-partisan
way for his community. The third president, Franzco Joseph, had to be
ferreted out of the community for safe housing with his children and wife.
He still is active in the CHRC from outside the community.

#4 The latest stats on cholera
in Haiti: 321,066 cases seen since the beginning of the outbreak, including
5,337 deaths. Massive hygiene education and water purification programs
have still not brought the disease under control. This mural is in the
St. Bernadette soccer camp.
-back
to index-

2. St.
Bernadette Parish: Martissant

St. Bernadette Church, the parish
that covers Grand Ravine, potential parish “twin” with St. Columba
in working on the challenges facing Grand Ravine. A parish “mission”
chapel exists in Grand Ravine, Holy Family, which needs support in the
non-violent struggles for justice.

#5. Right next to the soccer stadium/refugee
camp is the church from which it gets its name. (The soccer field is/was
not a church project) It is a vibrant community. Today we attended the
8am Mass with probably a couple hundred worshippers. The reason for going:
St. Columba Parish in Oakland, Ca. in its commitment to engage in a social
justice project in Haiti accepted my recommendation to focus on one of
the most violent, “outlaw” communities in the city, one of the
most deprived sections in terms of services. The victims of the St.Bernadette
massacre were from the neighboring community of Grand Ravine. This certainly
makes them eligible as a people at the top of the list of human rights
abuses and without the supports other more peaceful communities also suffering
from the quake. St. Columba has chosen Grand Ravine. The Catholic parish
covering Grand Ravine is St. Bernadette. St. Columba would like to establish
a “twin”, “sister” parish relationship.

#6. Seemingly unharmed by the earthquake,
this is a large capacity church. There are two other Masses on Sunday.

#7. The St. Bernadette choir led
us in Haitian style music.

#8. The Pastor is Fr. Laguerre Pierre
André

#9 At the “Kiss of Peace”
everyone went around and embraced or shook hands

#10 After Mass Fr. André
and I met along with Ernest Point-du-Jour and Hurah rep, Gentilhomme (who
took all the pictures!). Fr. André is very interested in establishing
a sister-parish relationship with St. Columba. He appreciates the context
in which the St. Columba scholarship program was created, a response to
one of the most impoverished, violent and victimized communities in Haiti
with which he has a spiritual relationship. He has known about the Grand
Ravine Community Human Rights Council and its leader, Mr. Point-du-Jour,
and of course, he knows the 5 schools (all Catholic) which have the 170
children sponsored by St. Columba. He told us that this coming week the
“mission chapel” of the Holy Family which is St. Bernadette’s
outpost in Grand Ravine is holding a five day retreat. He advised me not
to come and participate because of the serious security and violence problems
there that would be exacerbated by a “stranger” coming in. So
the theme of violence and how to bring people to work peacefully for justice
is still the topmost in the lives of the Grand Ravine people. Educating
170 children is a great step toward righting the injustices there. Much
more collaboration among all agencies in the community will be required
before real peace with justice will arrive. Hopefully the energy and force
for “peace” within this parish will aid a lot in the struggles
of the Community Human Rights Council of Grand Ravine.

-back to index-

3.
Jean Dominique, champion radio journalist

#11.
Not directly connected, except for the fact that I am staying not far
from it, is the remnants of the famous “Radio Haiti” station
which was founded and run by the man made known in the English world with
the movie, “The Agronomist”, Jean Dominique. His conversion
from agronomy to cutting edge multimedia journalism gave hope to the people
and shivers to those who didn’t want to hear the truth about injustice
in Haiti. His valiant work got him killed in the end, in 2000. I happened
to have spent 1960-64 at a university in Rome, Italy, with his cousin,
Fr. Max Dominique, who was a courageous resister against the Duvalier
regime which persecuted the Dominiques and thousands of others. One of
our colleagues, a daughter of Jean’s, is now working with us to promote
cooperative economies in Haiti. In growing ruins with age and an earthquake,
this place is a monument to courageous journalism and truth-telling. His
truth and example will live on. Link to sign petition to prosecute DUVALIER
We have to keep up the pressure on all international agents to bring this
matter to justice. It is the way we build confidence in the rule of law.
It is not the time to forget the law and talk about “forgive and
forget”, let’s have a reconciliation process. Impunity is a standard
blight on law abiding societies. Forgiveness is a religious act. Reconciliation
is a religio-civic process that is, of course, highly recommended. But
justice–not vengeance must be carried out.

-back to index-

4.
BONUS- DELMAS – CORN

#12 On our way back from St. Bernadette
I couldn’t help but asking my motorbike driver, Gentilhomme to stop and
grab a shot of what is known as “Delmas” a commune of 379,000
people. I have lived here during the 8 years working in Haiti. It is where
the airport is located. This section is mainly unending rows rows of cement
block apartments with little or no open space, very densely populated.
Other parts where the AUMOHD office is located do have open space, trees,
and single family homes.In the distant east you see the mountains for
which Haiti is named. (Ayiti means mountains, an Arowak word.)

#13.For my urban garden, green, food self-reliant
friends, I thought I should fill in the previous picture with this very
healthy corn field. Till next time.

========================================================================

-back to index-

If you are interested in supporting Hurah
as it winds its official “tax-exempt” self down, CLICK
HERE TO DONATE
Online and see our projected needs. Send Checks
to Tom Luce, 1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703
Even
after June 30, we’ll still be glad to receive monetary help and/or solidarity
work in pursuing human rights.

========================================================================

If you are interested in the St. Columba
scholarship program please check out their Facebook page to find out more
about it and how to contribute Hope
For Haiti: Education
This program is specifically for Grand
Ravine. There are many other “Hope for Haiti” projects dealing
with education. Certainly Grand Ravine deserves major attention. To get
the particulars about St. Columba Parish, go to their website at St
Columba Parish, Oakland, CA.

Human
Rights Accompaniment In Haiti-Hurah, Inc.

a 501(c)(3), non-profit until June 30

1515 Fairview St., Berkeley Ca. 94703 President, Tom Luce, president@hurah.org
Blog Site Hurah

To DONATE click
here.Or mail a check to Tom Luce,

1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

TO UNSUBSCRIBE: send an e-mail to president@hurah.org

-back to index-

Posted by: piedrasyluz | August 11, 2011

JUNE ’11-WORKING TRIP

Human Rights Collaboration: Hurah, St. Columba Parish in the USA, and the Community Human Rights Council-Grand Ravine, St. Bernadette Parish in Haiti

     Just before the tragic earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, St. Columba Parish, Oakland, Ca. began working on an educational project with Human Rights Accompaniment in Haiti-Hurah. Relief for quake victims became the priority until the fall of ’10.

     That is when “Hope For Haiti:Education” was created and funds for scholarships for 170 children from the very impoverished section of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, known as “Grand Ravine”. Hurah, led by Tom Luce of So. Berkeley since 2004 became involve  in Grand Ravine when a series of brutal politically motivated massacres and house burnings began ocurring.

     Hurah’s Haitian partner, AUMOHD, a free legal assistance service aided in forming a citizens group, the Community Huan Rights Council (CHRC) to provide assistance to the victims and to promote non-violent, non-partisan advocacy for human rights for the destitute.

     On May 31, Tom Luce embarked on a 3 week working trip to assist the new educational project and to support the CHRC in its management. Also explorations of a possible “twinning” relationship between St. Columba in Oakland and St. Bernadette which covers the sprawling inner city zone (270,000+) of Martissant and Grand Ravine have been undertaken.

     The education program is financed by donations to St. Columba parish. The 3 week working trip is funded by donated private funds within Hurah and voluntary workers. Donations always welcome at HURAH.

Posted by: piedrasyluz | March 15, 2011

ILLEGAL ELECTIONS

“PEACEFUL JUSTICE FOR HAITI”

3.15.11 The news bulletin of Hurah, Inc.

(Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti, a 501(c)(3) corporation
dedicated to non-partisan, non-violent basic human
rights action in Haiti)

Tom Luce, Editor

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: ILLEGALITY OF ELECTIONS

Dear Human Rights Advocates,

Many bloggers and posters to list serves are speaking about the “Second Round” of elections with Ms. Manigat and Mr. Martelly as the only choices for the people. The issue of the will of the people of Haiti–
from a human rights point of view– is being ignored by most of the postings here of late regarding the “elections” and the return of Aristide. This is a travesty that exemplifies the roots of lawlessness everywhere it is practiced.

Postings assuming the validity of the “Second Round” are  participating in the shredding of the law of the land even as they purport to support a Haiti under the rule of law. They are backing blatant foreign intervention in Haitian affairs perpetrating the lie that the people have a real “choice” for their government. There is ample evidence that the Nov. 28 elections were invalid, both by the exclusion of major parties and in the carrying out of the election without adequate preparation. The US push for the “Second Round” along with the OAS observer team stacked by the US (3 US, 2French, 1 Canadian, 1 Jamaican) is but the latest instance of foreign interference in the violation of the rule of law. There is no authorization by the CEP or the Préval government.
There is no justification for this unlawfulness, not the “let’s-get-on-with-it” argument, not the purported “popular support” argument, not the “this-is-the-way-its-done” argument. Flouting the law this way is a monument to the hypocrisy of those who do it, especially the US with all its talk about democracy. The will of the people is to follow the rule of law, democratically established. The will of the lawbreakers is what prevails now and this should be stopped before March 20th if people want to save money and conflict. Otherwise these lawbreakers will be the cause of unrest and any subsequent violence.

The will of the people was illegally and violently stolen from the Haitian majority prior to the violent coup of 2004. No amount of propaganda demonizing the Artistide administration will change the facts. The will of the people clearly was obtained overwhelmingly in the lawful 2000 election of Aristide as president. The so-called flawed parliamentary election in the spring of 2000 was resolved legally but has no bearing on the presidential election in any case. The violent suppression of a duly elected president and every duly elected official down to dogcatcher was supported by Haitian lawbreakers and their foreign power supporters. The political juggernaut arrived at in 2003 should not have been solved by violence but by the rule of law. There was no “popular uprising” of the people against Aristide. It was only a small band led by criminals armed from CIA depots in the DR. They were using violence, killing civilians and creating havoc against a majority of unarmed, non-violent Haitians. <https://hurah.org/history/government-atrocities/>
Apologists for the use of armed force to settle disputes–witness the articles by Mr. Diebert and his citations from biased media (Radio Quisqueya, Metropole)– have published propaganda pieces trying to show that the Haitians, like the Egyptians, “rose up” and obtained their justice against a murderous dictator in February 2004. Not true.

Mr. Deibert claims his reporting of grassroots violence in Gran Ravin and Martissant is more valid than others that he stigmatizes–unprofessionally–as done by out-of-country observers. He perpetuates the all-too-real “war by proxy” wanting us to believe that it is all just a simple matter of rival “gangs” settling old accounts, shooting up one another in a vicious cycle of political revenge. He implies we should believe
that the carnage is understandable, even justifiable, implying that post 2004 it was still Aristide partisans getting their “comeuppance”. He wants us to believe that having gotten rid of Aristide, Haiti would,
of course, return to the rule of law.

Mr. Deibert’s writings omit damning facts like the killing of innocent men, women, and children by such criminal gangs as Lame Timanchet in collaboration with the Haitian police in 05, their torching of homes creating a stream of 1000’s of refugees from Grand Ravine in 06. He doesn’t cite the report
ordered by the new Director General of the Haitian Police, Mario Andresol, implicating both the police and the LameTimanchet. <http://www.mouvmansoda.org/home_files/policereport.html>

He omits the Lancet study of 06 <http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2806%2969211-8/abstract> documenting 8,000 killed and 35,000 raped. These victims were targeted, truly or falsely, as being Aristide supporters.

He omits the story of Esterne Bruner, a double victim of the home burnings in 05 after the soccer massacre and the killings/torchings in 06, and brutally assassinated on Sept. 21, 2006. Why was Bruner killed? Not because he was an armed violent partisan of Artistide. He was targeted because he was the leader of a movement of citizens from Grand Ravine and Martissant committed to non-violent and non-partisan advocacy for human rights for their communities. He was the second courageous leader of the Grand Ravine Community Human Rights Council (GR-CHRC). He was the enemy of doing-business-as-usual,
the control of whole populations through intimidation and calculated slaughter of innocents demonstrating that the rule of law is the real “chimère”, or “hallucination”. The GR-CHRC has survived constant violent threats and is still operating, trying to get the majority of honest people to work non-violently for their rights. Where is the main stream reporting about this? See some of the Gran Ravin story at <http://www.mouvmansoda.org/home_files/GRMENU2.html>

Flaunting the rule of law by violence, by propaganda, by bribes, is flaunting the will of the people. The unheralded return of Baby Doc and the 7 years of conniving to keep Aristide from returning home–long before the “elections”–are simply the continuation of the foreign intervention by the US on behalf of those–in Haiti and abroad–who believe their will should prevail, be damned democratic elections. They want to impose their solutions for social justice on the people. Why should the US make any noise about Duvalier?  The US supported both dictators who have been condemned internationally for their wild and violent injustices. So what if Aristide returned home before the 20th? What if there was an “uprising” of the people, in the non-violent manner we have seen from hundreds of thousands of Aristide supporters? Would the US, would the anti-Aristide diaspora and Haitian nationals, give the people the respect given to the protesting Egyptians? Or would the people be repressed, sabotaged by provocateurs?

In anticipation of being denounced as a pro-Aristide partisan, let me repeat that my organization has operated on a strict non-violent, non-partisan basis, seeking to support the truth–condemnations, as well as support, of official government actions. We look at the facts and the laws and the process for redress of wrongs that people use. I am fairly familiar with people who lost confidence in Aristide. I had a classmate, Fr. Max Dominique, who, along with the people in his inner circle supported Aristide in the beginning, decided not to support him after 2000 because they believed he had retreated from a strict non-violent philosophy of fighting for the rights of the poor. I believe that the case against Aristide is fraught
with wild propaganda. With the violence of the Duvaliers, the military regimes, the armed overthrow of 1991, it is understandable that Aristide could adopt a self-defense philosophy. Not withstanding the withdrawal over non-violence, these one-time supporters did not/would not support Aristide’s violent overthrow.

What I write here is no more, no less, than supporting the rule of law, democratically established. In the case of the repression of rights, I certainly support non-violent action to pressure for redress. I cannot
condemn those who use violence in self-defense. Non-violence, though, is my moral choice. Haitians deserve the restoration of their rights, via non-violent action at least. There is no need to hide the fact that
the policies of Aristide were pro-poor, that he was working for universal access to education for the masses, universal health care, the right of workers to unionize, a living wage–all policies that have powerful enemies–just as we are seeing here in the U.S. These solutions to equality will be fought by those who espouse capitalism, the trickle down economic theory, and the spiritual jingoism distorted from the bible (Mt. 26:11) that “the poor you will always have with you.” This is the real contest. A contest that should be fought with ballots, not bullets. But we can’t have it both ways, rule of law and rule of the gun and dirty money.

The will of the people even after decades of repression as we’ve seen in Egypt will become evident. The question is which side are we on? When will we make justice ring out?

Posted by: piedrasyluz | February 27, 2011

Support Duvalier Victims

GO TO CHANGE.ORG

A group of victims and family members of the Duvalier regime is seeking worldwide support for their cause.

To go to “change.org” to sign their petition, click on the image to the left.

Here is an English version of the message:

STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR THE HAITIAN LAW SYSTEM IN THE JEAN CLAUDE DUVALIER TRIAL

We, the undersigned individuals and institutions from around the world, express our strongest support for the efforts of the Haitian legal system to investigate, bring to trial and sanction the violations of human rights perpetrated under the Jean Claude Duvalier dictatorship.  We state our full solidarity with the victims of this dictatorship and their quest for justice.  The violations perpetrated under this regime constitute crimes against humanity, to which a statute of limitations does not apply. The rejection of impunity in these cases is clearly required by international law and public conscience. This is why we recall that truth, justice, reparation and the documentation of the past are essential conditions for the construction of the rule of law, the implementation of an advanced democracy and the achievement of human and sustainable development, objectives legitimately coveted by the suffering Haitian people.

Posted by: piedrasyluz | February 26, 2011

News Bulletin Feb. 2011

HURAH NEWS BULLETIN
– 02.25.11


Hello !

We’ve got some still good news and some mixed news.

GOOD: Check out what our Human Rights Defender on the ground, Gentilhomme, is doing. He is still involved in a major scholarship program for poor kids. And he is our active representative
in our program to support the development of a strong cooperative movement.

MIXED: see below where we’re at with the cooperative development movement.  We have had to drop our work in the fundraising project with AMCC. But we are continuing to support cooperative development.   See details below.

Please keep us in your thoughts.

Thank you for all you’ve done in the past!

Tom

==================================================================

GENTILHOMME:
OUR HURAH “DEFENDER” of Human Rights:

HE WANTS TO CONTINUE! PLEASE HELP WITH HIS BUDGET.
DONATE

Gentilhomme is still willing to stay with us because of his devotion to human rights even though my request for donations these past 6 months has not resulted in sufficient funds to support him except for room rent, internet service, cellphone assistance.

So I’m making another appeal. Just $3,160 for a whole year! Monthly $263. I figure by providing him with some expenses he can survive while also helping human rights go forward. This is the field he would like to stay in. He still works with AUMOHD as well. If we can raise this whole budget we could give him a stipend of $1.25 per hour for personal expenses.
See our DONATE page for more explanations.

We want to continue to involve Gentilhomme in the development of
the cooperative movement. He needs to study the movement, acquire skills in
coop management. Please consider helping us make this real contribution to the
movement.

See our DONATE page

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM:

Gentilhomme has helped St. Columba Parish in Oakland to work out a scholarship program for kids not able to afford to go to school. HOPE FOR HAITI: EDUCATION

Gentilhomme has worked with the Community Human Rights
Council -CHRC in one of the poorest, most dangerous sections of the capital
of Haiti Port-Au-Prince to select 170 students, and purchase school supplies
including uniforms, books, book bags and tuition. Gentilhomme has photographed each student and composed a biographical statement for the sponsors.

From 2005-2009 Hurah has supported the Grand Ravine CHRC through AUMOHD, providing them with grants for transportation, phone, office renovations.

If you would like to contribute, send a check to St. Columba Parish, Haiti
Committee, 6401 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, Ca. 94608

THANKS! As always a big thank you to everyone who donates and who supports us in any way!

ENJOY AND GET ENTHUSED!

=====================================================

PROMOTING THE COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT

CREDIBLE “MODEL” COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT

The goal isn’t impossible. Not being an expert in business financing or construction, I left that to AMCC’s leadership and past history which was credible. The two coops slated for the “model” development had been organized expertly by AMCC since the mid ’90’s.

When I read now about the common problem in Haiti during this post-quake period that people have with land ownership, our friends in Milot and Galette Chambon had resolved this almost 20 years ago. They were well on their way to getting the “model” coop going with professional architectural planners and they were committed to “green” practices. Central to the plan was education for all–a serious commitment to do something about the “restavek” problem (domestic servitude of children).

“MACRO-CREDIT”: KEY TO SUSTAINABILITY

Another key to the “model” was “macro-credit” financing. Even as international aid groups were beginning the “micro-credit” programs like the Grameen Foundation, AMCC with its experience created a full service bank that was by design controlled by its cooperative members. 51% of the shareholders were by statute required to be coops. What happened to this “model” undertaking is part of the history of Haiti’s wrenching political scene complicated with the coup in 2004 and it is also the history of ordinary criminal activity. Members of the bank’s board of directors, still well known leaders in Haiti, defrauded the bank by absconding with its funds and falsifying elections to the board. Some Haitian government banking officials also acted illegally by having the bank closed. A sad story, but a major blow to serious business development in Haiti’s poor cooperative communities. I have learned in this process that “micro-credit” cannot put the needed investment money into businesses that will have a chance to make the business “sustainable” that is, not dependent on handouts.

BECOMING A COOPERATIVE

Hurah’s role/job/assignment was to be the “watch-dog” for human rights, within our group and as we worked with/advocated for the goal. My major concentration in the last 6 months was facilitating the formation of
the Alliance of Haitian Cooperatives For Human Rights-AHCHR. We began with the already established coops and we attracted coops in the making. We also acquired “Support” members like Hurah, agencies with special services. AUMOHD our friend and partner in Haiti joined. Sirona Cares, a non-profit agency in SFO that helps Haitian farmers grow jatropha plants for harvesting its rich-in-oil beans that will bring in income by providing a source of electricity. It was wonderful being part of the serious exchange and study of the 7 Principles of Cooperatives (International Cooperative Alliance). We created a business structure for the Alliance with committees and responsibilities. We created a website (click above on Alliance). We began meeting using e-mail, cellphones and SKYPE. It was exhilarating to see our coming together across the barriers of time, sea, and land–including our peasant farmer friends.

MAJOR FUNDRAISING PROJECT CANCELED

Here’s a sad report to tell everyone that the million dollar project Hurah signed onto last summer–for a second time–and which I’ve reported on in our recent bulletins has ended. Yes, this is the second time I’ve had to withdraw from this project–$9millionUSD to build a model cooperative in two locations–Milot and Galette Chambon–with safe, family housing, education for all and a sustainable eco-tourism business. Promoting this “model” was meant to set in motion a nation-wide movement, an alliance of such coops that would make serious inroads into the poverty, homeless, situation of the people Hurah wants to do something for in the long term. We haven’t given up on the mission, just the fund raising piece due to “irreconcilable” differences with the lead organization.

OUR SETBACK

The devil is always in the details in human interactions. I thought that the conflicts between Hurah and the lead organization, AMCC (American
Museum of Creole Cultures) had been resolved and that we could achieve our goal, if not entirely, at least substantially.This is when our relationship with AMCC fell apart. It happened when we started trying to work cooperatively in live meetings and in e-mail follow-ups, dealing with confusion, with outright disagreements. I was not prepared to have such a serious breakdown in the way people need to behave in cooperative organizations. The approach –among those who have studied and endorsed the 7 Principles– is intended to be positive, respectful, and trusting. But this was not the way our AMCC member behaved. Instead we were subjected to an attack on the very existence of the Alliance. However I persisted following coop procedures, calling for transparency, for voting on issues. In the end it was a clear majority that said we were operating in a credible way. The AMCC rep continued to be disruptive and finally bid us good bye. That meant, of course, we lost our business expert. It was then that I decided my concerns about our ability to work successfully together in the fund raising phase needed to be heeded. With the severe breakdown on AMCC’s part in handling problems cooperatively I couldn’t see us getting through the tough grind of holding fundraisers around the US and Canada. And since we were working to build the “model” cooperative and already AMCC had attacked our fledgling cooperative Alliance, I had no choice but to end Hurah’s involvement. So whatever we’ve published in the past 6 months about our commitments, our support for the TOUR aka The Talent School International Network, this is all now cancelled.

STILL KEEPIN’ ON

We intend to continue supporting the Alliance. Our coop friends–peasant farmers still ready to seek the “model” coop, still generously open to incorporating earthquake refugees– say they want to “keep on keepin on.” Hurah will provide research assistance in growing the Alliance, liaison with carious coop support agencies. We will provide our fiscal agent services for potential grant money to promote cooperative development. So please
consider still donating to Hurah, including money and time!

Tom Luce

CLICK HERE TO DONATE
Online; Send Checks to Tom Luce, 1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

to top

=============================================================

CLICK HERE TO DONATE
Online; Send Checks to Tom Luce,

1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

===============================================================

Human
Rights Accompaniment In Haiti-Hurah, Inc.

a 501(c)(3), non-profit

1515 Fairview St., Berkeley Ca. 94703 President, Tom Luce, president@hurah.org
Blog Site Hurah

To DONATE click here.Or
mail a check to Tom Luce,

1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

TO UNSUBSCRIBE: send an e-mail to president@hurah.org

Posted by: piedrasyluz | December 1, 2010

AHCHR- Alliance of Haitian Co-operatives for Human Rights

HURAH NEWS BULLETIN – 11.28.10 BLOG SITE STORY INDEX

Dear Friend of Haiti,

I’m pitching this call for HELP out of the depths of my heart for our Haitian friends so beset by unbelievable disasters, natural and political.

NETWORKED, MULTIPURPOSE, CO-OPERATIVE MODEL:

We have something “special” to make “sustainable” come true. We think you will agree that we’re pushing something unique, a vibrant cooperative economy. We’re not the originators.  Cooperative economies are growing around the world.  We’re just pushing for strengthening  Haitian coops.

We’re pushing a model that will bring long term solutions to Haiti’s socio-economic problems.

We’re talking about a “networked, multipurpose cooperative model”:

Member owned: 1) land; 2) quakeproof and green family lodging;
3) education for all; 4) food self-sufficiency; 5) “macro” funding,
and 6) business development such as “eco-tourism.No more restaveks!

Read more in our STORY INDEX about the “macro” funding piece. You will see how
our work will be mold-breaking and probably will shake some people up.

“COOPERATIVE” is still a sleeping giant in Haiti, but growing strong in the world.

HURAH needs your FINANCIAL HELP:

(1) to keep its presence in Haiti with Gentilhomme
Jean-Gilles
, our “Human Rights Defender.”

(2) to get WHEELS for Gentilhomme
(3) to do our bit for the “multipurpose cooperative model.”

We have a new DONATE page ready to receive your donations- tax free,
big or small. Just imagine if our 700 supporters could send $5,
we’d take care of our Defender of Human Rights, keeping him on the road
to assist wherever he can representing Hurah.

Send checks to Hurah, Tom Luce, 1515 Fairview St., Apt. C. Berkeley,
Ca 94703

ALL KINDS OF HELP:
Anyone who wants to really help Haiti but can’t go there or who doesn’t have
money, WRITE ME or CALL ME immediately! 510-229-3571, 510-423-2233
president@hurah.org I’m begging for all kinds of help, keeping our finances in order
for the IRS. We have offered to serve as the 501(c)(3) recipient for the money raised for the
cooperatives.
Please, anyone who loves to handle figures (Quicken anyone)? Anyone who wants
to run this web/bulletin? Research cooperatives? Grant writing?

As never before I’m driven to continue doing our “bit” and hopefully
we’ll get the support to contribute to a “sustainable” Haiti. Read
on below.

Thanks so much !

Tom

HURAH BLOG


STORY INDEX: 1)Gentilhomme; 2)AHCHR: Alliance of Haitian Cooperatives for Human Rights; 3) LABOR RIGHTS; 4)SCHOLARSHIPS


SuGentilhomme
(GH) Jean-Gilles: HURAH’S “HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER” IN HAÏTI
pporters
Edition: 800

NOTE: Hurah, Inc. was headed for extinction just
before the earthquake, not enough funding for major programs, but we managed to hang on to a dedicated human rights volunteer, Gentilhomme or “GH” for short. We never did have any staff or office such as other groups who have great programs. We are proud what we were able to do with AUMOHD for 5 years.

The earthquake compelled us to find a way to keep on. Now with GH we have been able to do meaningful work, facilitating scholarships for 170 students in Gran Ravin–one of our first areas of involvement. We have continued to support AUMOHD’s projects with GH’s “accompaniment” services. And we’re counting on GH to be the catalyst for our cooperative support. We cannot “hire” GH with any kind of basic salary. But we can give him basic support.

DONATE

Here is the budget:

Monthly Expenses: phone $45, gas $20, internet $60, rent $100… Total
Monthly Expenses =$225, annually $2,700

Stipend: 20h @ $2.00 h (min wage, $1.25 + $.75) Total Monthly
Stipend = $174 Annual Stipend $2,088 + Expenses: $2,700 = $4,788 annually (continued
next column…)

RESPONSIBILITIES: Maintains regular communications between
human rights groups/individuals in Haiti and Hurah; Reports on human rights
activities; collaborates with human rights organizations in joint campaigns;
represents Hurah, Inc. in Haiti; liaisons with projects like the St. Columba
Scholarship program for the Grand Ravine Community Human Rights Council (CHRC-GR),
negotiating terms, providing photos and updates; Cooperatives For Human Rights
In Haiti-CHRH;

SKILLS: fluent in French/Creole, studying English, competent
in negotiating non-violently in dangerous situations; holds driver’s license;
has computer and internet skills and able to do office management and accounting,
familiar with the human rights organizations and government groups in Haiti,
experience with an established human rights organization.

WHEELS:
Getting around PAP is bad enough but now we have to get around to so
many distant cooperatives over even worse roads. One of our partners, life-long
Haitian who knows cars says that we need no more than 3 year old second hand
SUV. He knows of one for $3,000. We have two initial gifts of $1,300 which leaves
us $1,700 to go. HELP!

See story below related to Gentilhomme’s neighborhood….

Note:
This man named Lindor was killed in GH’s neighborhood recently apparently the victim of a criminal shooting. GH lives in the same atmosphere as all the Haitians we read about including the quake, the hurricane, and now the cholera epidemic. Our support for GH not only helps us keep in direct touch, but helps him survive and do the kind of life’s work he wants.

DONATE!
or send check to “Hurah”, Tom Luce 1515 Fairview St, Berkeley, Ca.
94703

Story Index


2.AHCHR: Alliance of Haitian Coops for Human Rights – coop-owned land, family lodging, child care, food, education, income producing business

a growing partnership with the
AUMOHD ,
and Networks of Cooperatives in Haiti.


THE THIRD WAY – NETWORKED, INTEGRATED COOPS

Click on photo to go to the new web site featuring our program. This scene is a view of land at Galette Chambon where our partner, the Co-operative Invest in Galette Chambon -CIGC- offered just three days after the earthquake to welcome up to 20 000 refugees and to integrate those who wished into their Eco-Tourism project “Bel Azuei”. To this day, the Préval government has only perfunctorily acknowledged the offer, but not responded at all.

THE THIRD WAY is what some people call the cooperative movement. Hurah is promoting cooperatives for Haiti, networked and integrated cooperatives. This is because neither the government nor the business sector with their international assistance agencies have an equitable, sustainable “reconstruction” plan for the majority of Haitians.THE THIRD WAY is based on justice, not charity. The powers-that-be have shown no willingness to reorganize and develop Haiti’s economy equitably, to provide universal education or to make decent housing available to the people. The majority of Haitians have always been ready to do what is necessary for their well-being. They do not need charity, hand-outs, but the proverbial hand-up. The THIRD WAY is what Haitians need, the cooperative socio-economic organization that has proven to be the most effective manner of creating and sharing wealth. Check out the international scene at International Cooperative Alliance

AHCHR is a growing coalition of cooperatives for human rights in Haiti. Here are the basic rights we’re promoting: 1) land jointly owned; 2) single family owned and green housing where orphans are welcome; 3) food self-reliance; 4) education for all children; 5) financial support for business development. Everyone talks about “sustainable”. We are promoting more than just isolated cooperatives. We want an “integrated”, coalition model that can achieve the reality. Two crucial tools to sustainability are 1) a banking “macro-credit” system; and 2) land ownership. When loans like $40,000 for a jatropha oil pressing machine have to be obtained from regular banks, the business venture becomes unviable. When land can be grabbed from small farmers, there is no sustainability.

THE NETWORKED, INTEGRATED COOPERATIVE MODEL

We are working to achieve sustainability by supporting the CHRH coalition. I’ve been looking around a lot lately. You can’t be but impressed by the scores of programs especially those that are seeking to strengthen the socioeconomic structures based in agriculture. But I don’t see central to their plans the provision of family-centered housing that will take care of children who have no family. We want to eliminate orphanages and “restaveks” (child servants/slaves). Too many programs leave it to good will, maybe even chance, or just to informal business coops. And then where is the plan for universal education? Instead of orphanages and “scholarships” for some poor children, shouldn’t families be part of a system that provides these basic rights? And without depending on charity?

AHCHR has schooling at the center, which is mandatory for all children paid for by the coop businesses. FOOD SELF-SUFFICIENCY requires a strong eco-friendly infrastructure, water purification, soil improvement, solar energy, machinery for joint crop management.

“MACRO” CREDIT: Is “Micro” Enough? –
Our AHCHR model has something that no one else seems to have have thought of, or has tried to develop, a “macro credit” program.

The “micro” credit movement has grown by leaps and bounds—with some problems like too high interest. But everyone I talk to says that for real development by impoverished populations there has to be a full financial services institution such as a chartered bank to service the cooperative market.

Banks do exist, of course, commercial banks. But many people, as you can imagine, have problems with banks–even if all banks had good reputations! A commercially chartered bank –for profit– controlled by local cooperatives is what is still needed today.  If the coop share holders are also the majority customers, they will see to it that their bank will invest its credit portfolio primarily in production via sound cooperative entities and will not get involved in either speculative transactions calling for abusive interest rates or practice any form of discrimination among its customers. Salary structures would be equitable and income will be used for the priority needs determined democratically. Also the minority non-coop customers would be protected from abuses because of the justice essence of cooperatives.

AHCHR, THE COST?

We need educational programs on the recognition of Human Rights examining all forms of bondage: from slavery to sweat shops and prostitution, Migration and Colonialism. Our AHCHR will provide a real context for what remedies for slavery look like. Haiti, the first and the only state created by local enslaved rebels and human rights activists, the 2nd republic of the Americas, a flag bearer for Cultural Diversity: Peul, Wolof, Congo, Spanish, French, British, German, etc…and Human Dignity since its foundation in1804.

If you are interested in working on AHCHR, write me immediately! president@hurah.org or give to our  AHCHR fund on line: DONATE, or send a check: Hurah, Tom Luce 1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, CA 94703 We are promising to do our part, volunteering publicity, research, 501(c)(3) status, Gentilhomme in Haiti.
Don’t forget:  AHCHR is not a dream but an already existing coalition of Haitian cooperatives that have been ready since the 1990’s, who own their land and are committed to all the values presented in our documents. That includes helping quake refugees resettle permanently in the country.

DONATE or send check to “Hurah”, Tom Luce 1515 Fairview St, Berkeley, Ca. 94703

Story Index


3. LABOR RIGHTS-AUMOHD

Our friends in AUMOHD continue to work for labor rights and strengthening
labor unions. Here is the photo of a demonstration held early in November promoting the program, ALST, Legal Assistance and Solidarity So People Can Work. AUMOHD has been funded by the Solidarity Center, an international project of AFL-CIO to be the Solidarity Center for Haiti. During the immediate quake period it was a beehive of meetings and distribution center for relief supplies for the greater PAP region and beyond. Now they continue to provide this ALST program that is free legal assistance for workers. This demonstration also was pushing for the reopening of the labor court, shuttered since the quake. Hurah was happy to sign an international petition for opening this court. (photos courtesy our own Human Right Defender, Gentilhomme)

Story Index


4. SCHOLARSHIPS:

Gentilhomme, our Human Rights
Defender (DONATE), has been working for over a month to assist the Grand Ravine Community Human Rights Council in identifying and funding 170 children for scholarships. St. Columba Parish in Oakland, Ca. is the sending group. If you wish to contribute to this program, send a check to Haiti Project, St. Columba Parish, 6401 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, Ca. 94608

Story Index
==========================================================
CLICK HERE TO DONATE ONLINE
:DONATE
Send Checks to Tom Luce,
1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703


Human Rights Accompaniment In Haiti-Hurah, Inc.

a 501(c)(3), non-profit

1515 Fairview St., Berkeley Ca. 94703 President, Tom Luce, president@hurah.org
Blog Site Hurah

To DONATE click here.Or mail a check to
Tom Luce, 1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

TO UNSUBSCRIBE: send an e-mail to president@hurah.org

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Posted by: piedrasyluz | October 3, 2010

SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: COOPS

HURAH SUPPORTERS NEWS BULLETIN
– 9.26.10

Dear Friend of Haiti,

On the road again! After looking at the need again, at my still relatively privileged status and after consulting with the Hurah board, I’ve decided to stay on the job a little longer. I’ll need everyone’s help, of course. Every little bit counts. There is a big program and a small one. I hope you will be moved to give again. Please read on!

GENTILHOMME: OUR HURAH “DEFENDER” of Human Rights:

HE WILL CONTINUE! PLEASE HELP WITH HIS BUDGET. DONATE
The trainee period is over. Wow 6 months have sped by! Gentilhomme has agreed to stay with us even though my request for donations these past 2 months has not resulted in sufficient funds for him. So I’m making another appeal. Just $3,160 for a whole year! Monthly $263. I figure by providing him with expenses for rent (his room is his office), internet, gasoline, phone, he can survive while also helping human rights go forward. This is the field he would like to stay in. He still works with AUMOHD as well. If we can raise this whole budget we could give him a stipend of $1.25 per hour for personal expenses. See our DONATE page for more explanations.

BIG DEAL: SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT! The big project we started and then had to drop after the earthquake is now back on. Not just the word, “sustainable“, not just an idea, but a plan with roots in the ground already. It’s the “coop” model guaranteeing education, food sufficiency and income from ecotourism. You will remember that we began working with a land coop, Galette Chambon, after the earthquake. This was the generous group that offered to take in several thousand earthquake refugees, not just temporarily, but as settlers in a green, sustainable land coop. Read about this below and get excited!

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM: Gentilhomme has helped St. Columba Parish in Oakland to work out a scholarship program for kids not able to afford to go to school. HOPE FOR HAITI: EDUCATION Over the years we have restricted ourselves to advocacy in legal/judicial reform. Education is a human right, of course, but we leave that to others. In this case Hurah is helping establish the scholarship program with our long time friends and human rights defenders community in Grand Ravine by providing liaison with St. Columba Parish.

THANKS! As always a big thank you to everyone who donates
and who supports us in any way!

ENJOY AND GET ENTHUSED!

Tom Luce

CLICK HERE TO DONATE
Online; Send Checks to Tom Luce, 1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

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================================================

Gentilhomme (GH) Jean-Gilles: THE HUMAN RIGHTS BEAT

note:
don’t forget we need money for Gentilhomme: DONATE

INDEX:

1. SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: COOPS, THE TOUR! Human Rights Through the Arts!

2.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR GRAND RAVINE
– find out how to help
 

Picture below: On Friday, Sept. 24th a local windstorm of an estimated
60mph ripped through Port-Au-Prince destroying several thousand tents, killing 5 people and destroying many trees. GH went out to survey the damage. Here is one sample of tree damage. The storm also knocked out electricity systems. GH’s solar panel was not destroyed but he had to bring it down off the roof to protect it and he has no electricity.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE ONLINE;

Send Checks to Tom Luce,

1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

====================================

1. SUSTAINABLE FUTURE:COOPS, THE
TOUR, HUMAN RIGHTS THROUGH THE ARTS!

by Tom Luce

HURAH
is again backing sustainable development in Haiti.
In January we called
it SIHRH–Sustainable Investment and Human Rights In Haiti–as
the earthquake complicated –beyond the imagination– the life of the poor in
Haiti.

SIHRH: The bold, essential program aimed at creating a
sustainable socioeconomic model for a new Haiti based on agricultural coops
with complete K-12 education, and eco tourism for income, is worth our efforts.

We have been asked to monitor the human rights values involved in the implementation
of the coop model, to provide a temporary account for donations until the cooperative
bank is opened in Haiti, and to assist in fund raising. In February I visited
the agricultural coop of peasant farmers in Galette Chambon, 40 miles east of
Port-Au-Prince on the border with the Dominican Republic. This group of people
was open to receiving quake refugees to settle on the coop and allowing them
to become owner-members and participate in their plans for sustainable agriculture
and an eco-tourism business. They enthusiastically offered to take in thousands
of quake refugees as part of our SIHRH plan to permanently organize Haitians
in food self-sufficiency, economic self-sufficiency (eco tourism) and assure
education for all children (ending the restavek system.).Our “Defender”,
Gentilhomme, will be studying the coop movement as it has developed in Haiti
and will be establishing contacts for Hurah with the coop leadership. Hurah
wants to support the best in human rights commitment at every level so that
democratic rule, equal access, inclusivity, worker rights etc. are will govern
the coops.

CREDIBLE CHAMPIONS

Randolph
Voyard, the architect of SIHRH and also Pres. of the American
Museum of Creole Cultures (AMCC)
has invited us to take up the
challenge again and work with AMCC to raise funds for the cooperative program
he has continued to promote since the earthquake. It was he along with dozens
of coops in the late 90’s who promoted cooperative farming and econtourism,
a way for landless, impoverished Haitians could claim ownership, provide for
food, and benefit from the tourism industry.

The same network of people is involved, the already established
coops in Haiti’s agricultural center. We will be consolidating connections with
the rest of existing coops–some 40+. They have been working at the coop plan
for decades with Randolph providing technical expertise for land management,
banking tools, and business development.. I am proud to join in this new push
for bringing their dreams to reality.

The AMCC is not yet established itself in Florida but because
of the earthquake and its commitment to equality it is foregoing its own development
in favor of Haiti. I believe that the management problems that caused us to
suspend our involvement in April have been surmounted. The conditions in Haiti
have not improved–only 15% of the promised international aid has arrived. The
government faces more destabilization with the upcoming contested elections.
Meantime there is the same old non-sustainable programming being pushed without
regard for the majority poor.

THE TOUR: THROUGH THE ARTS, HUMAN RIGHTS

A new fund raising program for our Haitian human rights programs,
THE TOUR
is being organized now by AMCC for 2011. This will be a combination of auctioning
donated works of the French master, Georges
Braque
, as well as artwork of African American artists who emigrated
to France because of discrimination in the Jim Crow era. The story of slavery
and the history of slavery up to the present, so amply included in the book
by Nell Irvin Painter, “Creating Black America: African American history
1619-present will be told in connection with this rich collection of art. It
is this history that the TOUR will feature, stimulating not just art appreciation
but the promotion of fundamental human rights, never to allow any more slavery
in our present time. Names like Archibald Motley, Palmer Hayden, Hale Woodruff
and many others of these expatriates provide rich experiences of life affected
by racism.

SLAVE TRADE:LA FRATERNITÉ

THE
TOUR
will also include educational activities organized by a unique
group from France–Le Bateau Pédagogique (Teaching Boat)–building a
replica of the slave ship, L’Aurore, that will connect historical slavery and
modern day slavery with challenge to remedy this blight on humanity. Le
Bateau Pédagogique
is a project out of Nantes, France (largest
slave trading port in Europe).L’Aurore was a major (500-600 slaves each shipment)
transport vessel in the The
Triangular Trade
(Africa, Europe-France, the Americas 17-19 centuries)
of slaves. La Fraternité is joining AMCC and Hurah in the TOUR to contribute
to the educational component.

THE TALENT SCHOOLS

Using the funds for the Haitian Coop movement will
be an example of how to remedy the effects of slavery, giving Haiti another
chance of being a model for equality and opportunity for all as it was in 1804
when it became the first freed slave republic. We are focusing on tuition free
education as the centerpiece of the coop model and are calling the education
piece, THE TALENT SCHOOLS. The plans encompass more than just a school building
but homes for the families, meals for the students prepared on site with up-to-date
kitchen equipment, food grown on site with green methodology, environmentally
sound sanitation means. Ten such schools are envisioned in all parts of Haiti’s
rural lands.Long term economic systems funded by eco-tourism will provide income
and employment for sustainable development.

For a copy of the complete “TOUR” plan, go to this link:
“TOUR”

====================================
2. Scholarships for Grand Ravine
Children by Gentilhomme

As mentioned last month Hurah’s Rep, GH, has been working with the Grand Ravine
Community Human Rights Council CHRC-GR on scholarships. Pres.Point-Du-Jour gathered
a group of 170 eligible children on 9.12.10 and GH took photos (see left). The
parish of St. Columba in Oakland, California has taken on the challenge of raising
funds for these children.

An average of $222 per year is what it costs, school fee and school
materials (uniform, shoes, books, pencils, etc). A first installment of several
thousand dollars will be made to help some start school on Oct..4, the delayed
opening due to the earthquake.

GH will see that each child will have a picture and a personal
statement for the scholarship donor.

If you would like to contribute, send a check to St. Columba
Parish, Haiti Committee, 6401 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, Ca. 94608
=========================================================

CLICK HERE TO DONATE
Online; Send Checks to Tom Luce,

1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

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=========================================================================

CLICK HERE TO DONATE
Online; Send Checks to Tom Luce,
1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

back to index

===============================================================

Human
Rights Accompaniment In Haiti-Hurah, Inc.

a 501(c)(3), non-profit

1515 Fairview St., Berkeley Ca. 94703 President, Tom Luce, president@hurah.org
Blog Site Hurah

To DONATE click here.Or
mail a check to Tom Luce,

1515 Fairview St. Berkeley, Ca. 94703

TO UNSUBSCRIBE: send an e-mail to president@hurah.org

back to index

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