Muslim Community Lobby Ireland is an independent organization established 1st May 2007. Its motto is TO USE THE VOTE RIGHTLY AND TO RAISE THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY AWARNESS WITH THEIR RIGHTS AND TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE AND UNDERSTANDING OF OTHER EXISTING GROUPS. لترشيد استعمال الصوت الانتخابي ولتوعية وتعريف المسلمين بحقوقهم في ايرلندا وان يعيشوا بتفهم للواقع وللجماعات الاخرى الموجودة على الساحة
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Friday 29th Demo At British Embassy as Blair Gives Evidence On Iraq
Haitian tragedy compounded by long, ugly history of exploitation
Haiti’s never-ending tragedy has American roots
Donating to the Irish Anti-War Movement
1. Friday 29th Demo At British Embassy as Blair Gives Evidence On Iraq
The Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM) will hold a demonstration this Friday January 29th at 5pm outside the British Embassy in Ballsbridge, Dublin. The protest has been organised to coincide with the appearance of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair before the Chilcott inquiry, where he will answer questions about his role in launching the war on Iraq in 2003.
The protest will coincide with a series of protests taking place in Britain at the Chilcott inquiry and on the previous day (Thursday 28th) at the international conference on Afghanistan, hosted by current British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
The IAWM, like its British counter-part, the Stop the War Coalition, believe any serious inquiry into Mr Blair's role in the Iraq war could only conclude that he told multiple and deliberate lies to justify an aggressive and illegal war.
Similarly, the British and Irish anti-war movements believe that the international conference on Afghanistan being hosted by Gordon Brown, the day before Mr Blair's appearance at the inquiry, is a cynical attempt to re-brand the hugely unpopular war in Afghanistan as the "good war," when it is one equally as immoral as that fought in Iraq.
2. Holocaust Survivor Hajo Meyer Speaks Out on Gazza
The Misuse of the Holocaust for Political Purposes: Auschwitz survivor Hajo Meyer speaks out - Also, Dr. Haidar Eid on the Siege of Gaza
Sat 30th January 6.00pm, Central Hotel, South Great George’s Street, Dublin.
On Saturday 30th January 2009, holocaust survivor, author and activist Hajo Meyer will speak in the Central Hotel at 6.00pm about Zionism's misuse of the Holocaust for its own political purposes. Dr Meyer, an outspoken critic of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, will also be arguing that a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel is both necessary and justified. Another member of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network will also speak.
Dr. Haider Eid (PACBI and lecturer in the Islamic Univeristy in Gaza) will also speak via video about the ongoing siege of Gaza.
More details: http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/ipsc/displayEvent.php?eventID=7...
3. Haitian tragedy compounded by long, ugly history of exploitation
Peter Hallward is professor of modern European philosophy at Middlesex University in England and author o f Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment
Irish Times - Fri, Jan 15, 2010
OPINION: The international community is as much to blame for the misery as the act of nature that caused the earthquake
ANY LARGE city in the world would have suffered extensive damage from an earthquake on the scale of the one that ravaged Haiti’s capital city on Tuesday afternoon, but it’s no accident that so much of Port-au-Prince now looks like a war zone. Much of the devastation wreaked by this latest and most calamitous disaster to befall Haiti is best understood as another thoroughly man-made outcome of a long and ugly historical sequence.
The country has faced more than its fair share of catastrophes. Hundreds died in Port-au-Prince in an earthquake in June 1770, and the huge earthquake of May 7th, 1842, may have killed 10,000 in the northern city of Cap Haitien alone. Hurricanes batter the island on a regular basis, most recently in 2004 and 2008; the storms of September 2008 killed more than a thousand people and destroyed thousands of homes.
The full scale of the destruction resulting from this latest earthquake may not become clear for several weeks. Even minimal repairs will take years to complete, and the long-term impact is incalculable. What is already all too clear, however, is the fact that this impact will be the result of an even longer-term history of deliberate impoverishment and disempowerment.
Haiti is routinely described as the “poorest country in the western hemisphere”. This poverty is the direct legacy of perhaps the most brutal system of colonial exploitation in history, compounded by decades of systematic postcolonial oppression. The noble “international community” which is currently scrambling to send its “humanitarian aid” to Haiti is largely responsible for the extent of the suffering it now aims to reduce.
Ever since the US invaded and occupied the country in 1915, every serious political attempt to allow Haiti’s people to move (in former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s phrase) “from absolute misery to a dignified poverty” has been violently and deliberately blocked by the US government and some of its allies.
Aristide’s own government (elected by some 75 per cent of the electorate) was the latest victim of such interference, when it was overthrown by an internationally sponsored coup in 2004 that killed several thousand people and left much of the population smouldering with resentment. The UN has subsequently maintained a large and enormously expensive stabilisation and pacification force in the country.
Haiti is now a country where, according to the best available study, about 75 per cent of the population “lives on less than $2 per day, and 56 per cent – four and a half million people – live on less than $1 per day”.
Decades of neoliberal “adjustment” and neo-imperial intervention have robbed its government of any significant capacity to invest in its people or to regulate its economy. Punitive international trade and financial arrangements ensure that such destitution and impotence will remain a structural fact of Haitian life for the foreseeable future. It is this poverty and powerlessness that account for the full scale of the horror in Port-au-Prince today.
Since the late 1970s, relentless neoliberal assault on Haiti’s agrarian economy has forced tens of thousands of small farmers into overcrowded urban slums.
Although there are no reliable statistics, hundreds of thousands of Port-au-Prince residents now live in desperately substandard informal housing, often perched precariously on the side of deforested ravines. The selection of the people living in such places is itself no more “natural” or accidental than the extent of the injuries they have suffered.
As Brian Concannon, the director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, points out: “Those people got there because they or their parents were intentionally pushed out of the countryside by aid and trade policies specifically designed to create a large captive and therefore exploitable labour force in the cities; by definition they are people who would not be able to afford to build earthquake-resistant houses.”
If we are serious about helping, we need to stop trying to control Haiti’s government, to pacify its citizens, and to exploit its economy. And then we need to start paying for at least some of the damage we’ve already done. – (Guardian service)
© 2010 The Irish Times
4. Haiti’s never-ending tragedy has American roots
Haiti’s never-ending tragedy has American roots Sunday, January 17, 2010 By Vincent Browne
Late last week, the White House website carried details of a 30-minute phone conversation last Friday morning between President Barack Obama and René Préval, the president of Haiti.
It reported: ‘‘President Obama said that the world had been devastated by the loss and suffering in Haiti, and pledged the full support of the American people for the government and people of Haiti as it relates to both the immediate recovery effort and the long-term rebuilding effort.
‘‘President Préval said that he has been touched by the friendship of the American people, and expressed his condolences for the loss of American citizens in Haiti.”
The report continued: ‘‘President Préval closed by passing a message to the American people - ‘From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the Haitian people, thank you, thank you, thank you’.”
It would be churlish to criticise the president of a country devastated by tragedy, when he was pleading with the world for support at a time of such crisis for his people. But he could have been forgiven for being less wholehearted, for the story of Haiti is maybe the most vivid representation of imperialist murderous oppression in world history. That oppression added hugely to the tragedy that the earthquake brought last Tuesday to the people of Haiti.
Right from the beginning of the reports on the earthquake last Tuesday night, Haiti was repeatedly referred to as the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Rarely was it explained why this was so.
The island on which Haiti and the Dominican Republic are situated was inhabited thousands of years ago by the Taino people, a branch of the Arawak, who populated the Caribbean and the eastern coast of South America down to Brazil. These were the people encountered by Christopher Columbus in 1492. He called the island Hispaniola.
The native population was quickly decimated and eventually extinguished when the civilising Europeans ‘‘discovered’’ it.
The Spaniards began importing African slaves into Hispaniola in the early 16th century.
In 1697, the Treaty of Ryswick divided the island between the Spanish and the French, with France receiving the western third, Haiti. It became the richest French colony in the New World, earning for its colonisers huge profits from sugar and coffee and the labour of the African slaves.
The French enacted the Code Noir, which sanctioned the most brutal treatment of slaves .A memoir from the time described how slaves were hung up with heads downward, drowned in sacks, crucified on planks, buried alive, thrown into boiling cauldrons, or consigned to man-eating dogs.
The French Revolution in 1789 prompted a revolution by the slaves in Haiti, and the French National Assembly abolished slavery. Following an unsuccessful intervention by Napoleon in the early 19th century, Haiti won independence and proclaimed itself a republic on January 1,1804.
In 1825,Charles X of France attempted to reconquer Haiti.
The then president, Jean-Pierre Boyer, agreed to pay the equivalent of €20 billion in today’s money as compensation for the profits lost by the French colonists by the abolition of slavery. Not surprisingly, many Haitians still demand that France repay this ransom.
A succession of coups followed into the 19th century. In 1888,US Marines supported a revolt against the government. The Germans did the same in 1892 and, in 1915, the US invaded and occupied the island until 1934.
The instigation for this occupation arose from a consortium of American investors, assembled by the National City Bank of New York, taking control of Banque Nationale d’Haiti, the country’s only commercial bank.
It and other US banks which had lent money to the Haitian government urged the then US president, Woodrow Wilson, to invade Haiti and take control.
A new constitution was imposed and approved in a plebiscite in which only 5 per cent of the people of Haiti voted.
Forced labour was imposed.
The Haitian economy was opened to American imports.
The law forbidding foreigners from taking control of Haitian companies was repealed. Another regime of gross human rights abuses followed. Franklin Roosevelt ended the occupation in 1934, but the US retained control of Haiti’s external finances until 1947.
A decade later, the Americans engineered the imposition of the Duvalier tyranny on Haiti, as a bulwark against the spread of communism from Cuba. This family dictatorship lasted until 1986.
In December 1990, JeanBertrand Aristide was elected president with 67 per cent of the vote. The Americans covertly supported a coup against him in 1991. In 1994,US President Bill Clinton engineered the return of Aristide on terms that forced him to adopt the neoliberal programme promulgated by the candidate he defeated in 1990, and which the country had rejected.
Aristide was disbarred from standing in the presidential election in 1996, but he won the presidency back in 2000. In 2004, the Americans again engineered his removal, this time arranging for him to be kidnapped and deported to the Central African Republic.
Meanwhile, Haiti was ravaged by corruption and the imposition of economic policies that drove people out of agriculture into the slums of cities where they died in their tens of thousands last Monday, unprotected by the ramshackle hovels in which they were forced to live.
Tens of thousands have gone illegally to the US over the past few decades, to escape the misery of Haitian life. Most formed families and had children; then, in 2008, a move was made to deport some 20,000 of them. The Bush administration deferred deportations following the hurricanes in Haiti that year but, almost as soon Barack Obama came to office a year ago, the deportations were ordered to commence.
The pity of this latest tragedy is that the president of Haiti says thank you, thank you, thank you, to America for all it has done.
5. Donating to the Irish Anti-War Movement
To set-up a standing order with the Irish-Anti War Movement please go to the following link http://www.irishantiwar.org/files/standing-order-form.doc fill in the form and post to the Irish Anti-War Movement P.O. Box 9260 Dublin 1.
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