On the first anniversary of the January 12th Haiti earthquake next Wednesday there will be a press conference called by the newly formed ad hoc committee named “The January 12th Haiti Committee.” The January 12th Haiti Committee wants to honor those who were lost without forgetting that U.S. policy has maintained Haiti as an impoverished neo-colony. A massive number of Haitians died in the earthquake and continue to die of preventable causes. This is a crime akin to genocide!

The two demands of our press conference are: 1) End U.S./U.N. Occupation NOW! 2) Release all emergency aid to Haitian popular organizations NOW!The press conference will be Wednesday, January 12th at 1pm at the Haitian Consulate, located at 271 Madison Avenue, between 39th street and 40th in Manhattan, near Grand Central Station.

On the same day, there will be a march in Times Square sponsored by a number of organizations that place no political demands on the US government and do not challenge the U.S./U.N. military occupation. Outrageously, they have invited NY Police Chief Ray Kelly, who has trained Haitian police in Haiti, and billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg to join in their march. The march will begin at 2pm and continue to the Haitian Council and end at the United Nations. We plan to march with our own signs if there are sufficient people to make an impact. More (See the march website http://www.housingworks.org/blogs/detail/jan.-12-haitian-groups-to-march-from-times-square-to-un-to-mark-earthq/)

So far, our press conference will have as speakers and/or endorsers (List in formation): Ray Laforest, International Support Haiti Network; Kim Ives, Haiti Liberte newspaper; Glenn Ford, Black Agenda Report; Ralph Poynter, Lynn Stewart Defense Committee; Nellie Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council; David Wilson, eyewitness to the earthquake and co-author of “The Politics of Immigration;” and Marty Goodman, Socialist Action and long time Haiti activist. If you would like to speak on behalf of a group please call 212-781-5157 or email tonyfoto1@hotmail.com.

Save the date!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Who: The January 12th Haiti Committee
What: Press Conference
Where: The Haitian Consulate, 271 Madison Ave. at 40th Street, NYC
When: January 12th at 1:00PM
Contact: 646.334.2613, 646.898.7328, tonyfoto1@hotmail.com

The January 12th Haiti Committee, a coalition of progressive Haitian organizations and their supporters, will be holding a press conference at the Haitian Consulate on the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake. We make the following demands:

1. Occupation Troops Out of Haiti NOW!!!
2. Release ALL Emergency Aid to Haitian Popular Organizations NOW!!

The military troops occupying Haiti, under the banner of the United Nations (MINUSTAH), have shown themselves to be anything but non-partisan peacekeepers. At the tune of $612 million last year, occupation forces have repeatedly murdered unarmed civilians assembled to demonstrate their displeasure with the status quo, and even at the funeral of a popular priest. It has become clear that they are there at the behest of foreign powers and their domestic cronies

At the six-month anniversary, The Disaster Accountability Project released a report detailing a "shocking lack of transparency" in Haiti relief operations. According to its director, “donors have been duped. They generously donated in response to urgent appeals to save lives and help the people of Haiti after the devastating earthquake. Now, after billions in cash was raised, earthquake survivors are dying of cholera because conditions are so poor and the donated money is sitting in the bank. This is not what donors had in mind…”

We have reached the one-year mark and the situation for Haitians has grown much worse. 1.3 million people are still living under sticks and scraps of plastic, with inadequate water, sanitation, healthcare or food. The international Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which should have made basic sanitation and water infrastructure a priority, have failed miserably. With a few notable exceptions like Doctors Without Borders and Partners in Health, many of these NGOs are self-serving, and have refused to work with Haitian popular organizations on the ground. The Cuban medical team has also made a significant and exemplary contribution.

Jan. 12th Committee member Ray Laforest commented, “International solidarity and assistance is needed and appreciated, and the popular sector should be at the forefront of decision making in building a new Haiti that represents the interests of the majority.”