HAITI ACTION ALERT: If a picture is worth a thousand words . . .

April 5, 2007

Updated: 2008-02-20

(from the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti)

This week’s action: If a picture is worth a thousand words, videos (including films) are a treasure-trove. So this week we are featuring video resources for Haiti advocacy that you can watch to inform yourself and show to your network. Videos are especially important to the Haiti solidarity movement because the large organizations we often target- especially the U.S. government and the United Nations- have sophisticated PR systems that effortlessly turn out thousands of words denying the reality that our Haitian collaborators keep describing to us. Videos can overcome the PR mismatch by bringing poor Haitians’ reality, and their words, directly to us.

These resources are available because of new tools like YouTube and Google Video. Like many tools, these ones need to be sharpened to work well. You can sharpen them by visiting the sites, viewing the films, rating them and adding comments. The internet works like a snowball: each visit, rating and comment raise the videos’ internet profiles, which in turn attracts more visitors, ratings and comments. A short investment of your time will help get the snowball rolling.

Videos are collected on the Haiti Justice Videos section of our website (if we are missing anything, let us know). But here’s a sample of the highlights:

Haiti: ‘We Must Kill the Bandits’: This full-length film just released from Kevin Pina explores the current foreign interventions in Haiti, through the historical context (the US Marine Occupation, 1915-1934), the coups of 1991 and 2004, the role of the UN Peacekeeping mission, MINUSTAH, in supporting the brutal Interim Government of Haiti (IGH) and the recent brutal MINUSTAH raids in Cite Soleil and other poor neighborhoods. It also highlights the Haitian people’s inspiring and persistent resistance to oppression. The film cannot be seen online, but this link tells how to get it.

Haiti: The Untold Story, Kevin Pina, 2006 (6:52), about MINUSTAH in Haiti.

Let Haiti Live, February 23, 2007 (6:00) a simple mini-documentary about the 2004 coup and U.S. involvement, and about a February 7, 2007 solidarity demonstration in California. A good example of the type of video that small groups can put together.

UN Raids Haitian Market, Isabel McDonald, March 6, 2007 (2:09) footage of UN troops shooting in Cite Soleil, makes you feel like you are there.

Haiti recibio con jubilo a Chavez Reed Lindsay, Telesur, March 13, 2007 (3:05). This one is for inspiration: Hugo Chavez cavorting with the crowds that jubilantly follow him in Port-au-Prince. I don’t speak Spanish, but still understood everything.

Haiti Today: Occupation and Resistance, September 9, 2006, St. Joseph the Worker Church, Berkeley, California, remarks by Dr. Paul Farmer , Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, Marilyn Langlois and Brian Concannon Jr. Film by Ivan Olsen.

For more information about the Half-Hour for Haiti Program, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, or human rights in Haiti, see http://www.haitijustice.org/. To receive Half-Hour for Haiti Action Alerts once per week, send an email to HalfHour4Haiti@ijdh.org.

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