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Danny Glover backs Haiti UK fundraiser

RAISING AWARENESS: Danny Glover

HOLLYWOOD STAR Danny Glover is expected to come to London this week to support a fundraiser and conference aimed at helping Haiti.

The fundraiser and conference are being held at the Crossroads Women’s Centre in Kentish Town, north London, on April 28 and April 29. Organisers international network Global Women’s Strike confirmed the actor’s attendance, telling The Voice: “He’s going to be speaking at the fundraiser.”

Those attending are being asked to contribute £20 if they are earning the average or more in wages, and £5 if unemployed or earning a very low wage.

In January 2010, an earthquake devastated the French-speaking island. The first Caribbean country to overthrow white slave masters, in 1791, they were sanctioned by outraged colonial rulers, setting off a cycle that has led to centuries of severe conditions and socio-economic challenges, worsened by spates of conflict.

OUTBREAK

More than 200,000 people died in the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, which also injured 300,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless, said the Disasters Emergency Committee. In recent months Haitians have also been battling an outbreak of cholera, which has killed 7,000 people.

Some have alleged the outbreak was caused by UN troops. The United Nations has denied this.
The fundraiser runs from 7pm to 9pm on April 28.

The conference runs from 11am until 5pm on April 28 and 29.

‘The people of Haiti need and deserve every support,’ said Selma James, founder of Global Women’s Strike. She told The Voice via email: ‘Despite millions of dollars donated to NGOs [non-governmental organisations] by a generous and concerned public for victims of the earthquake, two years later hundreds of thousands of people are still homeless, without water or food security and without income.’


HELPING: Rea Dol

She said: ‘This fundraiser is an opportunity to highlight what the Haitian grassroots are accomplishing despite every obstacle, and to get help and support for their needs… All proceeds from this fundraiser will go to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund [HERF]. Every penny goes for grassroots self-help that usually starts with women: emergency housing, food and water, cholera, trauma and other treatments; free schools for children and adults; micro-credit projects.

‘HERF takes no administrative cut. All of their aid goes directly to Haitians helping Haitians, neighbours helping neighbours, activists sustaining communities.’

Glover, who is known for roles in films such as Lethal Weapon and currently stars in Sky TV series Touch, has been raising awareness of challenges facing Haiti.

The actor, who visited Haiti last year, said in a statement: ‘I’d read CLR James’s masterpiece The Black Jacobins in college, about a country and a revolution I had never heard about. I wanted to see who these people were. They did the unthinkable and undermined the whole premise of white supremacy by overthrowing slavery. And for that Haiti has continued to be dismissed and beaten. We have to find ways on every level to come to the aid of Haiti.’

GRASSROOTS

Both events are also attracting a host of grassroots campaigners from countries such as Haiti, Guyana, India, Ireland, Britain and the US who work to improve the lives of Haitians.

Among them is Haitian grassroots organiser Rea Dol, director of the Society of Providence United for the Economic Development of Pétion-Ville school in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Dol will speak about women’s struggle for survival and justice. Other topics to be discussed during the conference include a celebration of 40 years of the International Wages for Housework Campaign, founded by James, who will launch the publication of an anthology, called Sex, Race and Class – The Perspective of Winning; Selected Writings 1952-2011.

The conference will also explore the progress of the Global Women’s Strike’s ongoing campaign called Invest in Caring, Not Capitalism, and how divisions of sex, race, income, age, nationality and occupation can be overcome.

For more information or to attend, telephone 020 7482 2496 or email gws@globalwomenstrike.net.

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