October 19, 2009

Haitians present Jatropha petition

Of the many peasant protests world wide on World Food Day this caught my attention:

Peasant Groups Present Petition Against Jatropha to Haitian Parliament

www.Alterpresse.org, 16 October 2009

"A group of several peasant organizations presented a petition to the Haitian Parliament containing 31,198 signatures against the proposed development of plantations of the agro-fuel jatropha on the land of Haitian peasants, noted Alterpresse.org.

“This struggle which came about during the thirty-fifth anniversary in March 2008 of the Peasant Movement of Papaye is about raising awareness of the call to all of society to contribute to a mobilization against this project to exterminate the peasants,” stated Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the group “4 je kontre” (literally, the convergence of two pairs of eyes) several hours before the petition was submitted to the Haitian Parliament.

Several dozen peasants, representing the ten departments of the country, marched from the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Turgeau (Port-au-Prince) with slogans and demands. “The little earth that is the country Haiti, that our ancestors left to us, must produce native food to nourish the population; national food production – yes; production of agro-fuels, no; Down with the production of gas for the tanks of foreign cars; Down with all death projects against the peasants,” are among the demands of the peasants who have the support of the international peasant movement Via Campesina."

Read more of the translation from Konbit Pou Ayiti


Mr. H. said...

How nice, 1 billion starving people on the planet, they say that's one out of every six people, and someone wants to use, no take, more land from the poor to grow fuel. Food aid is supposed to be at its lowest in 20 years so let's grow some agro-fuel. The rich get richer and the poor starve.

anne said...

Hi Mike,

Ironic how many of the starving people are, or recently were, peasant farmers. A good example of how deeper reflection is needed on so called green solutions.

Mr. H. said...

"So called", is the the correct term for many of these solutions. Green can mean General Electric, a habitual polluter. Organic often means big, questionable agriculture. And helping the starving and down trodden often, not always, means "what do they have that we want".

It sometimes seems that all these supposedly good intentions are so easily caught up in the system that it can be quite confusing.

All of this, particularly the reports on the hungry have been weighing heavily on me of late. Especially while I wax on about all the food we grow on my blog. I just can't see any realistic solution to these problems as long as greed, power, and corruption continue to rule...as they always have.

I suppose that being aware and trying to do our best to help combat these offenses, even if it is minute, is something...

anne said...

Sometimes I wonder if "good intentions" are more about fashion or following along with the mandated media message of the day than a real belief in the possibility of constructive change. The latter really requires deep commitment, sacrifice, and focused intention (or faith). These miracles are many and small and we can't lose sight of them...I continue to believe it will be small communities of smart and devoted folks who will inevitably mobilize the change. Its why I love blogs. Its why I read about Haiti.