On the Fourth Anniversary of the Haitian Earthquake my Family Survived: end the U.N. occupation, end U.S. exploitation, and end corporate education reform on Haiti!

Four years ago today, my wife, my one-year-old son and I survived the earthquake in Haiti.

Here Jesse (left) is shown bandaging a badly injured Haitian women hours after the earthquake struck on January 12th, 2010.

Here Jesse (left) is shown bandaging a badly injured Haitian women hours after the earthquake struck on January 12th, 2010.

While we were lucky—the lobby of the hotel collapsed but not our room—many thousands of Haitians perished from the natural disaster, which was compounded by the U.S. and U.N.’s neglectful and exploitative response to the quake. On this fourth anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, I am thankful to be alive, thankful to have a wonderful family, and thankful for the never-ending resistance of the Haitian people.   In the aftermath of the earthquake we did everything we could to help in the medical care and relief effort, while the U.S. and U.N. acted as if Haiti was a war zone and the people needed to be contained and controlled.

Haitian’s will only begin to achieve justice when the U.N. apologizes for infecting the Haitian water supply with cholera, pays reparations and funds Haiti to build a clean water system, and ends its occupation of the world’s first Black republic.   Moreover, justice for Haiti will only begin to be achieved when U.S. sweatshops are driven from the island and Haiti’s wealth is used to meet the needs of Haitians, rather than enrich corporations.

One of the things that causes me the most distress about the United State’s response to the earthquake in Haiti is its plan for corporate school reform in Haiti.  I wrote this article explaining how the U.S. is attempting to export corporate education reform, modeled on its shock doctrine response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/3414:shockdoctrine-schooling-in-haiti-neoliberalism-off-the-richter-scale

Long live the resistance of the Haitian people! Our struggle for the schools–and society–we deserve is truly global!

18 responses

  1. Dear Jesse,

    Thanks so much for the shout-out here!!!

    I’d suggest two tweaks to you post: “by not,” should, I think, be “but not” in the first paragraph and “justice when the U.N. apologizes from” should be “justice when the U.N. apologizes for” in the third paragraph????

    Warmest wishes,


  2. Jesse,
    I have this anniversary forever marked in my calendar. Terrible for Haiti, terrible for our family. I noticed not one word in the NY Times about the anniversary, nor, of course, in the Seattle Times.
    Mom (Amy Hagopian)

  3. It is embarrassing and horrible enough that we are victimizing our own children with the shock doctrine. It is shameful and cruel to do this to Haitians. This has to be stopped.

  4. Valerie Trueblood | Reply

    Thank you Jesse. In my computer Bookmarks I have a picture of Sarah from that scary time, that we found online while you were in the midst of all that. One of the Ivanoh Demers photos.

    Your truthout article is superb. Love, V.

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