Hurricane Matthew made landfall on the island of Haiti on October 4th, 2016 as a Category 5 hurricane packing 160 mph winds that killed hundreds of people and caused significant damage. In the occurring aftermath of this and other disasters, the international community reaches out with charitable aid.
While immediate relief provides quick support, we feel there are limitations to this type of aid. For example, the bulk of this aid comes from NGOs that exploit countries ravaged by natural disasters as well as the forces of imperialism. They do this by fostering dependency instead of self-determination and represent the interests of the dominant classes, the State, and imperialism with the facade of being financial missionaries through the “first world”. In turn, after the the world’s attention moves onto new concerns the underlying conditions and structural oppression remain and are often further reinforced.
We should instead look to provide meaningful aid for victims of natural or human-made disasters by supporting the on the ground work of popular movements and self-sufficient organizations. One autonomous movement that is committed to building a new Haiti is Batay Ouvriye which is an independent workers organization organizing in the free trade zone and among textile and other workers and fights for the economic, political and democratic rights of the Haitian people.
Supporting organizations like Batay Ouvriye helps to build solidarity instead of charity with workers and communities that share our vision of a world built from the bottom up.
If you are interested in supporting Batay Ouvriye through a donation, you can:
Send a wire transfer donation directly to Batay Ouvriye.
Account’s name: ENTESENDIKAL PREMYE ME BATAY OUVRIYE
Bank’s name: SOGEBANK S.A.
Route de Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti (509) 2815 5595
Swift Code for Sogebank: SOGHHTPP
Corresponding banks in the US:
BANK OF AMERICA/MERRILL LYNCH, New York, N.Y. USA
Swift Code: BOFAUS3NOrBank of New York Mellon, New York, USA
Swift Code: IRVTUS3N
Or you can mail checks to the following address:
35 NW 195 ST
Miami, FL 33169
* Please write your check out to Frantz Wainwright and note “Donation to BO.”
To lend support you can also follow The Rapid Response Network (RRN)
The Rapid Response Network offers prompt solidarity to the struggles of workers against exploitation and repression, and alerts groups and individuals of situations that could benefit from immediate attention. Be sure to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for updates on this and other solidarity campaigns.