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U.S. & Haiti
T hose who have any concern for Haiti will naturally want to understand how its most recent tragedy has been unfolding. For those who have had the privilege of any contact with the people of this tortured land, it is not just natural, but inescapable. Nevertheless, we make a serious error if we focus too narrowly on the events of the recent past or even on Haiti alone. The crucial issue for us is what we should be doing about what has taken place. That would be true even if our options and our responsibility were limited; far more so when they are immense and decisive, as in the case of Haiti. And even more so because the course of the terrible story was predictable years ago—if we failed to act to prevent it—and fail we did. The lessons are clear, and so important that they would be the topic of daily front-page articles in a free press.
Reviewing what was taking place in Haiti shortly after Clinton “restored democracy” in 1994, I was compelled to conclude, unhappily, in Z Magazine, that “It would not be very surprising, then, if the Haitian operations become another catastrophe,” and if so, “It is not a difficult chore to trot out the familiar phrases that will explain the failure of our mission of benevolence in this failed society.” The reasons were evident to anyone who chose to look. The familiar phrases again resound, sadly and predictably.
There is much solemn discussion today explaining, correctly, that democracy means more than flipping a lever every few years. Functioning democracy has preconditions. One is that the population should have some way to learn what is happening in the world. The real world, not the self-serving portrait offered by the “establishment press,” which is disfigured by its “subservience to state power” and “the usual hostility to popular movements”—the accurate words of Paul Farmer, whose work on Haiti is, in its own way, perhaps even as remarkable as what he has accomplished within the country. Farmer was writing in 1993, reviewing mainstream commentary and reporting on Haiti, a disgraceful record that goes back to the days of Wilson’s vicious and destructive invasion in 1915 and on to the present. The facts are extensively documented, appalling, and shameful. They are deemed irrelevant for the usual reasons: they do not conform to the required self- image, and so are efficiently dispatched deep into the memory hole, though they can be unearthed by those who have some interest in the real world.
They will rarely be found, however, in the “establishment press.” Keeping to the more liberal and knowledgeable end of the spectrum, the standard version is that in “failed states” like Haiti and Iraq the U.S. must become engaged in benevolent “nation-building” to “enhance democracy,” a “noble goal,” but one that may be beyond our means because of the inadequacies of the objects of our solicitude. In Haiti, despite Washington’s dedicated efforts from Wilson to FDR while the country was under Marine occupation, “the new dawn of Haitian democracy never came.” “Not all America’s good wishes, nor all its Marines, can achieve [democracy today] until the Haitians do it themselves” (H.D.S. Greenway, Boston Globe ). As New York Times correspondent R.W. Apple recounted two centuries of history in 1994, reflecting on the prospects for Clinton’s endeavor to “restore democracy” then underway, “Like the French in the 19th century, like the Marines who occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934, the American forces who are trying to impose a new order will confront a complex and violent society with no history of democracy.”
Apple does appear to go a bit beyond the norm in his reference to Napoleon’s savage assault on Haiti, leaving it in ruins, in order to prevent the crime of liberation in the world’s richest colony, the source of much of France’s wealth. But perhaps that undertaking too satisfies the fundamental criterion of benevolence: it was supported by the United States, which was naturally outraged and frightened by “the first nation in the world to argue the case of universal freedom for all humankind, revealing the limited definition of freedom adopted by the French and American revolutions.” So Haitian historian Patrick Bellegarde-Smith writes, accurately describing the terror in the slave state next door, which was not relieved even when Haiti’s successful liberation struggle, at enormous cost, opened the way to the expansion to the West by compelling Napoleon to accept the Louisiana Purchase. The U.S. continued to do what it could to strangle Haiti, even supporting France’s insistence that Haiti pay a huge indemnity for the crime of liberating itself, a burden it has never escaped —and France, of course, dismissed with elegant disdain Haiti’s request, recently under Aristide, that it at least repay the indemnity, forget- ting the responsibilities that a civilized society would accept.
The basic contours of what led to the current tragedy are pretty clear. Just beginning with the 1990 election of Aristide (far too narrow a time frame), Washington was appalled by the election of a populist candidate with a grass-roots constituency just as it had been appalled by the prospect of the hemisphere’s first free country on its doorstep two centuries earlier. Washington’s traditional allies in Haiti naturally agreed. “The fear of democracy exists, by definitional necessity, in elite groups who monopolize economic and political power,” Belle- garde-Smith observes in his perceptive history of Haiti; whether in Haiti or the U.S. or anywhere else.
The threat of democracy in Haiti in 1991 was even more ominous because of the favorable reaction of the international financial institutions (World Bank, IADB) to Aristide’s programs, which awakened traditional concerns over the “virus” effect of successful independent development. These are familiar themes in international affairs: U.S. independence aroused similar concerns among European leaders. The dangers are commonly perceived to be particularly grave in a country like Haiti, which had been ravaged by France and then reduced to utter misery by a century of U.S. intervention. If even people in such dire circumstances can take their fate into their own hands, who knows what might happen elsewhere as the “contagion spreads.”
The Bush I administration reacted to the disaster of democracy by shifting aid from the democratically elected government to what are called “democratic forces”: the wealthy elites and the business sectors, who, along with the murderers and torturers of the military and paramilitaries, had been lauded by the current incumbents in Washington, in their Reaganite phase, for their progress in “democratic development,” justifying lavish new aid. The praise came in response to ratification by the Haitian parliament of a law granting Washington’s client killer and torturer Baby Doc Duvalier the authority to suspend the rights of any political party without reasons. The law passed by a majority of 99.98 percent. It therefore marked a positive step towards democracy as compared with the 99 percent approval of a 1918 law granting U.S. corporations the right to turn the country into a U.S. plantation, passed by 5 percent of the population after the Haitian Parliament was disbanded at gunpoint by Wilson’s Marines when it refused to accept this “progressive measure,” essential for “economic development.” Their reaction to Baby Doc’s encouraging progress towards democracy was characteristic—worldwide—on the part of the visionaries who are now entrancing educated opinion with their dedication to bringing democracy to a suffering world—although, to be sure, their actual exploits are being tastefully rewritten to satisfy current needs.
Refugees fleeing to the U.S. from the terror of the U.S.-backed dictatorships were forcefully returned, in gross violation of international humanitarian law. The policy was reversed when a democratically elected government took office. Though the flow of refugees reduced to a trickle, they were mostly granted political asylum. Policy returned to normal when a military junta overthrew the Aristide government after seven months and state terrorist atrocities rose to new heights. The perpetrators were the army—the inheritors of the National Guard left by Wilson’s invaders to control the population—and its paramilitary forces. The most important of these, FRAPH, was founded by CIA asset Emmanuel Constant, who now lives happily in Queens, Clinton and Bush II having dismissed extradition requests—because he would reveal U.S. ties to the murderous junta, it is widely assumed. Constant’s contributions to state terror were, after all, meager; merely prime responsibility for the murder of 4,000 to 5,000 poor blacks.
Recall the core element of the Bush doctrine, which has “already become a de facto rule of international relations,” Harvard’s Graham Allison writes in Foreign Affairs : “those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves,” in the President’s words, and must be treated accordingly, by large-scale bombing and invasion.
When Aristide was overthrown by the 1991 military coup, the Organization of American States (OAS) declared an embargo. Bush I announced that the U.S. would violate it by exempting U.S. firms. He was thus “fine tuning” the embargo for the benefit of the suffering population, the New York Times reported. Clinton authorized even more extreme violations of the embargo: U.S. trade with the junta and its wealthy supporters sharply increased. The crucial element of the embargo was, of course, oil. While the CIA solemnly testified to Congress that the junta “probably will be out of fuel and power very shortly” and “Our intelligence efforts are focused on detecting attempts to circumvent the embargo and monitoring its impact,” Clinton secretly authorized the Texaco Oil Company to ship oil to the junta illegally, in violation of presidential directives. This remarkable revelation was the lead story on the AP wires the day before Clinton sent the Marines to “restore democracy,” impossible to miss—I happened to be monitoring AP wires that day and saw it repeated prominently over and over—and obviously of enormous significance for anyone who wanted to understand what was happening. It was suppressed with truly impressive discipline, though reported in industry journals along with scant mention buried in the business press.
Also efficiently suppressed were the crucial conditions that Clinton imposed for Aristide’s return: that he adopt the program of the defeated U.S. candidate in the 1990 elections, a former World Bank official who had received 14 percent of the vote. We call this “restoring democracy,” a prime illustration of how U.S. foreign policy has entered a “noble phase” with a “saintly glow,” the national press explained. The harsh neoliberal program that Aristide was compelled to adopt was virtually guaranteed to demolish the remaining shreds of economic sovereignty, extending Wilson’s progressive legislation and similar U.S.-imposed measures since.
As democracy was thereby restored, the World Bank announced, “The renovated state must focus on an economic strategy centered on the energy and initiative of Civil Society, especially the private sector, both national and foreign.” That has the merit of honesty: Haitian Civil Society includes the tiny rich elite and U.S. corporations, but not the vast majority of the population, the peasants and slum- dwellers who had committed the grave sin of organizing to elect their own president. World Bank officers explained that the neoliberal program would benefit the “more open, enlightened, business class” and foreign investors, but assured us that the program “is not going to hurt the poor to the extent it has in other countries” subjected to structural adjustment, because the Haitian poor already lacked minimal protection from proper economic policy, such as subsidies for basic goods. Aristide’s minister in charge of rural development and agrarian reform was not notified of the plans to be imposed on this largely peasant society, to be returned by “America’s good wishes” to the track from which it veered briefly after the regrettable democratic election in 1990.
Matters then proceeded in their predictable course. A 1995 USAID report explained that the “export-driven trade and investment policy” that Washington imposed will “relentlessly squeeze the domestic rice farmer,” who will be forced to turn to agroexport, with incidental benefits to U.S. agribusiness and investors. Despite their extreme poverty, Haitian rice farmers are quite efficient, but cannot possibly compete with U.S. agribusiness, even if it did not receive 40 percent of its profits from government subsidies, sharply increased under the Reaganites who are again in power, still producing enlightened rhetoric about the miracles of the market. We now read that Haiti cannot feed itself, another sign of a “failed state.”
A few small industries were still able to function, for example, making chicken parts. But U.S. conglomerates have a large surplus of dark meat, and therefore demanded the right to dump their excess products in Haiti. They tried to do the same in Canada and Mexico too, but there illegal dumping could be barred. Not in Haiti, compelled to submit to efficient market principles by the U.S. government and the corporations it serves.
One might note that the Pentagon’s proconsul in Iraq, Paul Bremer, ordered a very similar program to be instituted there, with the same beneficiaries in mind. That’s also called “enhancing democracy.” In fact, the record, highly revealing and important, goes back to the 18th century. Similar programs had a large role in creating today’s third world. Meanwhile the powerful ignored the rules, except when they could benefit from them, and were able to become rich developed societies; dramatically the U.S., which led the way in modern protectionism and, particularly since World War II, has relied crucially on the dynamic state sector for innovation and development, socializing risk and cost.
The punishment of Haiti became much more severe under Bush II—there are differences within the narrow spectrum of cruelty and greed. Aid was cut and international institutions were pressured to do likewise, under pretexts too outlandish to merit discussion. They are extensively reviewed in Paul Farmer’s The Uses of Haiti , and in some current press commentary, notably by Jeffrey Sachs ( Financial Times ) and Tracy Kidder ( New York Times ).
Putting details aside, what has happened since is eerily similar to the overthrow of Haiti’s first democratic government in 1991. The Aristide government, once again, was undermined by U.S. planners, who understood, under Clinton, that the threat of democracy can be overcome if economic sovereignty is eliminated and presumably also understood that economic development will also be a faint hope under such conditions, one of the best- confirmed lessons of economic history. Bush II planners are even more dedicated to undermining democracy and independence and despised Aristide and the popular organizations that swept him to power with perhaps even more passion than their predecessors. The forces that reconquered the country are mostly inheritors of the U.S.-installed army and paramilitary terrorists.
Those who are intent on diverting attention from the U.S. role will object that the situation is more complex—as is always true—and that Aristide too was guilty of many crimes. Correct, but if he had been a saint the situation would hardly have developed very differently, as was evident in 1994, when the only real hope was that a democratic revolution in the U.S. would make it possible to shift policy in a more civilized direction.
What is happening now is awful, maybe beyond repair, and there is plenty of short-term responsibility on all sides. But the right way for the U.S. and France to proceed is very clear. They should begin with payment of enormous reparations to Haiti (France is perhaps even more hypocritical and disgraceful in this regard than the U.S.). That, however, requires construction of functioning democratic societies in which, at the very least, people have a prayer of knowing what’s going on. Commentary on Haiti, Iraq, and other “failed societies” is quite right in stressing the importance of overcoming the “democratic deficit” that substantially reduces the significance of elections. It does not, however, draw the obvious corollary: the lesson applies in spades to a country where “politics is the shadow cast on society by big business,” in the words of America’s leading social philosopher, John Dewey, describing his own country in days when the blight had spread nowhere near as far as it has today.
For those who are concerned with the substance of democracy and human rights, the basic tasks at home are also clear enough. They have been carried out before, with no slight success, and under incomparably harsher conditions elsewhere, including the slums and hills of Haiti. We do not have to submit, voluntarily, to living in a failed state suffering from an enormous democratic deficit.
Noam Chomsky is professor of ling- uistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of numerous books and articles.
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: email@example.com; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
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MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; email@example.com http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
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MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; email@example.com; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.