Disaster Capitalism in Haiti, New Orleans, Congo and Pakistan

haiti campsThe end of the first decade of the new millennium seems to have been marked by some of the worst natural disasters that has displaced and killed millions of people. Beginning with the earthquake in Gujarat, India in 2001; volcanic eruptions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2002; followed by earthquakes in China and Algeria in 2003; the Tsunami in 2004, the earthquake in Pakistan’s north west frontier province in 2005; Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans later that year; the Japanese earthquake in 2009, and Haiti and Chile in 2010. The disasters, which now mirror the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have generated a complicated and fractured terrain on which human rights and economic justice are seriously compromised.

Displaced people, scattered communities, devastated homes, and grieving families combine with acute health, resources, and food shortages. In the wake of such life disruptions, neo-liberal policies and conservative political formations take root, penetrating the political-economic cracks, and simultaneously the collective consciousness of a people.

This panel will give us an update on the current situation in Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s great lakes region, Pakistan and New Orleans. The panel will also look at the intersectionality of the psychological, socio-political and economic implications created by these natural disasters. What patterns and trends have been generated over the course of the decade?

What are the long-term psychological after-effects? Under these conditions, how are local leaders and groups organizing? In solidarity with the people, how do we consider, organize with, and fight for justice. What structures of accountability can we generate when economies of the wealthy few are tied to the devastation of the disenfranchised many?

Ezili Danto

Ezili Dantò

Human Rights lawyer Ezili Dantò is dedicated to correcting the media lies and colonial narratives about Haiti. A writer, performance poet and lawyer, Ezili Dantò is founder and president of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN). For updates, join the Ezili HLLN’s Listserve. Learn more at the website at:http://www.ezilidanto.com


  1. Richard Packard says

    I found the panel discussions facinating and a jolt of ‘reality’ badly needed by an American who has been “drugged” by the so-called American news media which is owned by many of these “globalist”. Each one of these panelist represent their “part of the globe” which is being manipulated by the United States and “other” developed countries around the world. Being a proud American who supports the principles outlined in the U.S.Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, I find it appauling that our government would participate in this type of behavior. The American people have to “wake up” to the autrocities that our government is perpetuating around the globe, we have to hold accountable those individuals who “suppose” to represent our country, government and way of life. Regardless of their position in our country they “must” be held accountable for the millions of people who are suffering as a result of greed, ambition and the want of power. 9/11 was a ‘wake up call’ to the American people, if we continue to ‘hide our heads in the sand’ than we can only expect the worse is yet to come. We have to be more engaged in the foreign policies that are being implemented by our government and have the same concern for ‘other’ people and their country as we do ours. “That which is done in darkness will be brought to the light” and eventually the consequences of our economic, military and political policies “will” revisit our shores!

  2. Adam Eran says

    Please ignore the previous comment. It is not only irrelevant, it trivializes this extraordinary panel that exposes real injustice, and the bitter fruit of U.S. imperialism. Sadly, this kind of misdirection is all too common.

  3. Ryder says

    I guess instead of holding *yet another* panel of comfortable wealthy Americans with their laptops and microphones and video equipment… we could actually allow nations hit hardest with malaria to use DDT to eradicate it… saving countless millions of lives from that painful disease… easily the worst on-going viral natural disaster in the history of mankind.

    Oh, that’s right, we’re too busy blaming anyone with a bank account for natural disasters and then there is the all consuming task of experiencing “solidarity” with people from wherever.

    Lawyers to the rescue!

    You know you are talking to a lawyer when they say “What structures of accountability can we generate when economies of the wealthy few are tied to the devastation of the disenfranchised many?”

    Lawyer speak for “Let’s get our hands on the fat cats wallets!”

    Just say it like it is.

    Want to make a difference? Try suing the US Government for prohibiting the use of life saving DDT as a condition for our “aid” in Africa.

    Millions of lives could be saved… and horrific suffering, especially of children most susceptible to the disease.

    Oh, that’s right… there is a panel discussion to attend. Maybe next time.

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