Solidarity With Puerto Rico and the Caribbean

The organizers of the March for Racial Justice extend our solidarity to the people of Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean islands, reeling from the devastating impact of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. These cataclysmic climate events should awaken all of us to the existential threat our present economic and political system poses to our ability to sustain our life on Earth.

Media attention on the devastation in the continental U.S. was extensive. As opponents of racism, white supremacy, and economic imperialism, we feel compelled to emphasize our solidarity with people of color in the Caribbean who are shouldering the impact of these climate change-induced disasters, coupled with decades and even centuries of economic and political subjugation at the hands of the U.S. or of European colonial powers.

As we stated in our update Helpful #HurricaneHarvey Resources, natural disasters have the harshest impact on women, communities of color, low income families and neighborhoods and are overlooked in recovery efforts. Racism and class inequality are the principal explanations for why some people make it through these disasters relatively unscathed, while others watch what little they have been able to acquire ripped to shreds overnight.

We feel a moral calling to do what we can to raise funds for relief, but we also need to speak truth to power.  Recently the U.S. Congress approved an unprecedented $700 billion dollar Pentagon budget -- a budget that is dispersed primarily to police regions of the globe where U.S. based multinationals engage in rampant profiteering.  

We want to encourage donations to grassroots recovery efforts, while also calling on Congress to abolish the debt burden of affected areas of the Caribbean and make a massive monetary investment in the long process of reconstruction.  We need massive investment in sustainable economic and social development, We need to end the toxic rule of neoliberal capitalist orthodoxy on the politics of the U.S. and the globe it claims to police.

Below are some resources we have found. This is a living list. Please email your vetted grassroots orgs to info@m4rj.com

HOW YOU CAN HELP PUERTO RICO:

Please advocate for:

  1. a moratorium or an amnesty on Puerto Rico's national debt,

  2. the repeal of the Jones Act, and

  3. the repeal of the PROMESA law and the Fiscal Control Board.

Now more than ever, we need the removal of these three colonial fetters. The island is completely destroyed. Only if we are free from these three yokes will we be able to begin reconstruction in a just manner.

RESOURCES:

Caribbean:

Florida

  • Hurricane Irma Community Recovery Fund: Rebuilding in areas impacted by Irma will be most challenging for historically marginalized communities. Currently, over 3 million Floridians live in poverty, and an estimated 850,000 undocumented immigrants across Florida may be fearful of accessing needed government resources due their immigration status.
  • Miami Foundation

Puerto Rico:

You can help by donating to charities in Puerto Rico that are leading the effort to mitigate the unfolding humanitarian crisis. Here are some proven organizations with direct access to the victims of these hurricanes. You can visit their online donations or send a check to the enclosed address.

Andrea Ciannavei