VIDEOS: Haiti and Those Damn Seeds

Posted on June 13, 2010

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monsantocorn

Below are two videos which focus on Monsanto’s seed “gift” to Haiti.  The first video is from Al Jazeera with interviews of Haitian farmers.  The second video is by an independent journalist living and working in Haiti, Ansel Herz, who covered a recent demonstration by over 5,000 peasants, from the Mouveman Peyizan Papay (MPP), on their way to BURN Monsanto seeds.  Please see Ansel’s comments which follow the video. I encourage you to visit Ansel Herz’ site, Mediahacker, for more articles and videos from the ground in Haiti.

Background from Ansel Herz:

Video: Peasants March Against Monsanto Hybrid Seeds in Haiti 6Jun2010

The demonstration took place on Friday (struggled to find a decent Internet connection to get the video online until today). A friend of mine got sick and we had to leave Hinche (in Haiti’s Central Plateau) for Port-au-Prince just before they were to burn the seeds in symbolic protest.

Mark Hare, an agronomist from Ohio who’s worked with Mouveman Peyizan Papay for years, explained how Haitian farmers will be roped into a dependence on hybrid Monsanto seeds. Monsanto released an indignant statement responding to the protest the day it took place, insisting the donated seeds won’t hurt Haitian farmers in any way. Further reading here and here.

I didn’t get into it much in the video, but most of the marchers I spoke with also slammed Haitian President Rene Preval for “doing nothing” in response to the earthquake and accepting the seed donation. Wearing straw hats stamped with “Down with Preval” and “Down with Monsanto,” the peasants (young kids, old women, wiry farmers alike) marched from the MPP’s headquarters in Papay for nearly three hours past mango trees and fields to the larger town of Hinche. As they began rallying in the town’s public plaza, I had to go.

 

Posted in: Haiti, Imperialism, US, USAID