Thursday, August 22, 2019

Solidarity brigades arrive to collaborate in Puerto Rico’s recovery

By on January 25, 2018

SAN JUAN – Some 30 solidarity brigades, working on the Puerto Rico’s recovery in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, sent resources to Puerto Rico this week as part of the Our Power Puerto Rico campaign, affiliated with the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), to promote a “just” recovery of the island.

The organizations Boricuá, Uprose, Black Dirt Farm, Greenpeace, Leap and another 25 groups arrived this week to complete a second mission alongside three delegations comprising 45 people who will work on projects related to agroecology, labor and “energy sovereignty,” as explained by the executive director of the CJA, Ángela Adrar.

“The organizations that work in this campaign are convinced that supporting the giant effort made by grassroots organizations in Puerto Rico is the key to getting out of the crisis. The strategy must be tied to strong action that allows us to be more resilient in the face of the increasingly recurrent manifestations of climate change,” Adrar said.

A conglomerate of community-based organizations sent personnel to assist in the most affected communities. (Courtesy)

As part of the campaign, the diaspora of Puerto Ricans living stateside and in the rest of the Caribbean provided support through brigades and donations to grassroots organizations on the island, as well as increasing political pressure on the island and in the United States by demanding justice against the cabotage laws, elimination of the Promesa federal law and a robust package of federal aid for Puerto Rico.

In addition, since last week, the entities began to hold strategic meetings in Orocovis, Vieques and Humacao to provide support to communities severely affected by the crisis. In the same manner, from Jan. 22 to Feb. 3, the delegations will rebuild agroecology farms for young people at schools and organic farms in Orocovis, Naranjito and Vieques. While from Feb. 3 to Feb. 7, Vieques solidarity brigades will travel to Saint Croix, USVI, to rebuild farms.

On Friday, the group Profesores Autoconvocados en Resistencia Solidaria (PAReS) [Self-Convened Teachers in Solidarity Resistance] will hold the forum “From the Disasters of Capitalism to Disaster Capitalism: Resistance & Alternatives” at the University of Puerto Rico’s Río Piedras campus.

Participating as panelists at the forum are Canadian journalist Naomi Klein, author of “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”; Ruth “Tata” Santiago, member of Iniciativa de Ecodesarrollo de Bahía de Jobos (Idebajo) [Jobos Bay Eco-Development Initiative]; and Elizabeth Yeampierre of OurPowerP.R.-NYC and Climate Justice Alliance; Eva Prado, of the Frente Ciudadano por la Auditoría de la Deuda (Citizen Front for the Audit of the Debt); and Mariolga Reyes Cruz of PAReS.

To watch the live broadcast, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/209287936294705/.

The Our Power P.R. campaign, which began Oct. 11 in response to the disaster caused by Maria, provides a proactive vision and timely coordination to deal with the crisis using an environmental and economic approach directed by Puerto Ricans.

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