The situation in Haiti is desperate, but social movements aren't letting that stop them.
My hope comes from the power of progressive movements in Haiti, which have been active at many periods since the slave uprisings began in 1791 and which are again today, slowly, gathering force...A wholly new movement-though rooted in the long tradition of organizing-arose within days after the quake to claim a just reconstruction. The effectiveness of the women's sector, peasant farmer cooperatives, popular media, human rights groupings, youth and student associations, and other mass organizations is a critical variable in how equitable, rights-based, and democratic their country becomes. The grouping is not yet strong, both because coalitions were already fissured by political divisions when the earthquake hit, and because in the quake they lost members and organizing fundamentals (computers, internet possibilities, cell phones, offices, supplies, archives, etc.). This movement has in its short history already repeatedly stalled and restarted in new configurations. But given the urgency of the crisis, they are gaining steam. And two moves toward reconciliation between former adversaries-amongst peasant organizations and amongst some groups long divided by their positions around former President Aristide-give hope for greater unity and thus greater strength.