Concert for Haiti
Rob Miller reports on the fundraising Concert for Haiti organised by CSC for the TUC appeal and CSC’s own appeal for Cuban medical brigades in the country
Fantastically well organised with such short notice and you really did get the message across about the unwavering Cuban medical support for Haiti’ was just one of the responses that the Cuba Solidarity Campaign has received about the Concert for Haiti.
Held at Congress House, the headquarters of the TUC, on Wednesday 3rd February, the concert was a roaring sell-out success. Over 700 people crammed into the venue to see a star-studded line up for the TUC Aid Haiti Earthquake Appeal
‘I’m proud that the international trade union movement has rallied round to support our brothers and sisters in Haiti. A tremendous example of solidarity in action’ was Brendan Barber’s opening words to the concert.
Brendan, the General Secretary of the TUC, thanked everyone for coming along and offering their support for the Haiti Earthquake Appeal and told the concert goers that he was proud ‘that so many British workers, among them firefighters and NHS staff - and many of them trade unionists - travelled to Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake to provide emergency help’.
A long list of Trade Union donors who had together with the concert and a collection on the night helped to raise an amazing £100,000 plus for the TUC Aid appeal was read at the event.
Amongst the many acts and speakers to give their time for free to support the event were the former Labour Cabinet Minister, Tony Benn and BAFTA nominated film director, Ken Loach, Haitian community representatives in the UK, Haitian singer songwriter. Renes Lophanor, poet Benjamin Zephaniah, screen stars Alan Rickman, Tom Wilkinson and Frances de la Tour, screenwriter Andy de la Tour, singer Billy Bragg, and Cuban musicians; violinist Omar Puente and four piece band Son Mas.
£19,800 raised for Cuban doctors in Haiti
Following a CSC appeal for donations to the Cuban brigades working in Haiti £19,800 has been donated and sent to Cuban medical brigades working on the island.
Within a few weeks of its launch at the end of January the appeal had already raised £12,000 with this donation reported by Cuban news agencies. On 22 February, Cuban media reported that CSC members and affiliates had” donated 12,000 pounds sterling to the island’s “Henry Reeve” International Medical Brigade to be used for buying medical supplies to help the Haitian people.”
Since this time donations from CSC members, local groups and affiliated organisations have continued to arrive, with the final figure looking set to be more than £20,000.
CSC would like to thank all friends, supporters, local groups and trade union friends and affiliates who have responded to this appeal so far.
These include 170 individual donors and the following local groups and affiliates: Amicus Norwich Central 1880, BFAWU National, CSC Merseyside, CSC Nottingham, CSC Solent Branch, Durham Miners’ Association, National Assembly of Women Cheshire, Newrad Communist Collective, NUT Coventry 1310, Racial Incident Response Group, Scottish Medical Aid for Cuba, TUC Burnley, TUC Northern, UNISON Burnley, UNISON Cumbria Health, UNISON Kensington & Chelsea, UNISON Kingston Hospital, UNISON National, UNISON Rochdale Branch 06366, UNISON Y Mlaen, Unite Amicus Civil Air Transport 0443, UNITE Coventry, Unite Crawley 0266, Unite London and Eastern Region, UNITE Yeovil 0916M
Donations to Cuba’s Haiti Medical Brigades can be made by sending a cheque made payable to CSC, marked Haiti Earthquake to CSC, c/o Unite Woodberry, 218 Green lanes, London, N4 2HB
All money received will go directly to support Cuban medical brigades working in Haiti.