Arcade Fire's Regine Chassagne on Haiti

One of the most moving pieces of writing on the recent disaster is from the perspective of a Haitian expat. Régine Chassagne of the band Canadian band Arcade Fire describes her impotence at watching the horror unfold from the safety of the diaspora:

When it happened I was at home in Montreal, safe and cosy, surfing the internet, half randomly, like millions of westerners. Breaking news: 7.0 earthquake hits Haiti near Port-au-Prince. Such emotion came over me. My breath stopped. My heart sank and went straight into panic mode. I knew right away that the whole city is in no way built to resist this kind of assault and that this meant that thousands were under rubble. I saw it straight away …

I grew up with parents who escaped during the brutal years of the Papa Doc regime. My grandfather was taken by the Tonton Macoutes and it was 10 years before my father finally learnt he had been killed. My mother and her sister returned home from the market to find their cousins and friends murdered. She found herself on her knees in front of the Dominican embassy begging for her life in broken Spanish. Growing up, I absorbed those stories, heard a new version every year; adults around the dinner table speaking in creole about poor Haiti …

Many Haitians expect to be let down. History shows they are right to feel that way. Haitians know that they have been wronged many, many times … That we must respond with a substantial emergency effort is beyond argument, but in the aftermath, Haiti must be rebuilt.

There are better Arcade Fire songs, but the lyrics to “Haiti” nevertheless take on new meaning:

Tous les morts-nés forment une armée,
soon we will reclaim the earth.
All the tears and all the bodies
bring about our second birth.

Donate at dec.org.uk

Hat-tip: Steve Cockburn

One Comment

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  8. New post –> Arcade Fire's Régine Chassagne on Haiti http://bit.ly/6iFlcP

  9. Régine Chassagne of Arcade Fire on the Haiti earthquake … http://bit.ly/8tuKJD

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  17. #VIDEO –> Updated blog with footage of Times journalist being thrown out of BNP meeting http://bit.ly/9EbkyE

  18. RT @psbook #VIDEO –> Updated blog with footage of Times journalist being thrown out of BNP meeting http://bit.ly/9EbkyE

  19. ralasdair says:

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  24. & we made how many #mobmonday calls 4 @kerrymp ?RT @psbook #KerryOut phone canvassing falls short of target http://cli.gs/MaYer

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  28. New post –> International Women's Day, Indian Parliament style http://cli.gs/zR2Ya

  29. RT @psbook New post –> International Women's Day, Indian Parliament style http://cli.gs/zR2Ya

  30. RT @psbook New post –> Times/Populus poll puts Labour and Tories "neck and neck" in crucial marginal seats http://cli.gs/gP3MA

  31. RT @psbook: New post –> Brazen Cameron casts himself as Obama http://cli.gs/H156W

  32. RT @psbook New post –> Brazen Cameron casts himself as Obama http://cli.gs/H156W

  33. Well, why not? It's tried and tested. RT @psbook: New post –> Brazen Cameron casts himself as Obama http://cli.gs/H156W

  34. George says:

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  36. RT @psbook New post –> Brazen Cameron casts himself as Obama http://cli.gs/H156W > pathetic sad little man. Feel quite sorry for him really

  37. David Cameron: The Man from Marketing http://cli.gs/H156W What a fraud. (via @bloggerheads)

  38. RT @HouseofTwits: RT @psbook New post –> Brazen Cameron casts himself as Obama http://cli.gs/H156W

  39. Max p says:

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  40. New post –> Peter Britcliffe and Karen Buckley provide yet more Hyndburn entertainment http://cli.gs/Bh6SJ

  41. RT @psbook: Peter Britcliffe and Karen Buckley provide yet more Hyndburn entertainment http://bit.ly/9F8ZkK

  42. RT @cuddy123: RT @psbook: Peter Britcliffe and Karen Buckley provide yet more Hyndburn entertainment http://bit.ly/9F8ZkK

  43. RT @lefty_lisa: RT @cuddy123: RT @psbook: Peter Britcliffe and Karen Buckley provide yet more Hyndburn entertainment http://bit.ly/9F8ZkK

  44. Kids, political parties, make sure you escape your HTML. http://bit.ly/dr37EK

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  46. RT @AdamBienkov: RT @psbook: New post -> "sorry, sorry … um … er" Unbriefed Cameron flounders in gay rights interview http://is.gd/aVXdO

  47. RT @uponnothing: RT @AdamBienkov: RT @psbook: New post -> "sorry, sorry … um … er" Unbriefed Cameron flounders in gay rights interview http://is.gd/aVXdO

  48. RT @psbook: Unbriefed Cameron flounders in gay rights interview http://bit.ly/a4CxfG

  49. John Nor says:

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  50. New post –> The Tories' new ad brief http://cli.gs/adMqP

  51. RT @psbook: New post –> The Tories' new ad brief http://cli.gs/adMqP

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  53. RT @psbook: New post –> The Tories' new ad brief http://cli.gs/adMqP

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  55. Mags W says:

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  56. Tom Baker says:

    RT @psbook: New post –> The Tories' new ad brief http://cli.gs/adMqP

  57. Jam Reyes says:

    i have several relatives who were also vicitimized by the earthquake in Haiti. thank God that they were not seriously hurt. i hope and pray that Haiti would be able to recover soon from this disaster.

  58. VIDEO –> He won't be laughing if they win http://cli.gs/GeZ82

  59. Teresa says:

    RT @psbook: VIDEO –> He won't be laughing if they win http://cli.gs/GeZ82

  60. John Nor says:

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  61. RT @psbook: VIDEO –> He won't be laughing if they win http://cli.gs/GeZ82

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  64. Derek Conway's goodbye email | Political Scrapbook http://bit.ly/dAWiIz

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  66. RT @psbook: Derek Conway's goodbye email http://bit.ly/b7qgFI

  67. RT @duncanborrowman: RT @psbook: Derek Conway's goodbye email http://bit.ly/b7qgFI

  68. New post –> There he is! Chris Grayling found alive and well http://cli.gs/a6teU

  69. RT @psbook New post –> There he is! Chris Grayling found alive and well http://cli.gs/a6teU

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  72. RT @psbook New post –> David Cameron's "Big Society" in full http://cli.gs/Xjt3z

  73. @bottrill – http://politicalscrapbook.net/ I am sure there will be some more howlers to be added here!! :)

  74. Tim Ellis says:

    RT @psbook: New post –> BNP tell @StephenNolan and Radio 5 listeners that the election will be a day early! http://cli.gs/BTQU3 (h/t …

  75. RT @psbook: New post –> BNP tell @StephenNolan and Radio 5 listeners that the election will be a day early! http://cli.gs/BTQU3 (h/t @beelay)

  76. Beth says:

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  81. RT @StopTheRight: Videos of Cameron & Boris they'd like to forget. http://alturl.com/rd9w #PhilippaStroud #sameoldtories #TipOfTheIceberg

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  88. Jenna says:

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  94. bit.ly from http://politicalscrapbook.net/ Gordon Brown at his best in a speech to Citizens Uk

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  100. New post –> Head of London BNP resigns in disgrace http://bit.ly/cRJqkT (via @AdamBienkov)

  101. RT @psbook: New post –> Head of London BNP resigns in disgrace http://bit.ly/cRJqkT (via @AdamBienkov)

  102. RT @psbook: New post –> Head of London BNP resigns in disgrace http://bit.ly/cRJqkT (via @AdamBienkov)

  103. Noxi says:

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  117. @psbook Third from left wins the prize for Tonibler that looks most like like Tony Blair http://is.gd/dpizG

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  119. psbook

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  124. FGH says:

    RT @antonvowl: Jesus wept. It's not a shock, but Phil Woolas really is a cunt http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/08/phil-woolas-election

  125. RT @MShapland: So this is Labour's clean campaigning is it? What a bloody disgrace – http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/08/phil-woolas-e

  126. RT @MShapland: So this is Labour's clean campaigning is it? What a bloody disgrace – http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/08/phil-woolas-e

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  131. RT @tom4brighton: Another disaster photo op for Clegg with angry parents: http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/08/nick-clegg-childrens-cen

  132. Jack says:

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  137. An-Ka-Sg says:

    RT @alphabetofbeing: Tired and emotional fascist shuts down colonial operation: http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/10/nick-griffin-drunk

  138. Liberal Democrats quietly delete their “No to Nuclear Power” http://politicalscrapbook.net @CNDuk

  139. LEP analysis from the LGiU's Andy Johnston is top story on political scrapbook http://bit.ly/5dlw8c

  140. RT @janetedavis: Hmm. & how lucky did that photographer get?! RT @pekingspring http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/11/nus-protest-front-p

  141. RT @janetedavis: Hmm. & how lucky did that photographer get?! RT @pekingspring http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/11/nus-protest-front-p

  142. RT @PeterPannier: #rememberwhen George Osborne thought Ireland was the economic model for the UK?http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/11/o

  143. RT @vacuouspop: so two cunts on Radio 4 today… 1st James Naughtie slips up.. http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/12/james-naughtie-rena

  144. RT @bobbyllew: It is very funny, but poor Jin Naughtie, I did feel for him. http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/12/james-naughtie-renames

  145. RT @bobbyllew: It is very funny, but poor Jin Naughtie, I did feel for him. http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/12/james-naughtie-renames

  146. RT @bobbyllew: It is very funny, but poor Jin Naughtie, I did feel for him. http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/12/james-naughtie-renames

  147. Piku says:

    RT @bobbyllew: It is very funny, but poor Jin Naughtie, I did feel for him. http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/12/james-naughtie-renames

  148. RT @bobbyllew: It is very funny, but poor Jin Naughtie, I did feel for him. http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/12/james-naughtie-renames

  149. Tom Card says:

    RT @bobbyllew: It is very funny, but poor Jin Naughtie, I did feel for him. http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/12/james-naughtie-renames

  150. Lib Dem MP tells #Radio4 he may vote for tuition fee rise to punish students who occupied his office http://tinyurl.com/mghpy8 via @psbook

  151. Political Scrapbook: http://auspol.info/dZUc6S – complete with the new cologne "Assange: The smell of freedom".

  152. RT @yonmei: Nick Clegg "Will I ever join a Conservative government? No!" #joke http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/12/clegg-2008-conferen

  153. Political Scrapbook is now live at our new server. Let us know if it doesn't work for you. http://politicalscrapbook.net/

  154. RT @markhornsey: @ShellyAsquith @felix_preston @tomcopley @leejamesbrown This is great: http://politicalscrapbook.net/2011/02/ken-living

  155. Oh dear http://www.politicalscrapbook.net/ is down. Did @Aiannucci do a @stephenfry on it?

  156. Oh dear http://www.politicalscrapbook.net/ is down. Did @Aiannucci do a @stephenfry on it?

  157. RT @RachaelDennis: @matt_j_foster @keith_hale @martinturton this made me laugh last year; http://politicalscrapbook.net/2010/10/claire-r

  158. @o2 Why is our (political news) website being blocked by you as "not suitable for <18s"? Here is the link >> http://politicalscrapbook.net/

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