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Standing With Haiti, Head of Prominent NGO Walks Out of Trump's Davos Speech

Protesting Trump's "shithole" comment and in solidarity with the people of Haiti—a "beautiful, unique, revolutionary nation"—co-founder of NGO focused on sustainable sanitation and ecology voices dissent at global gathering

Dr. Sasha Kramer, co-founder and executive director of the group SOIL, which works on improving sustainable household sanitation and ecological waste treatment in Haiti, said her protest was in direct opposition to the dangerous rhetoric and racist policies of the Trump administration towards the people of that country. (Photo: Jorge Ribas/Washington Post)

The head of highly respected non-governmental organization focused on relief work in Haiti walked out in protest on Friday during President Donald Trump's speech to the World Economic in Davos, Switzerland.

Dr. Sasha Kramer, co-founder and executive director of the group SOIL, which works on improving sustainable household sanitation and ecological waste treatment in Haiti, said her protest was in direct opposition to the dangerous rhetoric and racist policies of the Trump administration towards the people of that country.

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In particular, Kramer's action was a response to the administration's recent decision to end protections afforded Haitian refugees living in the U.S. under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program as well as eye-witness reports that Trump  referred to Haiti, as well as other nations, as "shithole countries" during a White House meeting earlier this month.

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"To me," Dr. Kramer said, "Haiti is anything but that. Haiti has always been a global example. Haiti was the country that led the fight against slavery and colonialism, and I think Haiti will continue to be an example."

In a statement by the group, SOIL said they would continue "to stand alongside the Haitian people calling for humanity over racism and hate, and we will not falter in our fight for justice in Haiti and throughout the world."

"In SOIL's 11-year history we have worked in Haiti alongside some of the strongest, bravest, and kindest people we have ever known," the group stated. "It is our privilege to work in this beautiful, unique, revolutionary nation — not the other way around."

Common Dreams reported Thursday that other Davos attendees planned to walk out in protest during Trump's speech, but it was unclear as of this writing if others had, in fact, joined Kramer by following through with those plans.

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