Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

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Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

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Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

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Pour comprendre la logique et l'utilité des démonstrations.

Super Star
Super Star

Nombre de messages : 8252
Localisation : Canada
Opinion politique : Indépendance totale
Loisirs : Arts et Musique, Pale Ayisien
Date d'inscription : 02/03/2007

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Pour comprendre la logique et l'utilité des démonstrations. Empty Pour comprendre la logique et l'utilité des démonstrations.

Message  Sasaye Lun 10 Mar 2008 - 18:47

HAITI: Two Days, Two Demonstrations: The Haitian People Resist On Several Fronts
by Kim Ives, Haiti Liberte
Sunday Mar 9th, 2008 3:02 PM
"Up with Prime Minister Jacques Alexis!"
"Down with Prime Minister Jacques Alexis!"
Those unfamiliar with Haiti's political realities may have been confused to see many of the same demonstrators chanting both slogans at different times within a forty-eight hour period during Feb. 28 and 29. But the seemingly contradictory calls merely underline the complexity of Haiti's current political situation and the sophistication of the Haitian people's response.


On Feb. 28, hundreds of protestors assembled in the park across from the Legislative Palace to denounce the Chamber of Deputies' summoning of Alexis for a no-confidence vote. The lawmakers behind the effort come mostly from parties which supported the Feb. 29, 2004 coup d'etat against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The eight co-sponsors of the no-confidence motion included Emmanuel Fritz Gerald Bourjolly of Victor Benoit's social democratic Fusion party; Denize Aristene of Evens Paul's Alliance; Dormeus Edmond and Isidor Joseph Mercier of Mirlande Manigat's Assembly of Progressive National Democrats (RDNP); Dor Jean Presseoir of Youri Latortue's Artibonite in Action (LAA), Ronald Etienne of Guy Philippe's Front for Haiti's Reconstruction (FRN); and Acluche Louis Jeune of Paul Denis' Struggling People Organization (OPL). The group was joined by Saurel Francois, a rogue representative of Aristide's Lavalas Family party.

Alexis was originally to have appeared before the Deputies on Feb. 21, but the session was postponed until Feb. 28.

While the people of Haiti are overwhelmingly unhappy with the policies of Alexis and President Rene Preval, they refuse to allow the government, which they elected, to be dislodged by even more reactionary forces.

"Even though Preval and Alexis have betrayed us, the people, who jumped in the Hotel Montana's swimming pool [on Feb. 13, 2006 at UN election headquarters to protest manipulation in the counting of the Feb. 7 presidential vote], who braved all sorts of threats and dangers to put them in power, we will not allow the forces which were part of the 2004 coup d'etat to reverse our sovereign vote yet again," said one young woman who had traveled from Gonaives to protest in front of the Parliament. "It is a matter of principle."

Many of the demonstrators held up flyers depicting Alexis, but a greater number held up cards, flyers, and posters with the image of Aristide. Several times the chants of "Alexis, Alexis" morphed into "Aristide, Aristide."

Rumored counter-demonstrations supporting Alexis's ouster never materialized.

Alexis and his entire ministerial cabinet arrived at the Legislative Palace shortly after 10 a.m. as scheduled but were not summoned before the Parliament until about 11:30 a.m. Debate in the packed, steamy hall dragged on for about 9 hours until a vote was held. The deputies voted 63 against, 8 for, with 13 abstentions, on the no-confidence motion. Alexis had weathered the crisis.

The next day, some 10,000 demonstrators surged through the streets of the capital, denouncing the United Nation's military occupation of Haiti, Aristide's continued exile and the Preval/Alexis government.

Despite the support they had shown Alexis the day before, the people loudly voiced out their frustration and anger with the government, which they hold responsible for skyrocketing inflation and unemployment. "Down with the high cost of living! Preval is outrageous ! Preval is ungrateful! Preval must become aware that the people put him in power," they chanted. The demonstrators complained that, almost two years after the inauguration of a formally elected government on May 14, 2006, foreign troops still occupy Haiti, political prisoners still languish untried behind bars, putschists still hold key government posts, coup victims have received no justice or reparations, and Aristide remains in exile.

The demonstration, which lasted about 8 hours, began at 8 a.m. when demonstrators assembled at the ruins of St. Jean Bosco, the church in the slum of La Saline where Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide used to preach in the 1980s. There was a symbolic funeral with painted cardboard coffins bearing the names of 2004 coup coordinators: the United States, France, Canada, the United Nations, the Organization of American States. As the media arrived, the demonstrators lifted the coffins and began a spirited demonstration in St. Jean Bosco's shell, which has remained burned, empty and roofless since September 11, 1988 when the Tonton Macoutes massacred the congregation during one of Aristide's sermons, killing more than 13 and wounding about 77.

The day's protest was called by the National Reflection Cell of Popular Organizations of the Lavalas Family Base to mark the fourth anniversary of the Feb. 29, 2004 coup d'etat, when U.S. Special Forces soldiers kidnapped Aristide and his wife from their home in Tabarre, sending them into exile, where they remain.

Around 9:30 a.m., there was a symbolic voodoo ceremony presided over by Jean-Marie Samedi, the National Reflection Cell's secretary general. A bonfire was lit, while a man circled it, cracking a whip.

Among the various delegations present with banners and posters was a large contingent from the September 30th Foundation, headed by interim director Wilson Mesilien. The group wore white T-shirts and carried posters both emblazoned with the image of Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, the foundation's founder who was kidnapped on Aug. 12, 2007 (see Haiti Liberte, Vol. 1, No. 4, 8/15/2007). His fate remains unknown and the Foundation's contingent called on the government to investigate his disappearance.

There were also delegations from various popular organizations and Lavalas Family party chapters from different corners of Haiti and the world, including, for example, a Lavalas Family delegation from Paris, France.

The march stepped off at about 11 a.m., moving up the Delmas Road. The large crowd followed an itinerary which took it to several symbolic places: the church Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Belair (where many demonstrations during the coup began), the Legislative Palace, the American Embassy, the Commerce Ministry, the French Embassy, and finally the National Palace.

Delegations representing workers, peasants, lawyers, nurses, and human rights groups all participated in this great outpouring of humanity. Feeder marches from neighborhoods like Cite Soleil and Carrefour joined the march en route.

Troops of the U.N. Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH) remained very discrete during the demonstration, with the exception of a U.N. helicopter which periodically overflew the demonstration and the large U.N. troop deployment around the Parliament and the American Embassy.

In front of the National Palace, the large crowd filled the Champs de Mars square. Standing in a pick-up truck in the middle of a dense crowd, Annette "So An" Auguste, a member of the Lavalas Family's five-member executive committee, read the party's declaration.

"On February 29, 2004, the Haitian nation, in its vast majority , was a victim of one of the most terrifying political crimes in its history," she read. "President Jean Bertrand Aristide was forcibly compelled to relinquish power and was driven into exile by military means. The coup was carried out three years after his inauguration for a second and final five-year term. The worst is that the coup was orchestrated by the governments of three countries that call themselves friends of Haiti: the United States, France, and Canada ..."

At the risk of discrediting themselves, the bourgeoisie's media, which had overwhelmingly supported the coup, was forced to acknowledge the success and magnitude of the demonstration. Only Lilliane Pierre-Paul of Radio Kiskeya said that the demonstrators had only numbered in the "hundreds." Even the arch-conservative Radio Metropole felt compelled to grant So An a 20-minute interview after the march.

On the same weekend, there were demonstrations in 46 other cities around the world to mark the Feb. 29 anniversary and denounce the coup, occupation and other injustices that continue.

In short, the march of February 29, 2008 in the capital was a great success, fortifying the anti-imperialist, pro-justice, and pro-democracy resistance movement against the coup and occupation carried out by the ruling classes of Haiti, North America, and Europe.

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