Haiti: Blood, faith and tears.
Democracy is not just a word.
December 31, 2004
News HaitiAction.net
About Events Talk News Links Home

Haiti: Blood, faith and tears.
Democracy is not just a word.

Previous attacks on their community by US Marines, Haitian police, Haitian SWAT teams and the current occupation by the UN has not destroyed the spirit of the community of Bel Air. A testimony to the resilency of the human spirit, they took to the streets once again on December 31, 2004 to demand the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Brazilian troops occupy the front of Legliz Perpetual, a traditional launching site in the poor neighborhood of Bel Air for demonstrations demanding the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

A member of Haiti's new police force hides his face after he admits he is a recruit from the former brutal military integrated under the UN sponsored program during demonstrations for the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Bel Air on December 31, 2004.

Click this link to see slide show for all 8 images from the demonstration

see slide show for all 8 images

Haiti Information Project

Port au Prince, Haiti (HIP)- While so many of us take for granted that our votes will be counted in our own countries, Haitians continue to struggle against the "turn the page" crowd that would forget their choice in the last presidential elections. A majority of Haiti's people voted Jean-Bertrand Aristide president in 2000 and expected him to serve out a five-year term in office. Those hopes were dashed when Aristide was ousted in a coup on February 29, 2004. A majority of Haiti's poor earnestly believe the coup was organized and led by the US, France and Canada. This perception continues to haunt the current US-installed government, the US State Department and a United Nations peacekeeping mission who all claim in turn to be re-establishing democracy in Haiti. Residents in the poor neighborhoods of the capital, like the roiling slum of Bel Air, oppose the goals of what they have come to call the "Koalisyon lanmo" or the "Coalition of the Killing" (an evident play on the words of Bush's "Coalition of the Willing" in Iraq).

"They are the ones who taught us our vote counts and we will never forget."

December 31st in Bel Air began in a small dusty room off the street of Delmas 2. Combatants, the name for the most strident backers fighting for the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti, patrolled the area as others painted signs demanding his return with slogans recognizing the rights of the poor. This is clearly ground zero for the movement in this country that considers itself honoring the votes cast by the majority of Haiti's poor that led to Aristide's election as president in November 2000.

At 10 am the crowd began assembling for another day of resistance that has been unrelenting in Bel Air since the forced ouster of Aristide on February 29th. Despite the previous slaughter of their numbers by US Marines and the Haitian police, the citizens of Bel Air showed the courage of their convictions by taking to the streets yet again.

A spokesman for the demonstrators stated, "Since the Haitian police [backed by the UN], attacked our peaceful demonstration on September 30, we have said no. Even though they call us bandits on the radio we understand the campaign of social exclusion and that they want to hide the fact that 70% of the population are calling for Aristide's return. Today they talk about reconciliation yet more than 3000 within Lavalas have been murdered, they reward the former military that are responsible with large checks and they give them jobs in the police. They imprisoned our leaders or forced them into exile. Our children have no schools, We have no decent housing and we have no way of securing a life for the majority of the poor who elected Aristide president. They do not represent us. They will never represent us as long as this injustice continues. We would rather die with dignity than in our current misery without justice. This is the only honor as citizens of a free and independent Haiti we have left to us. To die for our independence and what we believe in.

The constitution must be respected. We played the game fair and voted for our president. Aristide must be returned or the UN and the US must kill us all. We will never betray the democratic principal they [the International Community] taught us is supreme in the land. One man equals one vote and we elected Aristide as the president of Haiti. They are the ones who taught us our vote counts and we will never forget."

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!