Sunday, November 30, 2014

Largest Demonstration to Date Demands President Martelly’s Resignation

by Thomas Péralte (Haiti Liberte)

On Tue., Nov. 25, tens of thousands poured through the streets of Port-Au-Prince to demand the departure of President Michel Martelly. Observers and journalists reported that it was the largest anti-Martelly march yet during October and November, which have seen many outpourings around the country but particularly in the capital.
            As usual, the marchers began in front of the churches St. Jean Bosco in La Saline and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Belair and converged at Rue Saint-Martin. After marching up the Delmas Road, they took Delmas 32 to Bourdon, and then marched on the National Palace. A week earlier, on Nov. 18, police fired on a similar large march at Delmas 32, killing at least two and dispersing the demonstration.
            Among the many chants of the demonstrators, most noteworthy was “No negotiations with Martelly!” and “Martelly must leave for Haiti to be free!” The marchers also called the Haitian president a corrupt dictator, liar, murderer, drug-dealer, and kidnapper.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Hundreds March to Demand Political Prisoners’ Release

by Thomas Péralte and Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

On Oct. 30, hundreds of demonstrators marched from downtown Port-au-Prince to Carrefour to demand the release of Haitian grassroots opposition leaders Biron Odigé and Rony Timothée, who were arrested in a massive Oct. 26 demonstration.
            The marchers also called for the release of dozens of other political prisoners languishing in jails throughout Haiti including Aux Cayes, Petit Goâve, Jacmel, Cap Haïtien, and Port-au-Prince.
            Just before the march, authorities announced that Mr. Odigé had been transferred to the new prison in Croix-des-Bouquets while Mr. Rony was sent to the jail in Arcahaie, 20 and 50 kilometers north of the capital respectively.
            The two leaders head the Patriotic Front for Respect of the Constitution (FOPARC), one of the principal grassroots groups organizing demonstrations against the Martelly regime over the past three years.
            Police arrested about 21 other demonstrators in protests on Oct. 17 and 26.

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