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Peaceful Demonstration in Cap Haitien

 
On December 16, 2004 over 10,000 people flooded the streets of Cap Haitien chanting and dancing for four hours as they risked their lives to peacefully commemorate Jean Bertrand Aristide’s 1990 electoral victory in Haiti’s first democratic elections. Organizers stated that the two primary demands of the demonstrators were the return of the constitutional government of Haiti and the release of all political prisoners.

On December 16, 2004 over 10,000 people flooded the streets of Cap Haitien chanting and dancing for four hours as they risked their lives to peacefully commemorate Jean Bertrand Aristide’s 1990 electoral victory in Haiti’s first democratic elections. Organizers stated that the two primary demands of the demonstrators were the return of the constitutional government of Haiti and the release of all political prisoners.
Current reports estimate that there are approximately 700 political prisoners in Haiti’s overcrowded prisons, none of whom have been convicted of a crime and many who have never come before a judge. Many powerful Lavalas organizers and leaders, including Prime Minister Yvon Neptune and popular singer Annette Auguste “So Anne”, have been imprisoned making it difficult for the country’s most popular political party to continue to organize or to carry out many of the community education and development projects that were an integral part of the Lavalas platform.
While heavily armed Chilean UN forces and the Haitian National Police were highly visible throughout the march, there was no violence reported. Although tension and mistrust exists, the interactions between marchers, police and UN forces were largely respectful. The demonstration was unmarred by the illegal arrests, systematic harassment and rock throwings that have become increasingly common in Port au Prince. Demonstrations also took place in the popular Port-Au-Prince neighborhoods of Cite Soleil and Bel Air on the 16th, but protest in the capital has been stifled by a wave of illegal detentions, politically motivated rape, and widespread killing since police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators September 30.
Read More | Beloved Haitian Mayor Continues to Serve his Community from Hiding | HaitiAction.net | Gerard Jean-Juste Speaks To Democracy Now

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