Sunday, February 7, 2010
(One day from "A Chronology of Haitian Protest and Resistance since the Earthquake")
A resource produced by Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade


There were at least three separate protests in Port-au-Prince on this day:

(1) In Petionville, a affluent suburb
(2) At police headquarters where Haiti's government offices are now located
(3) At the US Embassy


Hunger sparks growing protests
By Bill Van Auken
World Socialist Web Site, 9 February 2010

On Sunday (Feb 7), Haiti saw one of its largest protests since the January 12 earthquake, as four weeks after the disaster, frustration with continuing hunger and homelessness mount.

Thousands of demonstrators, most of them women, marched through the streets of Petionville, a Port-au-Prince suburb, denouncing the local mayor, Lydie Parent, for hoarding food for resale and not distributing it to the hungry.
Congregating in front of the local municipal building, the demonstrators chanted if the police shoot at us, we will burn everything, Reuters reported.
Hundreds of others demonstrated outside the US embassy.


Angry quake survivors protest against aid 'corruption'

France 24, February 8, 2010
By News Wires (text)
Sonia DRIDI / Yuka ROYER (video)

Haitians earthquake survivors took to the streets in a suburb of the wrecked capital Port-au-Prince, accusing local authorities of corruption and hoarding food aid provided by aid groups.

Watch Video  (1:16)


The aid racket
Ashley Smith,
Socialist Worker, February 24, 2010

.... On February 7, thousands of Haitians marched in the Petionville suburb of Port-au-Prince to protest their desperate circumstances and the failure of aid delivery. ...




Earthquake survivors protest demanding food in Port-au-Prince Sunday. With supplies bottle-necked, desperation is growing in Haiti.


Source (photo #5)


Haiti protesters denounce aid corruption, hoarding

By Jorge Vega,
Reuters, February 8, 2010


"Haitian earthquake survivors protested in a suburb of the wrecked capital on Sunday, accusing a district mayor of corruption and hoarding food aid provided by relief groups, witnesses said.  The protest in the Petionville neighborhood...was one of the largest since the January 12 quake.... It reflected still simmering anger among survivors over problems in the massive international relief effort.... Banging on plastic buckets and waving branches and palm fronds, the protesters...accused Mayor Lydie Parent of hoarding aid. ...


"I am hungry, I am dying of hunger. Lydie Parent keeps the rice and doesn't give us anything. They never go distribute where we live," one protester said.

Parent was not immediately available for comment.

Most of the demonstrators were women. Aid agencies are doling out food to women to prevent men from dominating distribution sites, and because they believe women are more likely to share it with children and relatives.

Donor nations have poured tens of millions of dollars into the impoverished Caribbean nation and some Haitians have blamed corruption for the sometimes sluggish distribution of aid.

Sacks of donated rice have turned up in local street markets. Aid officials said it was inevitable that some aid would find its way to the black market in Haiti, which was ranked 10th from the bottom of Transparency International's latest corruption rating of 180 nations.


Haitian President Rene Preval, who has been seen only occasionally in public since the quake, has been targeted by some protests, and graffiti messages of "Down with Preval" have been scrawled on some buildings and walls.

"We are all victims. It is a fallen country. It has lost its children, husbands, homes and family," protester Agustin Michou said.

The demonstrators chanted "if the police shoot at us, we will burn everything," but the protest ended peacefully and police did not intervene.


Earthquake survivors protest in the streets of Port-au-Prince on Feb. 7, demanding food, after the Jan. 12 earthquake devastated the country.

Javier Galeano/
Associated Press



Cash-for-aid row intensifies in Haiti
Euronews, February 8, 2010

Earthquake survivors have staged another protest in a suburb of Haiti’s capital, repeating accusations of corruption and unfair distribution of aid.

The mayor of Petionville is one of those accused of hoarding international aid supplies and charging survivors.

Mayor Lydie Parent has so far not responded to the claims.





Earthquake survivors protest demanding food in the streets of Port-au-Prince, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010.



Haitians angry over slow aid
The Age, February 5, 2010

PROTESTS over the slow arrival of aid have flared in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince as Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive put the earthquake death toll at more than 200,000.

More than three weeks after the 7.0-magnitude quake, Mr Bellerive said 300,000 injured had been treated, 250,000 homes had been destroyed and 30,000 businesses lost.

After a tense night when shots were fired in the ruined capital, about 300 people gathered outside the mayor's office in the once-upscale Petionville neighbourhood on Wednesday.

''If the police fire on us, we are going to set things ablaze,'' shouted one protester, raising a cement block above his head.

Another 200 protesters marched to the US embassy, crying out for food and aid, while about 50 demonstrators gathered outside the police headquarters where the government of President Rene Preval is temporarily installed.

''Down with Preval,'' demonstrators shouted at the President...


Haiti earthquake protesters’ anger at aid ‘corruption’
By Jo Steele
9th February, 2010


Haitian earthquake survivors have held a protest accusing a mayor of corruption and hoarding food aid.

The demonstration reflected simmering anger after January’s quake, which killed about 250,000 people and left more than a million homeless.

Aid agencies have moved food to the Caribbean nation but protesters said distribution had been slow and chaotic.

They surged past piles of rubble to the city hall in Petionville, Port-au-Prince, to accuse mayor Lydie Parent of hoarding aid. One protester said: ‘I am hungry, I am dying of hunger. Lydie Parent keeps the rice and doesn’t give us anything. They never distribute where we live.’

Protester Agustin Michou said: ‘We are all victims. This is a fallen country. It has lost its children, husbands, homes and family.’ Demonstrators chanted: ‘If the police shoot at us, we will burn everything.’ The protest ended peacefully and police did not intervene.

Haitian president Rene Preval said a million people needed to be placed in temporary shelters before the rainy season began next month.

He has also been the subject of protests and ‘Down with Preval’ has been scrawled on some buildings and walls.



Haitians protest mayor's corruption, hoarding of aid

Press TV, 08 Feb 2010


Survivors of Haiti's devastating earthquake have hit the streets in the country's wrecked capital in protest against the mayor's hoarding of aid provided by relief groups.

Hundreds of protesters thronged in a suburb of Port-au-Prince on Sunday as thousands of Haitians remain hungry and homeless one month after the earthquake registering a magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale struck the impoverished Caribbean state.

Aid agencies have poured tens of millions of dollars in food aid into Haiti but distributions to the affected Haitians have been slow and sometimes chaotic.

Reports of a large amount of donated food being sold on the black market have further provoked furor among Haitians who blame government corruption for the slack management and sluggish distribution of goods.

The Sunday demonstrations saw crowds of protesters, mainly women, march to the city hall in the Petionville neighborhood to condemn the corruption of Mayor Lydie Parent in handling relief materials.

The protest was one of the largest since the massive January 12 earthquake plowed through the small island country, killing more than 210,000 people and leaving over a million homeless.

Haitians are desperately expecting more misery as the upcoming rainy season casts dark clouds of fear upon thousands of homeless quake victims, who are living in tents with no running water or electricity.



Haiti: Quake Victims Protest Food Distribution
Reuters, February 7, 2010


The protests in Pétionville resumed on Feb. 7 as demonstrators, mostly women, banged on plastic buckets and waved branches and palm fronds outside the mayor’s office. "I’m hungry, I’m dying of hunger,” a protester said. “Lydie Parent keeps the rice and doesn't give us anything. They never go distribute where we live. ” "If the police shoot at us, we’ll burn everything," the protesters chanted, but the police didn’t intervene.


As Haitians Protest Aid Blockage, Corruption,
UN Calls It Political
Murky Land Deals

By Matthew Russell Lee
Inner City Press, February 8, 2010


UNITED NATIONS -- A protest of "hundred of Haitian" women in Petionville on Sunday was characterized on Monday as merely political by the UN's humanitarian coordinator Kim Bolduc.

Inner City Press asked Ms. Bolduc about the protesters, who accused Petionville's Deputy Mayor of hoarding aid so it didn't reach those most in need. Inner City Press asked, does the UN have any response?

Ms. Bolduc said, contrary to Reuters, that there was "no disturbance reported there." Video here. She went on to say that the UN "cannot avoid conflicts" between "groups in power."

She appeared then to in fact be aware of the protest, recounting that a "group of political parties... told people they could ask for more."

Given how much the UN speak of the needs of the poor, while asking for money, it would seem that the UN should listen, and not dismiss, protests by the poor saying, we are not getting enough food.

But the UN, as a club of governments, is most committed to always working through governments. So when a government, even a local one like in Petionville, is protested, some in the UN automatically side with the government. So much for the Millennium Development goals....

Inner City Press also asked Ms. Bolduc about reports that private land owners are getting side commitments for money in exchange for land to shelter and house the displaced, that the UN is involved in. Ms. Bolduc had said no money was changing hands, then told Inner City Press that of course rent would be asked for. Finally, she said that landlords were being "negotiated" with to give or lend for free their land. What's to negotiate, then? We'll have more on this.


[Note: The UN representation, Bolduc, stated that she had just visited the Petionville aid distribution sites. She then denied that there was any problem with the aid distribution. This directly contradicts the statements of frustrated and angry women protesters who described the corruption and bribery occurring at these distribution centres. Bolduc denied these problems by saying that: "if there is an area that has been organised and well served, it has been Petionville and I myself saw the distribution sites."  Perhaps instead of just seeing these sites, she should have also talked to the protesters.]


Sunday, February 7, 2010
(One day from "A Chronology of Haitian Protest and Resistance since the Earthquake")
A resource produced by Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade