A Chronology of Haitian Protest and Resistance since the Earthquake:
Photos, videos and articles documenting over 50 protests

By Richard Sanders, coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade

Click here to view the online database of Haitian protests



With over 100 images, 25 videos, and quotations from dozens of articles, this online database brings together materials that document about 50 protest demonstrations, rallies and marches that have been held in Haiti since the devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010. 


Organised in the form of calendars for January, February and March, this resource contains information on some 50 protests. These events ranged in size from a few dozen to thousands of people who, more often than not, come from the most impoverished and hardest-hit segments of Haitian society


Most of these protest events were organised in order to expose and oppose the slow, unfair and corrupt manner in which so much of the food, water, tents and other relief supplies are being distributed. 


Participants in these actions also expressed their profound opposition to the hyper-militarised response to Haiti's humanitarian disaster. With Haitians in desperate need of food, water, doctors, medicine and rescue teams, many governments focused much of their efforts on sending tens of thousands of heavily-armed troops to enforce "security."  Since the earthquake, thousands of peaceful Haitian protesters have had to face the heavy hand of police and foreign soldiers tasked to quell "civil unrest."


Another recurring issue raised at many of Haiti's recent protests is the widespread popular demand that President Aristide be allowed to return from exile.  Aristide was kidnapped and forced out of the country during the 2004 coup which was orchestrated by the US, Canada, France and Haiti's wealthy elite. The illegal dictatorship that they installed during this brutal regime change, targeted Aristide's supporters through assassination, imprisonment and intimidation. With its leaders exiled or in jail, Aristide's Lavalas Party was crippled by the coup regime and lost the 2006 elections.  The Lavalas Party, which is still Haiti's most powerful political force, has been barred from participating in all subsequent elections by the Preval government. President Preval and his government have been the object of criticism at many of Haiti's post-earthquake protests.


American, Canadian and European activists have much to learn from Haitians about how to organise incredibly lively and dynamic protests on a shoe-string budget. Participants in these highly-organised events don't just stand around and chant the occasional slogan, they often engage in vibrant singing and dancing.  And, in many of the protest marches seen in these Haitian photos and images, protesters don't just walk, they often jog or run en masse through the streets, while chanting or singing.


Besides carrying hand-made picket signs, banners, posters of Aristide, or national flags, Haitian protesters sometimes carry emblematic objects.  In several protests, hundreds of people waved leafy green branches.  In another march, many dozens of protesters carried straw brooms to symbolically sweep the streets as they ran along.


In several of the protests, Haitians showed great courage in peacefully standing up to heavily-armed Haitian police and the foreign military troops that are now occupying their country.  Some of these actions included the blocking of large tank-like military vehicles in which UN troops menacingly pointed their automatic weapons at peaceful, unarmed Haitian protesters.  Some of these dramatic images, though reminiscent of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, have been virtually buried by the media.


It is hoped that this collection of photos, videos and articles will be useful to researchers, activists, journalists and anyone else interested in learning from and documenting the ongoing grass-roots struggle for justice, democracy and human rights in Haiti.


For more information on Canada's role in Haiti, please refer to these publications by the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT):


Lies without Borders:
How CIDA-funded 'NGOs' waged a propaganda war to justify Haiti?s 2004 coup
Putting the Aid in Aiding and Abetting:
CIDA's Agents of Regime Change in Haiti's 2004 Coup
CIDA's Key Role in Haiti's 2004 Coup:
Funding Regime Change, Dictatorship and Human Rights Atrocities, one Haitian 'NGO' at a Time

A Very Canadian Coup in Haiti:
The Top 10 Ways that Canada?s Government helped the 2004 Coup and its Reign of Terror


Click here to view the online database of Haitian protests