Protests In Haiti
Policemen have gathered to protest in Haiti.
Recently, hundreds of Haitian policemen from Haiti’s National Police Force (PNH), have gathered on the streets of Haiti’s capital to protest against their working conditions, leading to two civilians dead in the midst of the protests. They walk together dressed in regular civilian clothing, holding signs and chanting to express the need in bettering their daily working and living conditions.
The first victim was shot during a protest demanding that President Jovenel Moise resign from office. One of the main complaints of these protestors is that they have not been paid in several months, but are still called into active duty. Anti-government activists have also taken the streets along with government officials asking for better law enforcement salaries. Daily protests in Port-au-Prince and other cities have shut down the transportation link between cities. As well as closed down schools and halted local businesses. At least 18 people have died in clashes with police and other types of violence. More than half the Haitian population lives on less than $2.40 a month, which is why so many have gathered to protest on the streets.
“To me it is obvious: The president, particularly, doesn’t govern anything at all right now,” said Fritz Jean, a former Prime Minister and past governor of Haiti’s Central Bank. “In fact, we are in a state of vacancy right now.”
A fuel shortage in mid-September was the last straw for the residents of Haiti. Inflation and a lack of safe drinking water added fuel to the fire. As Haitian citizens blocked roads and highways, food scarcity increased among residents, causing citizens to resort to looting businesses and setting random fires on the streets, as they continue their protests. Pictures of the protests capture hundreds of citizens marching together down the streets of Port-au-Prince. The makeshift barricades can be seen in these images, as well as the many fires alit along the streets. One image captures Jean-Marie Féthière, a senator, firing a gun in the air at the outside of the parliament. Citizens can be seen fleeing from the senator as he fires his gun in the air.
“I have a lot of family that lives in Haiti. My mom is always talking about what my cousins and my other family is going through. Sending old clothes and canned goods is something that we have to do to help them,” junior Kelsea Frederic said.
Suncoast student Kelsea Frederic with several family members in Haiti has expressed ho she is helping her family in Haiti. She has packed old clothes that does not fit her anymore and several cans of food to send to her cousins in Haiti, since businesses have either been looted or shut down. Making it hard for families to get everyday items during this crisis. The United Nations as well has expressed to protestors and authorities to “refrain from violence” during this time. Anthony Maingot, a professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology at Florida International University, described the situation as dire.
As time goes, on citizens and the world alike wait to see what will happen during these protests. The United States government has limited their public comments on the protests, because the U.S supports Moise’s presidency through these protests. Moise has yet to speak out about the issues being presented to him on the streets of Haiti.