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1/21 Fanmi Lavalas supporters demonstrate in support of Aristide
by AHP
Saturday Jan 24th, 2004 12:48 AM
Hundreds of thousands of Fanmi Lavalas supporters demonstrate in support of
peace, education and respect for the mandate of President Aristide
Agence Haitienne de Presse
Agence Haitienne Presse is an indepedent news agency based in Haiti
http://www.ahphaiti.org to see originals in French

AHP News - January 21, 2004 - English translation (Unofficial)

Hundreds of thousands of Fanmi Lavalas supporters demonstrate in support of
peace, education and respect for the mandate of President Aristide
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Port-au-Prince, January 21, 2004 -(AHP)- Hundreds of thousands of supporters
of Fanmi Lavalas demonstrated this Wednesday in Port-au-Prince to advocate
respect for President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's constitutional prerogative to
serve out his five year term in office.

This demonstration in support of peace and reconciliation also sought to ask
the leaders of the opposition political platform to put an end to the
opposition's campaign which the demonstrators described as anti-education and
anti-knowledge that was launched more than two weeks ago to prevent schools from
dispensing classes.

The demonstrators, including many mothers who had come from many corners of
the capital, called on the opposition to participate in the next legislative
elections if it wishes to take power and to no longer utilize violence.

Opposition leaders such as Evans Paul called this week for the closing of
schools and hospitals until such time as the elected government has been ousted.

Four schools have been set on fire in Léogane and Cayes Jacmel. A strike
organized at the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince by doctors and residents in
support of the opposition's campaign is said to have already contributed to the
deaths of some 30 patients.

The hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who marched this Wednesday in
several streets of the capital called on the opposition to disassociate the
operation of schools from the practice of politics.

They paused in front of several schools that chose to keep their doors open
despite the threats weighing against them.

Parents then spoke out to denounce those who wish to punish the children to
satisfy what they called their petty interests.

The demonstrators also paused at a public market in the Christ-Roi
neighborhood where demonstrators from the Group of 184 had smashed vendors stalls and
looted or damaged their goods.

"All Haitians in general and all journalists recognize today that when we
demonstrate, all the stores, boutiques, banks and public markets can continue to
carry on their activities without worry", said some of the demonstrators,
explaining that their objective is peace and reconciliation through dialogue.

Indeed, no incident has been reported over the course of this long peaceful
march that started in Bel-Air and finished up in front of the National Palace,
after passing through Delmas, Bourdon, Canapé-Vert and Lalue.

All the way along the route of the march people were massed outside their
homes to greet the demonstrators. Some were perched in trees or on the roofs of
their home.

Small shopkeepers, elderly people, women and children in uniform were seen on
television holding up five fingers or waving photos of President Aristide
while in front or on the balcony of their homes as the demonstration passed by
that drew Fanmi Lavalas supporters from every social stratum.

Two lower level officials of the opposition Democratic Convergence were also
seen enthusiastically greeting the demonstrators.

Some foreign journalists including some from French media, said they were
astonished at the discipline displayed by the marchers, in stark contrast they
said, with some reports published in their countries.

The leader of the organization named Jeunesse Pouvoir Populaire (Populist
Youth Power), René Civil, who participated in the demonstration, asked opposition
leaders to listen to the voice of the majority and to honor the constitution
and President Aristide's mandate for five years in office.

René Civil appealed to all sectors for unity and peace to bring the country
out of the impasse. He held what he described as a sort of populist straw vote,
asking all those in favor of the five year presidential term to raise their
hands.

For his part, the spokesperson for APEL-Démocratique, André Fardeau, also
recalled that the objective of the march is to demand that schools be able to
function and that elections be held to resolve the political crisis.

"One can not construct a society through violence and in which learning is
banned", declared André Fardeau. He appealed for reason to those who are going
around with gallons of gasoline to be used to set fire to schools that continue
to hold classes.

On that topic, several members of the opposition including Mr. Vladimir
Jeanty were arrested this Wednesday as they were reportedly throwing stones at
schools that were holding classes.

In addition to members of populist organizations, many members of women's
organizations, socio-professional organizations, Fanmi Lavalas officials and
members of Parliament took part in the demonstration this January 21st that ended
up in mid-afternoon in front of the National Palace where the participants
sang the national anthem.

Reporters from media of every tendency recognized in their live reporting
that this January 21st demonstration was a sea of humanity.

The demonstrators were prevented from passing in front of the offices of the
State-run TNH television station, which was pelted with rocks on Sunday by
demonstrators from the group of 184 who also attacked small retailers at a public
market located a few meters from TNH.

A group called ACEH (Citizen Action of Haitian Students) announced plans to
hold a "peaceful march" this Thursday January 22 through the streets of the
capital to denounce "those who are holding the university space hostage".

AHP January 21, 2004 4:15 PM

------------------------------------------------------------------------
A demonstration in Port-au-Prince planned by the opposition is blocked by the
police, who cited legal justification for their decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Port-au-Prince, January 21, 2004 -(AHP)- The demonstration announced by
leaders of the opposition to call for the departure of President Aristide and to
prevent the resumption of classes in schools was blocked, with officials
claiming that not all the legal requirements had been met.

The demonstration was scheduled to start out from the Faculty of Social
Sciences. It was prevented from taking place by the police.

According to a press release from the offices of the Haitian National Police,
the organizers of the demonstration had not only failed to inform the police
of their plans in a timely manner, but they had also failed to provide contact
information that would have enabled the police to get in touch with them to
work out details of the demonstration to guarantee adequate protection for the
demonstrators.

Students and members of teachers' organizations who were very eager to go
ahead with their demonstration, threw stones at the police officers at the scene,
chanting slogans expressing hostility toward President Aristide..

The sound of gunfire was also heard coming from the Faculty of Social
Sciences. .

The police felt compelled to use tear gas to persuade the would-be marchers
inside the Faculty of Social Sciences, which is considered by the opposition to
be a key center in the struggle of the anti-government sectors, to abandon
their demonstration.

On a related topic, the leader of the PARADIS party, Pastor Richard Vladimir
Jeanty, as well as several students, were arrested during a police operation
to disperse an anti-government demonstration on what the police said were legal
grounds.

These individuals were reportedly witnessed throwing stones at schools that
were holding classes in the capital.

They appeared Wednesday before Judge Gabriel Ambroise at the magistrate's
court for the southern section of Port-au-Prince.

In Léogane, several dozen opposition supporters demonstrated Wednesday to
call for the departure of the elected government.

In line with efforts by opposition leaders in Port-au-Prince, they advocated
for the closing of schools until the opposition is in power.

In Les Cayes, eight people were injured, including two who suffered gunshot
wounds, during an anti-government demonstration organized by supporters of the
opposition.

The demonstration was held following a mass celebrated at the Cathedral of
Les Cayes in memory of the 12th anniversary of the killing of Claudy Museau
during the period of rule by the leaders of the military coup d'état.

AHP January 21, 2004 2:15 PM

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Students to demonstrate this Thursday to denounce colleagues who they say
have taken the university hostage
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Port-au-Prince, January 21, 2004 -(AHP)- FELUH, the Federation for the
Liberation of the State University of Haiti, denounced Wednesday a group of students
whom they accuse of taking the university hostage by preventing the
resumption of classes in various departments.

Two FELUH leaders, Joseph Lamothe and James Emmanuel condemned the behavior
of these students who say they are determined to bring school activities to a
standstill.

"It would be better for these students to organize demonstrations to raise
the real problems of the university rather than let themselves be manipulated by
leaders of the opposition", declared Joseph Lamothe et James Emmanuel .

Another student organization, ACEH, Citizen Action of Haitian Students,
announced plans for a peaceful march to be held Thursday January 22 in the streets
of the capital to denounce "those who are holding the university space
hostage".

AHP January 21, 2004 1:05 PM

------------------------------------------------------------------------
The former Deputy from Trou du Nord denounces the recent acts of violence by
the opposition
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Port-au-Prince, January 21, 2004 -(AHP)- Rudy Hérivaux, former Deputy from
Trou du Nord, spoke out once again on Wednesday against the latest acts of
violence perpetrated by opposition supporters throughout the country.

According to Rudy Hérivaux, the future of Haitians and the future of Haitian
democracy can be compromised if all compatriots do not mobilize to correct the
situation.

The former member of Parliament said that the attitude of some teachers who
have been converted into political mercenaries to call for the closing of
schools demonstrates, he said, the extent of their craze for power.

Rudy Hérivaux said that the five year term for President Aristide is not
negotiable. he called on the populist sector to engage in a continuous
demonstration to encourage dialogue, the normal operation of schools and the holding
of
elections in the country.

In addition, the former Deputy asked the Haitian Conference of Bishops to
assume its responsibilities by helping those who refuse to allow the country to
slip into darkness.

"The people are awaiting the contribution of the Catholic Church in the
context of the efforts made by the Chief of State to bring the violence to an end",
declared Rudy Hérivaux.

AHP January 21, 2004 11:15 AM
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