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Massive demonstrations in Haiti catch UN by surprise

by Haiti Information Project Monday, Feb. 12, 2007 at 8:30 PM
HIP@teledyol.net

Well over 100,000 took to the streets of seven major cities throughout Haiti on February 7 to demand an end to the UN occupation, freedom for political prisoners and the return of exiled president Aristide.

Massive demonstrations in Haiti catch UN by surprise

HIP — Challenging recent assertions made by the United Nations that the

Lavalas movement is dead, crowds estimated at well over 100,000 took to

the streets of seven major cities throughout Haiti on February 7 to

demand an end to the UN occupation, freedom for political prisoners and

the return of exiled president Aristide. Lavalas is the political

movement of Haiti's desperately poor majority and the political party

of president Jean-Bertrand Aristide who was ousted on February 29, 2004

in a coup reportedly backed by the United States, France and Canada.

Although the largest demonstrations took place in the capital of

Port-au-Prince and Haiti's second largest city Cap Haitien, thousands

were reported to have joined similar actions in Port de Paix, Hinche,

La Kay, St. Marc and Miragoane. Smaller actions were also reported in

the towns of Jacmel, Leogane and Gonaives.

UN Special Envoy to Haiti Edmond Mulet had stated one week earlier,

"[Demonstrations demanding the return of president Aristide] became

3,000 and the last ones maybe 75...50 people. So I see that this issue

of former President Aristide is not present anymore in the political

sphere in Haiti anymore, and his movement - familia Lavalas - is very

much divided, weakened." Mulet made his comments during a roundtable

forum sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies

(CSIS) this past January 31 in Washington D.C.

News of the demonstrations in Haiti has been met with a virtual press

blackout by major corporate news organizations. Only the Associated

Press (AP) filed a short dispatch on the protests in Port-au-Prince and

they reported only "hundreds" attended the demonstration. AP photos

also

appeared on Yahoo News but appeared to have been carefully selected to

minimize the number of participants in Haiti's capital.

FOR FULL ARTICLE WITH PHOTOS:

http://www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/2_9_7/2_9_7.html

For more information:

To view 7-minute trailer of "Haiti: The UNtold Story" visit:

www.teledyol.net

for further infomation about the Haiti Information Project (HIP) visit:

http://www.teledyol.net/HIP/about.html

Contact: HIP@teledyol.net

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