Anti-UN Cholera Demonstration Timeline
MINUSTAH/Cholera Demonstration Time lineThursday, November 18th, 2010Port au Prince, Haiti
International Action Ties had two human rights monitors present during the demonstration in Chammas, Port au Prince today. The below account was recorded by Rozanna Fang and Mark Snyder using photos taken and cell phone call log. All actions described below were directly witnessed by Ms. Fang and/or Mr. Snyder. For questions or comment please contact at:firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Time line9:30 – Demonstrators representing fourteen Haitian grassroots groups and Haitian IDPs gather in front of MSPP. Approx sixty organizers are present with signs to demonstrate against the MINUSTAH mission and the response to cholera in Haiti.9:51-10:11– Demonstrators proceed though Chammas. Others join from the surrounding streets and camps.10:11-10:16 – MINUSTAH patrol with approx. 6 soldiers arrive in Chammas, draw weapons on demonstrators. Demonstrators stop advancing and seek safety. The patrol vehicle accelerates quickly, and 3 troops fall out the back of the vehicle. The 3 troops, now on the ground, again draw weapons on demonstrators before boarding the patrol vehicle. Earthquake debris/rubble is thrown toward the patrol by demonstrators. The vehicle travels north on Rue Capois for approximately 500 yards before it stops. Two teargas canisters are discharged from the patrol. One is witnessed to have landed in a Chammas camp. Another is shot horizontally, bouncing off the street and hitting Mark Snyder (IAT, human rights monitor) on the side of left knee, not causing injury. The MINUSTAH patrol vehicle proceeds out of view.10:20 – Demonstrators regroup and the demonstration continues in a peaceful manner, East on Rue Lalue (John Brown Ave.). 10:32 – Mark Snyder calls the MINUSTAH urgent hotline (at 3702 6945), and strongly suggests that MINUSTAH troops keep clear from demonstration in order to minimize potential for violent confrontation. 10:37-10:55 – Haitian CIMO trucks appear in front and behind demonstrators on Lalue, forcing them into adjacent side streets. The group of demonstrators breaks up as CIMO discharges approximately 8 teargas canisters, many landing in the adjacent residential areas. Earthquake debris, signs, etc are pulled into the street by demonstrators as they flee from CIMO.10:55-11:20 – A number of demonstrators find their way back to Chammas. Demonstration appears nearly finished as demonstrators arrive in front of La Faculte d’Ethnologie. Tires are burnt in street and a casket, covered in anti-UN and political logos, is laid out on the street. 11:24 – Casket is lifted, carried a short distance up the street. CIMO trucks arrive, pull up through intersection. Crowd disperses as teargas canisters are again discharged, many landing in the surrounding camps.11:28 – Four teargas canisters are discharged into La Faculte d’Ethnologie. Students, faculty, and small children leave the campus.11:30-11:55 – The casket is burned. Demonstrators, camp community members, and bystanders group together on one end of a wide street between Chammas camps. CIMO trucks appear at far end of street.11:55-12:42 – Teargas is lobbed again by CIMO, most landing directly into camps in Chammas. Demonstrators and IDPs from within camps begin to throw debris toward CIMO trucks. Camp residents pour out of camps on one side of the street, rush across the street in order to avoid inhaling more tear gas.12:07- Mark Snyder speaks with CIMO on-site command. Snyder requests CIMO to stop discharging teargas, stating that the teargas is landing in the camps, needlessly escalating the situation. The officer agrees, but the assault with the tear gas continues. 12:34 – Mark Snyder calls MINUSTAH urgent line again, gives brief update on situation. He requests they contact CIMO to tell them to stop launching teargas into camps, and again strongly suggests MINUSTAH and UN personnel keep out of sight of the demonstrators.12:42 – Demonstrators regroup en masse, walk toward CIMO truck at end of street, telling others to stop throwing rocks toward CIMO. CIMO retreats slightly into a small side street. The demonstrators and CIMO troops remain a few feet apart, but no violence is witnessed from either side. The demonstration continues, with singing and dancing in the intersection.12:48 – The demonstration recommences, proceeding East once again on Rue Lalue (John Brown Ave.).12:57 – Group advances to Texaco station on Lalue. Barricades of burning tires and earthquake debris are formed on the street as demonstrators walk up the road.1:20 – Demonstrators pass Nazon/Lalue intersection, continue to walk up Lalue towards Petionville.
By 3:00pm demonstrators have dispersed. Exact location unknown. Demonstration ends peacefully. No further violence reported.