Sunday, September 25, 2011

Anti-MINUSTAH Protest- Port-au-Prince, Haiti

It is with a slight hesitation that I make my first post since arriving in Port-au-Prince two months ago with images of a protest. Before coming here I, like the rest of the world, had only seen images of Haiti in the news only in moments of extreme disorder. It would seem that is all this small country has to offer the rest of the world is tragedy. Something sad happening in a distant land, to distant people. Something to discuss at the watercolor, but then quickly forget. If there is one thing I have learned from my short time here so far, it is that the image of Haiti that I knew before is nothing of the intriguing and complex reality that exists here.

In the next two years during my work with local press agency Groupe Medialternatif, I am looking forward to seeing that complex reality unfold. My list of ideas for feature stories grows everyday as I am constantly surprised by how much joy and life this country holds. I hope that the more of the language I learn and the more people I meet, the more I can explore not just the shouting in the streets, but the quite moments that make up the daily lives of Haitians. 

This protest, which took place on Friday, September 23rd was in response to the ongoing UN occupation in Haiti. It is one of several protests that have occured in the last few weeks against the UN's mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and I am certain they will continue in the weeks to come. This particular protest was relatively calm, with no rock throwing of tear gas shooting. It began at a UN compound and wound through the city ending at the back entrance to the National Palace. The organization that I work for wrote an article about it, which can be found here.



UN officers photographing the protest from their guard tower. 


The protest, which was lead by a police truck, included several people spray painting anti-UN slogans on the walls of buildings. Interestingly, this is not illegal and therefore was ignored by the police.



UN troops photographing the protest from the top wall of their compound. 


1 comment:

hans manshoven said...

You're doing great, Kohl!
And so much more emotion in your writings than in the article on the same event on the alterpresse page.
Good luck,