Hundreds Haitian Catholics Demonstrate in New York City on April 21, 2024

By Travis Ross, Canada-Haiti Information Project, May 10, 2024

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, held a Mass at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday, April 21, 2024, at 10:15 a.m. The focus was on supporting Haiti. Members of the Haitian community in New York spoke at the Mass. 

The Mass was also attended by the Haitian ambassador to the United-Nations Antonio Rondrigue and Bishop Jacques Frabre-Jeune from Charleston, South Carolina. 

Following the Mass, a large march and demonstration was held near the Cathedral. Hundreds of people, mostly from the Haitian diaspora, attended the demonstration. 

Radio Tele Latwa provided live coverage of the demonstration. Demonstrators held placards with a variety of demands. Some said "Enough is Enough, let's Make Haiti Great Again", while others endorsed Guy Philippe. One placard read "No to gun violence, we need education", improved access to education and health care, while another demanded improved access to health care. 

Another recording provided coverage of the speeches at demonstration following the march. The quality of the audio varied throughout the speeches. Speakers demanded the United States government and the United Nations support Haiti, but no explicit endorsement of the UN sanctioned Multinational Security Support Mission (MSS) could be discerned. 

The main speaker endorsed a change,org petition auuthored by representatives of the Federation of Haitian Protestant Churches Overseas (FEHAPCO). The petition was aimed at U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. 

The petition includes the following:

"Historically, the US government has contributed significantly to regional stability. It's time to take action once more to stop this crisis from getting worse. We implore the US government to act immediately and work with the Haitian Diaspora, local authorities, and international organizations to develop practical plans that will put an end to the bloodshed, bring about peace, and rebuild communities."

The petition then demands support from the U.S. government on a variety of fronts. While not explicitly endorsing the MSS, the petition requests the U.S. government deliver "prompt and significant assistance" and "support Haiti's recovery".

Posted May 10, 2024