The Haitian capitol, the Palace, was destroyed in the earthquake, as you can see in the background. Many believe that the international community is leaving the Palace rubble in place to symbolize what they believe Haiti is now: a broken country of the descendants of rebellious slaves who beat their great general Napoleon and who dared to ask for reparations for the money they were forced to pay France so that they could be recognized internationally by other countries, most notably the U.S. – Photo: Minister of Information JR
Downtown Port au Prince, Haiti, looks like it was hit with an atomic bomb. Many say it was hit with a United States military-made weather weapon. Most people live in tents or makeshift tents, and some live in damaged cave-like buildings.
It is hard to put into words what I saw. There were so many buildings that were pancaked, meaning with the ceiling touching the floor and the supporting walls, in between, crushed. Hella people are dead in the rubble, and you can smell their bodies rotting.
There are more buildings blown out and crushed then there are standing intact by far. We passed by an indoor flea-market-like spot that I was in last time that I was in Port au Prince. It was gone.
Journalist Siraj Fowler accompanied me as part of the medical-media crew that was sent to Haiti by the Prisoners of Conscience Committee, the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund, the SF Bay View newspaper and the Block Report Radio show. Here he is in front of the Palace on the first of the three National Days of Prayer. – Photo: Minister of Information JR
We saw the Palace, the Haitian version of the White House, first up close and then up high, a ways back. It totally fell off of its foundation in like four places.
Surrounding the Palace, thousands of people live outside in the elements in a shanty-town, some in bedsheet and stick houses, on dirt. People were praying at a Christian prayer service outside of the Palace in bleached white on Feb. 12, the first day of the National Days of Prayer, marking a month since the quake.
The people at this event were deeply religious and deeply involved in the ceremony. There was a youngsta with a deep gash in his head watching the ceremony, like it was normal. It kind of fucked me up, for lack of a better term.
This is an example of how many of the buildings folded during the earthquake in Haiti. As you can see, the supporting beams were crushed while the ceiling fell on people intact. Based on what I saw in one day in Port au Prince, I believe that there is at least 300,000 people dead as a direct result of this earthquake. – Photo: Minister of Information JR
It was cold blooded to see how these Haitians were/are being done by the international community. Everybody is taking photo-ops and making speculations on land, but nobody cares whether the people live or die.
I am making this assessment based on what I saw on the ground not being delivered to these thousands, if not millions, of people. Where’s the money? I don’t know, but I do know if relief is not getting to Port au Prince, the capital city, chances are the other cities and rural areas are most likely suffering more.
This youngsta was at the first day of prayer at the capitol, on Feb. 12, ’10, marking the one month anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. Seeing a child with such a serious wound out in the open is normal from what I saw in Haiti. – Photo: Minister of Information JR
After we left the prayer service, we went to SOPUDEP, the school where our tour guide, Rea Dol, is the director. The school building was heavily damaged and the desks and stuff in the classrooms were all broke up.
There were people living at the school who didn’t have any other place to go. When we were on the plane to Haiti and told the airline attendant where we were going, she gave us a bag of crackers, peanuts, pretzels, cheez-its, cookies and more. We gave it to Rea. She passed it out at SOPUDEP to people who might have to eat that stuff for dinner.
One young woman we met in the area has had a fever for a month and saw a number of doctors who have not been able to cure her. Rea helps to take care of her.
This photo was taken on the one month anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. Many of these people were participating in the National Day of Prayer, but this is also where many of them live – right where they are sitting. Over a million people are homeless, and there is a policy enforced by the Haitian police that people cannot sleep indoors at night. So Haitians are forced by law into the streets even if they have a house to go to. It is part of the U.S. policy to make people leave Port au Prince, much like what happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Amerikkka. – Photo: Minister of Information JR
Going back to the Jim Crow mission where we are staying doesn’t feel hot at all. But where else are we going to go in another country?
For the first few hours of being in Haiti, I was silent, soaking in everything that I saw, all the dead bodies that I smelled, so I could report it to the people. It was definitely an intense experience. I just thought about the fact that even though I’d soon be leaving, I feel like this – yet this is these people’s life. They live here.