40 years, a march of 40,000!

On Friday 22nd March, the objective set by the MPP was attained: 40,000 or more people got together to march from Papaye to Hinche for national sovereignty and against social inequality.

Friday, from 11am onwards, tens of coaches arrived full of people at the Lakay centre. With the help of the MPP, who provided the transport, and the MPNKP, thousands of people came from the 10 regions in support of the movement. A float transporting musicians and another with young singers added to the atmosphere.
A mass celebratory procession of red t-shirts and straw hats set off on the road to Hinche, singing and dancing. When they got into town even more people came to join the mass and listen to a final address, written following the conclusions reached by the Congress:

Chavannes Jean-Baptiste took this opportunity to call all citizens to participate, remain vigilant to and united in the defence of national sovereignty and putting an end to foreign dependence for Haiti’s food security. He called for 15% of the national budget to be allocated to the encouragement of local food production and 10% for environmental protection. The ’5 trees for each Haitian’ target means 50 million trees each year for the reforestation of bare and barren soils.

Senator William Jeanty and numerous press and media outlets (including Haïti Press Network, RFI, Radio métropole, Télé Guinée, Télé star, Télé Pam) reported on this historic event and unanimously agreed that the 40,000 target was far from being a dream, it was a reality.

A magnificent climax for a congress that showed the influence the MPP has in the central plateau community and in Haiti.

They were there:
Israel Emmanuel, member of the organisation committee
We organised this march to put across a number of demands and get as many people together as possible. We can confidently say that there are around 40,000 people here today. The more people there are, the more our demands will be heard.

Saint Louis, MPNKP member
We are able to show that we are frustrated, that we experience difficulties in this country and we want change: farmers are not respected, their interests are not a part of the decisions taken nationally, and these decisions are not good for us. I’m arching today to protest against intrusions by outsiders. This is our country. Farmers must have a voice because they are in the majority.”

Flavio Barbossa (Brazil), Via Campesina member
The Congress was a very important occasion for farmers to enrich their knowledge and awareness. The march was an important time for the people, to see what we have on our side to change the reality of no funding for agriculture. In sum, a great moment for the Mouvement Paysan Papaye to see its strengths, those of its partners, and the resources available for changing the current situation which is essentially a problem the farmers must face.”

Wendy Flick, UUSC
I have been supporting the MPP for 10 years. It was a very powerful experience for me because the last time I came the MPP was holding its 30th anniversary conference. I see all the work that has been done in 10 years, the energy and organisation behind the farmers, the excellent ideas they have and the solutions they’re implementing. It was fantastic to march with so many people and really feel the solidarity that exists."


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