Hundreds of people rallied in support of the city’s Haitian community outside of the Trump Building on Wall Street Friday afternoon, raucously beating drums, waving Haitian flags and chanting “Donald Trump, racist.”
Protesters, who started their rally at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and marched over the Brooklyn Bridge, were rallying outside of one of President Donald Trump’s namesake buildings in response to his alleged disparaging comments about Haiti during a meeting with senators on immigration policy.
Trump, in a tweet, denied he said, “anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and trouble country.” But Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, who attended the meeting, said the president had used “vile, vulgar” language, including using the word “shithole” when speaking about African nations.
Carl Dix, a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA, said Haiti is poor because "countries like the U.S. and Britain plundered us."
"When you strike one of us, you have struck us all," he added. "This is everybody's fight. Don't say it's just the Africans'."
Speaking to the crowd of roughly 200 people, New York Assemb. Charles Brown (D-Brooklyn) called Trump “a chump” and rallied for unity in defying the current administration.
“Long live Haiti. Long live the Haitian revolution. We are one African people. We are one people,” Brown said. “We say he doesn’t belong in the White House, he belongs in the dog house. Let’s impeach Donald Trump.”
MariePaule Florestal, organizer for 1804 movement, which organized the demonstration, read allowed a list of demands to the Trump administration that align with their mission:
- “That Trump publicly apologize to all Haitians, Africans and African-Americans for his racist remarks.”
- “That permanent U.S. residency be granted to all holders of Temporary Protected Status currently in the U.S.”
- “That Washington pay reparations to Haiti for over a century of U.S. crimes against and exploitation of Haiti’s people and that the United Nations, Washington’s handmaiden, pay reparations to Haitian cholera victims because U.N. soldiers introduced the bacterial disease into Haiti in 2010.”
- “That U.S. police forces stop all forms of racial profiling and terror in the U.S., above all against black and brown people.”
- “That there be an immediate end to the U.N. military occupation of Haiti and to U.S. meddling in Haiti’s elections.”