The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Police Cowards Mistake Themselves for Gang Targets

Feb 20, 2023

This article is translated from the February issue #301 of La Voix des Travaillers (Workers’ Voice), the journal of the Organization of Revolutionary Workers (Organisation des Travailleurs Revolutionaires) active in Haiti.

Angry police demonstrated in Port-au-Prince, Gonaïves, and Bas Artibonite on January 26 after armed gangs assassinated a number of police. But the cops were too cowardly to attack the assassins in their strongholds. Instead the cops attacked poor people.

Workers had the hardest time getting to work early that morning. It was the same near public markets and some schools: Heavy gunfire from all directions. Streets blockaded. Stones thrown. Tires burned. Panic reigned in downtown Port-au-Prince and its environs. The braver continued on their way, but many people turned back to protect themselves.

Panic hit its peak around 10 a.m. Parents whose children were trapped at school ran to get them. People apprehended truck drivers and used the vehicles to block the roads.

People wanted to know who the armed, hooded, violent people were. Was there a fresh episode of clashes between criminal gangs? Had the armed gangs finally decided to take the presidential palace, as whispered on social media earlier that week?

As the hours went by, the presence of many police officers on the streets and the demonstration led by police officers in the town of Delmas confirmed the fracas was a violent protest by a group of police officers against the assassination of 15 of them in less than two weeks by armed gangs.

But the criminal gangs were entrenched in their safe houses. They had no concern for the cops blustering in the streets. Rather than going after the thugs where they were, the cops preferred to go after small merchants, taxis, and poor delivery drivers they encountered on the street.

If they want to defend themselves, the popular masses must prepare to counter the horrors of the criminal armed gangs and of their enemies, which are both in league against them. Faced with a population bloodied but mobilized and determined to fight, no armed band will be able to resist.