Under the leadership of Bishop Gregory Toussaint, from Shekinah Tabernacle de Gloire in Florida, the Haitian Christian community gathered in Haiti and abroad within the diaspora, especially in most major U.S. cities (New York, Miami, Boston, etc.) on Saturday, July 9th.
Over 200,000 participants came out in big numbers to let their voices be heard by shouting: “Relief for Haiti!” – the theme of the march.
There was a large turnout in Brooklyn, where marchers started on Foster and Rogers Avenues.
They walked on Flatbush Avenue all the way to Parkside Avenue, heading toward Prospect Park, where pastors, community leaders and government officials, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, addressed the public.
The event was a big success for the leaders, who are mostly pastors from various Brooklyn churches.
During the event, the participants shouted, “Enough is enough,!” “We want Haiti to be free,!” “We need security!” and “We need to go back to our country!”
Most of the messages were addressed to the international community, especially the USA, Canada, France and the United Nations. They pointed fingers at the leaders, saying that they are responsible for Haiti’s situation. They said Haiti needs assistance from its international partners, but they don’t want them involved in Haiti’s political affairs. They also put pressure on Congress, President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to pass Bill S.396. Once passed, the bill would impose sanctions on gangs and require reporting on ties between criminal gangs and political and economic elites in Haiti, releasing their names to the public.
One of the leaders of the march was Pastor Mullery Jean Pierre from Beraca Baptiste Church in Canarsie, who said: “It’s not going to end here; it’s the beginning of a bigger movement.”
Councilwoman Mercedes Narcisse was also present to bring awareness to the mounting insecurity in Haiti. “We are committed to changing Haiti. I was proud to stand with hundreds of my fellow Haitian-Americans to reaffirm our commitment to seeing change in our beloved birthplace,” she said. “Haiti has so much to offer the world and needs support but also needs those without the best interest of the nation to stay away.”