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7693: Port-au-Prince graffiti (fwd)

From: Tttnhm@aol.com

The walls of Port-with-Prince are being taken over by graffiti 
Radio Metropole, 23 April, 2001, 

(translated from French by Charles Arthur for the Haiti Support Group)

The walls of private residences as well as those of public and private 
institutions are being invaded by graffiti. This recent practice has gained 
ground with the increase in number of popular organisations. The walls of 
houses, schools, banks, supermarkets, pharmacies, public institutions, 
embassies as well as churches, are covered with graffiti. Pro-Lavalas and 
pro-Democratic Convergence slogans, and messages hostile to party leaders and 
State officials are the principal texts. 

With each popular organisation demonstration in Port-au-Prince, the walls get 
new slogans. The building owners get no respite. The expensive task of having 
the walls of the properties repainted for the New Year celebrations was in 
vain. The graffiti painters found the walls even better to spray on and began 
immediately, even though it is illegal for anyone to damage public or private 

Port-au-Prince is transforming itself into a real graffiti capital when it 
already gives the impression of being an abandoned city thanks to the scraps 
of streamers, torn posters, and defaced advertising boards remaining after 
last year's elections. Delmas is perhaps the municipality worst affected by 
the phenomenon. What is in fact the wealthiest municipality in the 
Port-au-Prince metropolitan region is now extremely dirty and is becoming a 
more and more intolerable place to live - smothered by shantytowns with dirt 
track roads full of street food sellers

Port-au-Prince needs a big clean-up, and new provisions to deal with the 
graffiti painters. The agencies that set up advertising hoardings should also 
remove them when they have expired. The 1987 Haitian Constitution recognises 
the right of citizens to express themselves peacefully, using means within 
the law, but not at the expense of making the whole city ugly. 

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The Haiti Support Group - solidarity with the Haitian people's struggle for 
justice, participatory democracy and equitable development, since 1992.