An entire city block of government offices was set ablaze and protesters burned an American flag on the anniversary of the Battle of Vertières, the final battle between Haitian revolutionaries and French colonizers in 1803.
Several public institutions were burned by Haitian revolutionaries in the afternoon of Sunday, November 17, 2019, in Cap Haitien. These are the District Electoral Office of the North (BED), the Municipal Electoral Office (BEC) and the premises housing the National Identification Office (ONI).
Fires were set following the arrest of a popular protest organizer, followed by the beating of a militant who was accused of setting up barricades on the streets.
In Léogâne, west of the capital Port-au-Prince, protesters set a bus on fire and set up burning barricades.
Protesters also burned an American flag to denounce foreign interference and imperialism on the 216th anniversary of the Battle of Vertières, the last major anti-colonial battle against the French.
Battle of Vertières
The Battle of Vertières in 1803 was the final engagement between Haiti’s revolutionaries and Napoleon’s French colonial forces.
Haitians stormed the French-held fort of Vertières. In the face of the revolutionaries’ assault, the French were forced to abandon it and, realising their position was now hopeless, they surrendered. St. Domingue had been the jewel in the crown of the French Empire, as it was the leading producer of sugar. Napoleon’s forces sought to reverse earlier upheavals which had resulted in the liberation of all the slaves in the colony. The loss of the island was a critical blow to Napoleon and forced him to focus his ambitions on building an empire away from the Americas and towards Europe.
Haitian revolutionaries are continuing to struggle against US imperialism and the Trump-backed Jovenel Moïse regime. The history of anti-colonial resistance and the liberation of the Haitian people from slavery is an inspiration for revolutionaries all over the world.