December 9th, 2010
06:14 PM ET

In Haiti, people take to the streets

Editor's Note: Since Haiti’s presidential election results were announced Tuesday, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets. No candidate won a majority, forcing a runoff set for January 16th. The election council announced the two candidates who are in the runoff and supporters of the candidate left out have hit the streets in anger. CNN’s Jim Spellman is in Port-au-Prince. Read his first-hand account and scroll through the gallery of photos to find out what's really going on in Haiti right now.

Jim Spellman
CNN All Platform Journalist

The first thing I noticed in the morning was the thick black smoke hanging in the humid tropical air. We soon found the source: dozens, maybe hundreds, of fires set throughout the streets of Port-au-Prince.

The fires set the stage, then came the protesters by the thousands. Most are supporters of Michel Martelly, a popular entertainer turned politician. His supporters lovingly call him Sweet Mickey, his old stage name. The crowds chant "Tet Kale!", Creole for bald-head...a reference to Martelly shaved head.

They march through the streets with no particular place to go. On Wednesday a group burned down the headquarters of the Inite party. Inite is the party of unpopular president Rene Preval whose protégé Jude Celestin beat out Martelly for a spot in a January election.

On the street it goes way beyond simple politics. It is a year’s worth of anger and frustration pouring out. First the earthquake, whose impact is still evident everywhere in Port-au-Prince. Next came Hurricane Tomas, then the cholera outbreak.

Now the people on the street feel they have been cheated out of an election. Their shot at a chance to feel a little hope seems to be gone. For the people in the street of Port-au-Prince it's the one thing they can't afford to lose.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360° • Haiti • Jim Spellman
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Dr. H. Brent De Land

    CNN did it again. You have had great coverage of Haiti when other "news" organizations forgot Haiti you kept reporting. Bless you!

    December 10, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  2. Eugenia - San Francisco

    it did not need to be this way for the haitian people. the greed of others is sickening.

    who is benefiting from the money promised to them?

    December 10, 2010 at 2:00 am |
  3. Martina

    What happened to the money that was supposed to help Haiti? There doesn't seem to be any, not one iota of progress in any kind of housing or medical care. Now there is cholera and people are dying.

    The money should be going to a very unbiased organization such as the United Nations Food Program and UNICEF. The Red Cross doesn't seem to have helped any. The people who were seriously affected by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina are still struggling.

    December 10, 2010 at 1:37 am |
  4. jean

    Its time for something good to be done in Haiti all these people care about is packing all the country's money and don't do anything for the poor. Haitian has been through enough Preval and Celestin needs leave the country an let someone else take over. Preval did not do anything while in power he just need someone to keep his legacy so he can have access to steal the people's money. its time for a change, it's time Haitians to have a better life and able to care for themselves and their children.they need help to get rid of these bastards.

    December 10, 2010 at 12:34 am |
  5. Giovanni

    total chaos in haiti for the last 48 hrs

    December 9, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  6. Enzo

    I am surprised Anderson is not reporting from Haiti with the mess that is going on down there. We trust him out of the US journalists.

    December 9, 2010 at 9:58 pm |