Wednesday, April 09, 2008

thoughts from a PortauPrince resident

Ruth said:

There are several different things going on. First, many, many people are really suffering. They are hungry and they see no future for themselves or their children. People like that demonstrate peacefully - as is their right - and express their legitimate frustration and despair. But there are also people who are taking advantage of the situation to loot and steal. These people I saw today were not Jean Valjeans stealing a loaf of bread because they were hungry. They were taking 5 gallon water bottles and emptying them out, taking ice from the machine and throwing it in the road. They were going from one store to another and breaking all the windows. They were carrying away furniture and even the fire extinguishers. I don't know what all their motives were for this but clearly the motive wasn't to make food prices go down.Without exception, the people from this country with whom I have talked have expressed their disgust with those who are doing these things. They aren't improving the situation of high food prices and a difficult life - they are making the situation worse. Most people here are ashamed that the world is seeing these actions and associating this country with violence and destruction. This is not a violent country. Looters and destroyers do not represent this country any more than serial killers represent the United States.