"Those nationalists came and threw themselves at us and the police, instead of taking the attitude of protecting us, what they did was to stop us,” said Reconocido (recognized) non-governmental organization leader Ana Maria Belique.
Reconocido representatives convoked a demonstration called “A flower for Floyd” to denounce systemic racism. The NGO advocates for Haitian-descendant’s rights due to the discrimination they face in the Dominican Republic.
Hoy se estaría desarrollando un acto de solidaridad en memoria de #GeorgeFloyd Al lugar del encuentro se presentó un grupo de nacionalistas con discurso de odio y violencia, nos amenazaron y la Policía, en vez de tomar una actitud de protegernos, apresaron a nuestrxs compañerxs. pic.twitter.com/V49laIrD0b
"Today an act of solidarity in memory of George Floyd was taking place. At the place of the meeting a group of nationalists presented a speech of hate and violence, they threatened us and the police, instead of taking an attitude of protecting us, imprisoned our comrades."
The Old Dominican Order (AOD), an ultra-nationalist organization, confronted Reconocido’s members. The far-rightist group qualified the demonstration as terroristm and encouraged their social media followers to "stand up against the Haitian invader."
The media ignores the sharp increase in attempted migration out of the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico. Dominicans are led to believe poor Haitians are the enemy while the local elite and imperialists steal all of the wealth. pic.twitter.com/TTyzNfFedN
"Ana Maria Belique and Maribel Nuñez have been violently detained, while performing a solidarity act for the death of George Floyd. While the ultra-nationalists also present were attacking and shouting racist insults"
According to local news media, AOD’s members violently confronted Reconocido’s demonstrators. Anti-riot police forces detained the activists and snatched posters and flowers from them.
"Here the victims of Haitian racism are the Dominicans. Here there is a conflict of two countries, two peoples, two cultures, two states, that is why we defend our country and we defend our rights against illegal foreigners who come to our land,” said Robert Cabral, an AOD member.
Belique stated that Reconocido pursues social equality for Haitians residents in the Dominican Republic, who face racism and discrimination based on their nationality. At least one million Haitians live in the country, most in irregular conditions. They survive in informal workplaces and live in makeshift domiciles.
As of Wednesday morning, Saint Dominic’s Health authorities reported 20,415 COVID-19 cases, 544 deaths, and 12,208 recoveries from the virus.