My Neighbors Are Pissed Off

Just checked out on the street a couple of minutes ago. The little store where I bought my milk this morning is now closed, along with every other shop on the avenue. There are a few cars and a bunch of motorcycles rolling around, but only or almost only men are visible on the street. This is, in my experience, a bad sign. Up at the corner with the Avenue Charles de Gaulle, the main drag in this part of town, somebody is burning tires; an old Haitian trick seemingly now in use around the world. The smoke is not too thick, as you can see in the photo I hope to be able to attach, so somebody is making signs of opposition without actually trying to close the street.

A military spokesman was on national TV this morning announcing the dissolution of the transitional government and “wide-ranging talks” to establish a new government of national unity. Apparently, one of the issues is that the electoral commission excluded some candidates from the upcoming elections who had supported the constitutional change (under the old regime) that would have permitted President Compaoré to run again. Those folks might have to be accomodated. Last night, somebody burned the HQ of Compaoré’s political party, which was running candidates in the elections (though not its top leaders, who are either banned or in exile along with the ex-president).

The guys who work at the car repair place next door are sitting around in front of the closed and barred door of their shop, complaining. They are Muslims, Fulani-speakers, working-class, urban. I don’t know if that makes a difference in people’s attitudes towards the current mess. They all say they are waiting for noon, when the military have promised a statement, and then they may go do something unspecified.

Photo doesn’t want to go, I’ll try to attach it later.


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