Originally: Aristide foes, supporters clash in Haiti

By Amy Bracken

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Thousands of demonstrators

seeking the ouster of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide clashed on

Friday with the president’s supporters and police outside the National

Palace, witnesses said.

     The march was organized by Andre Apaid, a businessman and coordinator

of Group 184, originally a coalition of 184 organizations calling for the

replacement of Aristide with a provisional government. The groups accuse

Aristide’s administration of corruption and suppressing dissent.

     Many demonstrators said they were barred from reaching the protest

site near the palace by police or Aristide supporters.

     Apaid’s brother, Claude Apaid, said a truck full of demonstrators,

including his son, was struck by rocks and its front windshield broken as

it entered the meeting area.

     Apaid said police stopped and searched the vehicle, finding shields

and plastic hand restraints, which the head of Group 184’s security, also

in the car, said were needed to protect the demonstrators. Police arrested

all 20 people in the truck, Apaid said.

     Police had no comment on the incident.

     Witnesses said Aristide supporters, chanting pro-Aristide slogans and

waving photos of the president, threw rocks at demonstrators, while riot

police shot tear-gas pellets into the crowd or fired their guns in the air.

     The witnesses said they later saw a group push a man against a wall

and hit him with wooden sticks. One man yelled, “Kill him!” After a few

minutes, a police car pushed through the crowd and rescued the man.

     The victim, Erwin Monstanto, suffered no serious injuries and said

later he had been beaten because he said he hated Aristide.

     In the week leading up to the demonstration, public officials accused

Andre Apaid of actually being an American and being behind the July

killings of several Aristide supporters in the Port-au-Prince slum of Cite

Soleil. Apaid and his lawyers deny the accusations.