Counter-rally in “Democracy Square” in favour of Marc Ravalomanana


translation: do not freighten the people
translation: do not freighten the people

Message on Facebook

Friday, March 20th, 2009: I was informed by facebook (through a friend’s status) that there would be a sit – in at “place du 13 Mai” Analakely (downtown of Antananarivo) to protest against the coup d’état made by Andry rajoelina and the mutineer militaries. In order to get more confirmation about the accuracy of such information, I decided to phone directly my friend. He told me that this project was serious, but he did not know who was really behind it. Actually, he said, this is just a message relaied by Facebook friends. We then decided to go there to cover the event. The appointment was at CCAC (Albert Camus’s Cultural Center) at 10.00am Madagascar time.

Ravalomanana supporters and people who do not agree with the coup d'état, made a rally at the "place of democracy" in Ambohijatovo
Ravalomanana supporters and people who do not agree with the coup d'état, made a rally at the "place of democracy" in Ambohijatovo

Little gathering outside CCAC

Saturday, March 21st, 2009 at 10.00am Madagascar time: there were 15 people who waited outside CCAC. Most of them were aware of the news through Facebook. We chit-chated with them. I could notice their real willingness to make their voices heard. We talked about the necessity to find an efficient way to mobilize people and to rally the maximum of people to their cause: to condemn the coup d’état. We agreed on the fact that we do not that for supporting Marc Ravalomanana but for protecting democracy and the state of law. We were informed that there was a greater rally which took place in the so-called “democracy square” in Ambohijatovo (just near Analakely). We then decided to join it.

People wanted to defend their choice
People wanted to defend their choice

Ambohijatovo democracy square

10.30am Madagascar time: we arrived in Ambohijatovo at the democracy square (The Antananarivo Mayor, Andry Rajoelina, renamed this communal garden on Saturday, January 17th, 2009 and decided that this would be the place where all oppositionists can do freely a rally without asking for a prior authorization before the chief of police of Antananarivo, as it is provided by the law). A lot of people was already there. The organisers (we could not manage to find out from which political parties were they) were frantically preparing the stage.

Peopel wanted to express their disagreement with the way Andry Rajoelina took over the power
Peopel wanted to express their disagreement with the way Andry Rajoelina took over the power

We are against Andry Rajoelina

11.00am Madagascar time: the “show” finally started (it was scheduled to begin at 10.00am). The first speaker welcomed the crowd and apologized for the delay. He said that the common point of all the ralliers were the condemnation of the coup d’état and the refusal of constitutionnal violations. He also added that among the purposes of the rally, is to show to Andry Rajoelina that the Antananarivo people were against him and that he is not backed by Antananarivo people.

People wanted to show that they are for the democracy and the respect of the constitution
People wanted to show that they are for the democracy and the respect of the constitution

Plebiscite for Marc Ravalomanana

Each speaker did their best to highlight the good things that Marc Ravalomanana has done for Madagascar. They outlined the fact that Marc Ravalomanana has been unfairly and illegaly ousted. The rally became a plebiscite in favor of the former president.

People wanted to giev a message to Andry Rajoelina: "we are still here!"
People wanted to giev a message to Andry Rajoelina: "we are still here!"

Military junta backed by France

A speaker ascertained that Andry Rajoelina’s administration was in fact a military junta backed by France. Another one declared that Andry Rajoelina is a “coward” because he did not dare to accept to face a referendum (proposed by Marc Ravalomanana on March 16th, 2009 to end the crisis).

People want to have Marc Ravalomanana back
People want to have Marc Ravalomanana back
translation: Malagasy People! Do not agree with this "hooligan" state. CAPSAT=Terrorists. Ratsiraka and Co. out!
translation: Malagasy People! Do not agree with this "hooligan" state. CAPSAT=Terrorists. Ratsiraka and Co. out!
the rally started with one hour of delay (it wa scheduled to begin at 10.00am)
the rally started with one hour of delay (it wa scheduled to begin at 10.00am)
This rally was advertised only last Friday on Fahazavana radio (FM 88.6: official radio of FJKM (protestant church))
This rally was advertised only last Friday on Fahazavana radio (FM 88.6: official radio of FJKM (protestant church))
People are ready to do more rallies against Andry Rajoelina
People are ready to do more rallies against Andry Rajoelina
People are afraid of their future with Andry Rajoelina
People are afraid of their future with Andry Rajoelina
Ralliers wanted to shout their anger against Andry Rajoelina
Ralliers wanted to shout their anger against Andry Rajoelina
Some ralliers were informed about this event through Facebook and SMSes
Some ralliers were informed about this event through Facebook and SMSes
Most of ralliers want a strict respect of the constitution and the democracy
Most of ralliers want a strict respect of the constitution and the democracy
People are tired to remain silent because of fear
People are tired to remain silent because of fear
while singing the national hymn, some people put their right hand on their heart
while singing the national hymn, some people put their right hand on their heart
Ralliers are ready for another political battle
Ralliers are ready for another political battle
People do not want to be ruled by either Andry Rajoelina, or the army, or France
People do not want to be ruled by either Andry Rajoelina, or the army, or France
there were other people who shared flyers
there were other people who shared flyers
The ralliers were aware that their future is really in danger ...
The ralliers were aware that their future is really in danger ...
Raise your hands, folks!
Raise your hands, folks!
they just had 24 hours to advertise that ...
they just had 24 hours to advertise that ...
fact: the "new opposition" has a problem of communication
fact: the "new opposition" has a problem of communication
"whatever it takes", they are ready to fight for their future
"whatever it takes", they are ready to fight for their future
opposition or resistance?
opposition or resistance?
may be "both of them"? ...
may be "both of them"? ...
How would these people react if they faced the mutineer militaries?
How would these people react if they faced the mutineer militaries?
How would these people react if they faced Andry Rajoelina's hooligans?
How would these people react if they faced Andry Rajoelina's hooligans?
I hope that they will react ... bravely
I hope that they will react ... bravely
The French flag with the term "SHIT"
The French flag with the term "SHIT"
Ralliers hate France
Ralliers hate France
the led-animator of the rally
the led-animator of the rally
Go, Go People!
Go, Go People!
Are they really ready for a long and tiring battle?
Are they really ready for a long and tiring battle?
Wave your hands for your country!
Wave your hands for your country!
People praying
People praying
"We want our father back!" Ralliers said
"We want our father back!" Ralliers said
there were many people who did not dare to come in the "democracy square"
there were many people who did not dare to come in the "democracy square"
"We need our father back!" By Father, ralliers mean Marc Ravalomanana
"We need our father back!" By Father, ralliers mean Marc Ravalomanana
A lady took the floor ...
A lady took the floor ...
Ralliers were well-disciplined
Ralliers were well-disciplined
they really pray with their heart!
they really pray with their heart!
God, rescue our country
God, rescue our country
Here is my president!
Here is my president!
The only president we believe in!
The only president we believe in!
translation: we don't need a fake TGV. Make him shut up!
translation: we don't need a fake TGV. Make him shut up!
How many rallies like this one, these people can bear?
How many rallies like this one, these people can bear?
The official portrait of the president Marc Ravalomanana nailed on a wall at the "Democracy Square" in Ambohijatovo
The official portrait of the president Marc Ravalomanana nailed on a wall at the "Democracy Square" in Ambohijatovo
Gégé Rasamoely, a famous actor informed the crowd that Radio Mada (the radio which belongs to Marc Ravalamanana) broadcasts from abroad on the SW 58 95
Gégé Rasamoely, a famous actor informed the crowd that Radio Mada (the radio which belongs to Marc Ravalamanana) broadcasts from abroad on the SW 58 95
a little poem for the nation ...
a little poem for the nation ...
local TV stations also covered the rally
local TV stations also covered the rally
People were hot
People were hot
When will they come back to the "Democracy Square"?
When will they come back to the "Democracy Square"?
Over-excited...
Over-excited...
what is the real aim of such rally?
what is the real aim of such rally?
Kicking Andry Rajoelina away and to have Marc Ravalomanana back?
Kicking Andry Rajoelina away and to have Marc Ravalomanana back?
or imposing real democracy to Andry Rajoelina?
or imposing real democracy to Andry Rajoelina?
or forcing Andry Rajoelina to respect the constitution?
or forcing Andry Rajoelina to respect the constitution?
what people want is a real state of law where social and economical development are possible
what people want is a real state of law where social and economical development are possible
what people need is an independant nation
what people need is an independant nation

29 thoughts on “Counter-rally in “Democracy Square” in favour of Marc Ravalomanana

  1. tres bien je suis a l etranger ca chaud au coeur de voir ca
    ra8 est notre president
    vive mada vive ra8 il faur continuer la lutte
    bravo vous etes courageux

  2. Thank you, God bless you !! many kiss …
    Profondément désolée de ne pas savoir parler l’Anglais…. mais je vais m’y mettre !!!! en attendant…
    Merci pour ces si belles et réconfortantes images, et surtout merci d’avoir vraiment compris notre message à travers cette manifestation.

    J’étais présente à Ambohijatovo et pour moi, l’espoir n’est pas parti !!!
    Réveillons-nous, Malgaches, laisser de telles actes se réaliser à Madagascar en ignorant l’aspiration du peuple à s’exprimer de manière juste et légale, condamne notre avenir, nous qui vivons dans ce pays !!!!!

  3. courage à tout le monde , il faut qu’on gagne la vérité, c dommage que je suis à l’étranger pour étudier en ces dur moment , mais Ça me donne envie d’y revenir. Il faut que notre président revienne. Il ne faut pas qu’on se laisse faire.

  4. Mampahery anareo avy aty lavitra aty e! Menatra isaky ny mahita olona aty sady mihomehy no maneso,”fa inona no mahazo an’i Madagasikara?” Tsy hita izay avaly fa dia mangina fotsiny.Misaotra anareo sahy milaza ny ao am-pon’ny maro amin’izao fotoana izao.Tsy mila mpamoritra toa an’i Andry Rajoelina isika! Alefaso haingana ny fifdianana hamerenana ny safidintsika sy ho marika eran-tany fa TSY IZAY MITANA BASY NO MAHERY. Mba ho fantatr’izao tontolo izao fa tsy vahoaka adala sy vendrana akory ny Malagasy fa olona tia filaminana sy tia tanindrazana. Hiezaka aho hanao izay kely mba vitako aty.
    Ho tahian’Andriamanitra anie isika rehetra!

  5. Magnifique !

    Le peuple malgache ne laissera pas voler son choix.
    Il est important que cela se sache à l’étranger.
    Les estimations situent le nombre de participants entre 3000 et 5000 personnes.
    Ce qui est extraordinaire, car nous les anti-TGV ne disposons plus de radio, ni de télé, et les journaux n’avaient prévenu personne.
    Tout s’est fait de bouche à oreille, la veille !
    Il est fort à parier que le mouvement va s’accroître.
    Rendez vous lundi 23.
    Mais le point d’orgue proche sera le 29 mars, commémoration du soulèvement de 1947 pour l’indépendance.
    29 mars 2009 sera je pense le véritable top départ d’une autre lutte : celle d’un peuple à qui l’indépendance a été confisquée par un terroriste en puissance, et contre la démagogie et la dictature !
    Vive le Peuple Malgache !
    A bas le terrorisme, à bas la démagogie et la dictature !

  6. RDV Lundi à 9h00 au même endroit. Trois jours de grève générale sont prévus. Ampitapitao car nous n’avons plus de radio

  7. RA8 n’est plus notre president ! Il nous a laissé tombé.
    Dimanche il a dit ” je suis avec vous ”
    Mardi : ” je vous laisse ”
    Et …… !

  8. Yes, INDEPENDANT NATION! And it’s a spontaneous rally.
    France support of this putsch is particularly in evidence, long before the crisis started 26th January). French media has clearly shown bias in criticizing the President Ravalomanana.
    Lately, Sarkozy couldn’t say anything but it is a Coup d’Etat, in Brussel, but he still spoke about not defending the President who, he thinks, must be taken into a court! In 7 years, our President never had the same mess as he, Sarkozy, is having now with millions of people demonstrating after just 2 years at the head of his state, so how can he judge our President with just 30 000 people helped by heavy armed mutineers?

  9. thank you for all of your photos, you know, it’s just a start…he will come back and very soon…

  10. Super, j’éspère que ce n’est que le début, il faut que ça continue, il faut pas laisser dans les mains de ces incoscients et assoifés(tgv et co) l’avenir de notre pays, tout le monde a vu de quoi ils étaient capable avant d’avoir le pouvoir et pour l’avoir, et maintenant qu’ils l’ont ……., j’ose même pas imaginer.
    En tout cas, tgv n’est pas et ne sera jamais mon président.
    Une malagasy qui aime profondément son pays

  11. @louise, setting afire the French flag won’t change anything in the struggle. They already know that a lot of Malagasy people hate France for what it’s done to their country.

    Defenitely man you should open a flickr account for us to have better pics😉

    Just in : Coutity was released!!😦

  12. Bravo. You did a good report. But, because of you have been in Ambohijatovo and not in Mahamasina, should we interprete what camps you prefer between the two bumpkins?

  13. Thanks for your comment TPC,
    We have decided to cover the event in Ambohijatovo because I thought that it would be more interesting. I already knew almost everything which would happen in Mahamasina ….

  14. Thanks for your coverage. The media is so biased toward Rajoelina and France.

    Coutity released – there’s a surprise.

    It’s so good to know that all of Malagascar doesn’t just blindly accept this puppet.

  15. When Rajoelina rejected the referendum, there was no doubt what he was up to. It was clear he was not “for the people.”

    I just wish the counter protests had started earlier. Unfortunately, many of those with sense have jobs and are non-violent.

    It is sad how Rajoelina used so many. He will not lead any differently.

  16. It’s just appalling to see how people ae lured into false hopes and illusion. Ravalomanana will not come back. He was he one who put Madagascar in an UNconstitutional situation; the Constitution did not allow him to hand over the power to a military dicatorate in the first place. Second, he abandonned people after promising them the opposite (as usual I would say). His supporters are blided by fanaticism: it’s very easy to prove that his regime was far from being democratic. It was based on fear and repression for those who opposed him and on favors and shameful advantages for his partisans; A State who had only the external appearances of a democratic State without respecting citizens’rights is aonly a rogue State. What the international community does not know is how biaised an unjust the electoral code was; it was a tool for power grip and total control on the whole society, it didn’t allow the free and fair expression of citizens’will. Opposition parties as well as civil societies never had access to the national medias. Monopoly on whole sectors of economy was exercized by Ravalomanana through his industrial group TIKO, which, by the way, never paid taxes. Rajoelina had the merit and the courage to denounce all those scourges. He was even overwhelmed by the scope of the support that he got, not only in Antananarivo, but also in the regions. Actually, he has but catalyzed a general latent discontent feeling and Ravalomanana himself fueled the protests by such scandalous acts as the land deal with Daewoo Corporation, the buying of a 60 million USD worth jet, by the bloodshed perpetrated at Ambohitsorohotra against unarmed civilians. Come on, peole, get on the ground, back to reality!
    Such nostalgic moves only based on fanaticism can only harm our country. We need now to rebuild economy and get back to work. Hatred and division will lharm only our country as a whole and you are a part of it too. If Madagascar is to face ruin, don’t forget that you are among those who are going to be hit too. If you are really patriots, doing everything to bring further unrest, just for your selfish satisfaction of seeing Rajoelina fail is tantamount to a destruction of your country’s future as we need everyone for reconstruction. So get real! let’s put the past behind us and let’s work for a better common future. That, at least would be a constructive and positive attitude.

  17. LF,

    No one wants further unrest. No one says that Ravalomanana’ did everything right. Even he admits his mistakes.

    But, we need to have some principles. One must stand for what is right. We obviously have a different idea of democracy. The people get to decide, not a a charismatic person who excites a particular group of people. It will only happen again and again.
    We’ll never establish democracy and autonomy that way.

    We should have had a referendum and let the people decide.

  18. So I am curious to see if Rajoelina is really better than the further president… if he is able to act more in a democratic way. I am curious to see how long it takes until he will forget the people who supported him and how he will implement his promises for them. …and if he will be just an other leader like Madagascar had already so plenty?
    Sorry but in this circumstances I am a pessimist. Although, generally I am optimist…

  19. Thank you guy for reporting the demonstration which is taking place at Democracy square ambohijatovo. In fact Andry TGV and his government must know that the people of Antananarivo do not want to be led by terrorsists, and are against his power takeover( coup d’etat). keep on guy!!!!

  20. don’t forget our big demonstration on saturday at ambojatovo. never give up!!!see you on saturday at ambojatovo.

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