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Thousands join protest called by Haiti's art community

Thousands of Haitians joined a protest in the capital Sunday called by the art community to demand President Jovenel Moïse resign, increasing pressure on the embattled leader after nearly a month of marches that have shuttered schools and businesses.

Members of one art group participating in the march wore diapers on their heads and held empty bowls, while other protesters chanted slogans against Moïse, expressing anger over corruption, rising inflation and a lack of basic goods in the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

"Not our president" and "We want a different Haiti," read signs in the protest in Port-au-Prince, where smoke could be seen rising from debris fires started by protesters.

Pastor Past, of the performance group Kominote Zan77, screams during a march led by the art community that continues demanding the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Protests have paralyzed the country for nearly a month, shuttering businesses and schools. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

In contrast to recent demonstrations, police did not intervene to stop the protesters and the march progressed without tear gas.

The demonstration comes amid a spike in violence in Haiti's capital and surrounding communities as protests that have caused nearly 20 deaths and almost 200 injuries paralyze the country. Businesses remain shuttered and an estimated 2 million children have not been able to go to school, according to the United Nations.

Earlier in the month, Moïse announced the creation of a commission charged with finding a solution to end the worsening crisis, but opposition leaders have rejected his call for dialogue and unity, and are demanding his resignation.

Protesters led by the art community demand the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise as they march through Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Protests have paralyzed the country for nearly a month, shuttering businesses and schools. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

Many are also calling for a more in-depth investigation following a report by Haiti's Senate that accuses former top government officials from the administration of former president Michel Martelly of misusing at least $2 billion in funds tied to a Venezuelan subsidized oil program that were meant for social programs.

The report also names a company that Moïse once owned. Moïse, who was Martelly's hand-picked successor, has denied the allegations.

In contrast to recent protests, police did not intervene to stop them and the march has progressed without tear gas

Demonstrators wearing diapers on their heads perform during a march, led by the art community, to continue demanding the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Protests have paralyzed the country for nearly a month, shuttering businesses and schools. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

The bulk of the protesters appeared to turn around close to or after reaching Petion-Ville.

But a smaller group now here arguing with police blocking road leading to jovenel's house

This protest apparently included a lot more young educated people and intellectual

Protesters demand the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise during a march led by the art community in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Protests have paralyzed the country for nearly a month, shuttering businesses and schools. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

These thousands of people are totally disorganized

A protester carries the Creole message "Not your president" during a march led by the art community to demand the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Protests have paralyzed the country for nearly a month, shuttering businesses and schools. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

Demonstrators with pants dropped, diapers on heads, and empty bowels in hand perform during a march led by the art community to continue demanding the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Protests have paralyzed the country for nearly a month, shuttering businesses and schools. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

People stand on the steps of a barber shop to watch a march, led by the art community, demanding the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Protests have paralyzed the country for nearly a month, shuttering businesses and schools. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

Police patrol amid protesters demanding the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise during a march led by the art community in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Protests have paralyzed the country for nearly a month, shuttering businesses and schools. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

Protesters led by the art community demand the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise as they march through Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Protests have paralyzed the country for nearly a month, shuttering businesses and schools. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

Protesters led by the art community demand the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise as they march through Port-au-Prince, Haiti, some having set debris on fire, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Protests have paralyzed the country for nearly a month, shuttering businesses and schools. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

Performers wear diapers on their heads during a march led by the art community to continue demanding the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Protests have paralyzed the country for nearly a month, shuttering businesses and schools. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

Protesters led by the art community demand the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise as they march through Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Protests have paralyzed the country for nearly a month, shuttering businesses and schools. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)

A demonstrator holds up the Creole message "Under American imperialism" during a march led by the art community to continue demanding the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Protests have paralyzed the country for nearly a month, shuttering businesses and schools. (AP PhotoRebecca Blackwell)