Tensions persist in Guadeloupe, call for general strike in Martinique

Published on : 22/11/2021 – 11:16

In Guadeloupe, the mobilization against the health pass and the vaccination obligation against Covid-19 for caregivers continues. Schools and prefectural services must remain closed on Monday, while a general strike must begin in Martinique at the call of several trade unions.

Schools and prefectural services must remain closed, Monday, November 22, in Guadeloupe where tensions persist, while a renewable general strike must begin in Martinique at the call of fifteen union organizations.

In Guadeloupe, the mobilization against the “health pass” and the vaccine obligation against Covid-19 for caregivers degenerated into violence last week, after the call for resistance launched last Monday by a collective of unions and citizen organizations.

“It is also a situation of social distress which is added to this health crisis, to this fear of the vaccine and which means that we are there today”, explained on franceinfo the mayor of Pointe-à-Pitre , Harry Durimel (EELV).

“We must make the distinction between those who claim the lifting of the vaccine obligation and those who in the context try to be heard and to burn everything to be noticed”, he added, calling for “find (r) an outcome “because” there is a big fear that it will ignite “.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed on Monday “the solidarity of the nation” in the face of a “very explosive situation” and called on “not to give in to lies and manipulation”

Injured members of the security forces

In an attempt to restore order, police and gendarmerie reinforcements were dispatched from the metropolis and a curfew (between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m. local time) was decreed on Friday, without allowing for the moment to prevent further looting and nocturnal incidents.

The prefecture of Guadeloupe said on Sunday that the police and gendarmerie forces, but also the firefighters intervening on fires, had been the subject of several shots from firearms and that two members of the security forces had been wounded.

“We spoke of looting, we spoke of urban violence, this is obviously unacceptable. Moreover, there are already arrests and police custody,” said Monday on Europe 1 Marlène Schiappa, Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Interior.

The government also promised to open a dialogue, with a meeting scheduled for Monday night around Prime Minister Jean Castex, in the presence of Health Ministers Olivier Véran and Overseas Sébastien Lecornu, with all elected officials of the island .

We must “restore public peace (…) but that will not be enough, there will have to be a dialogue” to restore confidence with the State, underlined Harry Durimel, recalling that the populations of West Indies were still marked by the chlordecone pollution scandal.

This toxic pesticide permanently contaminated the soil after being used from 1972 to 1993 in Guadeloupe and Martinique in banana plantations to fight against the weevil, an insect that ravaged plantations, and it is now suspected of being responsible for many diseases, including cancers.

Call for a general strike in Martinique

Faced with “urban violence, abuses and other obstacles to movement” compromising travel safety, the academy of Guadeloupe announced Sunday in a press release that the reception of students would not be provided this Monday in schools, colleges and high schools on the island.

The prefecture of Guadeloupe meanwhile announced on Twitter that the services of the sub-prefecture in Pointe-à-Pitre and those of the prefecture in Basse-Terre would be “exceptionally closed on Monday, November 22, 2021”.

While the situation does not give any sign of appeasement in Guadeloupe, a call for a general strike renewable from this Monday was launched in the neighboring island of Martinique by the six central trade unions of the island, as well as around ten professional organizations.

The strike notice, filed last week, calls in particular for the end of the vaccination obligation and suspensions for caregivers, an increase in wages and social minima, or even full coverage of chlordecone blood tests. in the blood (chlordeconemia).

With Reuters and AFP

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