Saturday, February 28, 2009
Any information on the trade union movement in Guadeloupe are heavily censored by powerful interests that come into panic when unions become a political force in the masses of workers and peasants.
The worker and the farmer with high levels of awareness is a danger to the elites who accumulate wealth at the expense of the sweat of others.
Gualterio Nunez Estrada, Sarasota, Florida.
Toute information sur le mouvement syndical en Guadeloupe sont lourdement sanctionnés par de puissants intérêts qui sont en panique lorsque les syndicats deviennent une force politique dans les masses des travailleurs et des paysans. Le travailleur et l'agriculteur à des niveaux élevés de prise de conscience est un danger pour les élites qui accumulent des richesses au détriment de la sueur des autres. Gualterio Nunez Estrada, Sarasota, en Floride
Qualquer informação sobre o movimento sindical em Guadalupe são fortemente censurada por poderosos interesses que entram em pânico quando sindicatos tornou uma força política nas massas de trabalhadores e camponeses. O trabalhador eo agricultor com elevados níveis de consciência é um perigo para as elites que acumular riqueza às custas do suor dos outros. Gualterio Nunez Estrada, Sarasota, Flórida.
"Le Matin", Haiti in "Carib Creole One".
"...issue of diversiy and the equal opportunities."
"Not far from the Caribbean archipelago, North America, things are happening that involve the progressive nature of integration and participation. And it is that seems to reflect this "gigantic seismic pulse" whose shock waves resonate even in France."
(Quote from Roody Edne editorial, "Le Matin", quotidiene haitien)
PORT-AU-PRINCE - SOCIAL
LKP vu d'Haïti : Guadeloupe, la soufrière sociale ! LKP seen Haiti: Guadeloupe, Soufrière Name!
Par Roody Edné (Editorialiste du quotidien haïtien "Le Matin") By Roody EDNE (Haitian writer of the daily "Le Matin")
28.02.2009 l 15h00 28.02.2009 l 15.00
Des journalistes de toute la planète sont venus en Guadeloupe, pour vivre en direct ces moments historiques. Journalists from all over the globe came to Guadeloupe, to live in these historic moments directly. Parmi eux des journalistes caribééns. Among these journalists Caribbean. Rooody Edné est éditorialiste au «Matin», un quotidien de Port-au-Prince. Rooody EDNE editorial is the "Morning", a daily newspaper in Port-au-Prince. Lisez l’édito qu’il a écrit sur ce "volcan social" qu’est la Guadeloupe... Dieudonné Joachim, lui est au "Nouvelliste", un autre quotidien haïtien. Regards croisés depuis Port au Prince, sur le LKP et la crise sociale de la Guadeloupe. Read the editorial he wrote about the "social volcano" that ... Guadeloupe Joachim Dieudonné, is the "new", another daily Haiti. Views from Port au Prince, the LKP and social crisis of Guadeloupe.
Guadeloupe: la soufrière sociale
Guadeloupe: La Soufrière Name
Par Roody Edné By Roody EDNE
Depuis le 5 février, une grève générale secoue la Guadeloupe et semble remettre en question les fondements d’un pacte social qui n’a pas beaucoup évolué depuis le référendum de décembre 2003 sur les questions de statut et de responsabilité locale aux Antilles. Since February 5, a general strike shook Guadeloupe and seems to question the foundations of a social pact that has not changed much since the referendum of December 2003 on issues of status and local responsibility in the West. La vie « menteusement souriante » , comme dirait Césaire, craque sous les coups de boutoir répétés de la crise économique mondiale et les vices inhérents à un dialogue social en panne pour ne pas dire inexistant. La vie chère est le nouveau monstre qui terrasse les bourses familiales et réduit en un pot de chagrin la qualité de vie des Antillais. Life "smiling liar", as Cesaire said, cracking under the repeated battering of the global economic crisis and the flaws inherent in a social dialogue in failure if not nonexistent. The living is the new monster terrace scholarships Family and reduced to a pot of grief quality of life of the Caribbean. Car la Martinique, elle aussi, est entrée en rébellion contre « l’exploitation outrancière » de quelques familles de békés et les profits « indécents » des compagnies pétrolières eu égard à la hausse inconsidérée des prix de l’essence. Le mouvement, qui s’étend de façon contagieuse, à tout l’arc antillais a pris de cours les politiques toutes tendances confondues. For Martinique, also entered into rebellion against the "excessive use" of a few families békés(whites wih family in France..note of the blogger to this article) and profits "indecent" of oil companies with regard to the reckless increase in gasoline prices. The movement, which extends so contagious, all the West has taken over all the political tendencies. Derrière les revendications pour une hausse des salaires les plus faibles et une baisse des prix sur six cent produits de grande distribution se cache un mal profond dissimulé jusqu’ici par la perfusion financière de l’État providence gaulliste mis a mal par la révolution ultralibérale de ces dernières années. De plus, un grand sentiment d’injustice alimente cette «soufrière» sociale dont le magma se propage jusqu’à l’Île Réunionnaise. Behind the demands for higher wages lower and lower prices on products from six hundred large retailers evil lurks deep hitherto concealed by the infusion of the state welfare Gaullist undermined by the revolution of ultraliberal in recent years. In addition, a great sense of injustice that fuels "Soufrière" social magma propagates until Réunionnaise Island. La déclaration raciste et inopportune d’un grand propriétaire béké sur l’incongruité du mélange des races qui dérangerait une certaine harmonie sociale…nous renvoie presque au « temps béni de la colonie ». Dans une interview au quotidien Le Monde, l’historienne Françoise Vergès commente : « L’outre-mer reste en France un continent oublié…les gouvernements qui se sont succédé à Paris ont toujours favorisé l’assistanat plutôt que la responsabilisation…aujourd’hui l’emploi se concentre dans le secteur marchand qui souffre de la mondialisation et la fonction publique». The racist and inappropriate statement to a great owner béke on the incongruity of the mixture of races that disturb social harmony some ... takes us back almost to the "blessed time" of the colony. In an interview to Le Monde, the historian Françoise Vergès commented: "The overseas remains in France a forgotten continent ... the successive governments in Paris have always favored the assistantship rather than accountability ... today employment is concentrated in the sector who suffer from Globalization and the Public Service. " Et madame Vergès de poursuivre « l’avenir de ces sociétés ne peut pas se penser dans une relation exclusive avec la métropole, mais doit s’inscrire dans la région ». La mobilisation actuelle jamais vue auparavant s’articule autour d’une alliance entre les secteurs syndicaux et le mouvement culturel dans son sens le plus large, avec pour noyau un collectif contre l’exploitation, LKP (Lyannaj kont profitasyon), et la contestation vise à sauvegarder les intérêts des plus vulnérables, ceux qui, selon le poète, connaissent « les moindres recoins du pays de la souffrance » et qui sont rendus fous par le manège économique actuel. Le quasi-naufrage du système bancaire international oblige les gouvernements à agir pour protéger la haute finance au grand dam des consommateurs qui s’estiment doublement victimes d’une crise dont ils ne sont guère responsables alors qu’ils doivent payer la lourde note de frais. And Mrs. Vergès to "the future of these companies can not think in an exclusive relationship with the mainland, but must be seen in the region." The current mobilization never before built around an alliance between union sectors and the cultural movement in its broadest sense, with a collective core against exploitation, LKP (Lyannaj kont profitasyon), and the challenge is to safeguard the interests of the most vulnerable, those who, as poet, know "every corner of the country of suffering" and who are driven insane by the current economic Armory. The near-sinking of the international banking system requires governments to act to protect high finance to the chagrin of consumers who consider themselves doubly victims of a crisis that they are not responsible then they must pay the heavy costs of note. L’apport massif d’argent public dans les banques censé leur permettre de renforcer leurs ressources afin de les inciter à distribuer des crédits, si elle est nécessaire, ne rassure nullement le monde du travail qui accuse certaines entreprises de révoquer à tour de bras au moindre soupçon de difficulté. Le gouvernement français vient d’annoncer la création sans délai d’un groupe ministériel sur ces épineuses questions, et le président Sarkozy semble comprendre que la crise est éminemment politique et renvoie à la question de la diversité et de l’égalité des chances. The massive infusion of public money in the banks supposed to enable them to strengthen their resources to encourage them to distribute funds, if necessary, do not reassure the world of work reflecting some companies revoke tower arm slightest hint of difficulty. The French government has announced the immediate creation of a ministerial group on these thorny issues, and President Sarkozy seems to understand that the crisis is essentially political and returns to the issue of diversity and the equal opportunities. Pas très loin de l’archipel antillais, en Amérique du Nord, il se passe des choses qui interpellent sur le caractère progressiste de l’intégration et de la participation. Et c’est cela aussi que semble traduire ce « gigantesque pouls sismique » dont les ondes de choc résonnent jusque dans l’Hexagone. Not far from the Caribbean archipelago, North America, things are happening that involve the progressive nature of integration and participation. And it is that seems to reflect this "gigantic seismic pulse" whose shock waves resonate even in France. Interview de Dieudonné Joachim - Haïti, Pwofitasyon : La population est en hibernation Interview with Joachim Dieudonné - Haiti, Pwofitasyon: The population is hibernating
Are you satisfied with the results last night?
Overall, yes. This applies only to employees of member companies' organizations. We will implement a procedure to extend the Agreement to all employees of Guadeloupe in the coming days. Julien: The agreement shows that your claim to a higher wage of 200 euros was realistic.
Why do you think employers and the government have taken so long to recognize it?
Certainly to avoid contagion in France. gwada97190:
Do you think that the heads of small businesses Guadeloupe will recover from this strike?
Yes, indeed they have made the proposals to end the crisis. It always speaks of the consequences of the general strike on the economy, but if everyone had negotiated at the outset, it could resolve the conflict in less than ten days. gwada97190:
How small artisans ensure they can pay this month, when they were prevented from working for over a month?
If the companies had negotiated at the outset, the problem could be resolved in five days. sidney97180: How will following the movement if Medef is not attached to the signing of an agreement? Elie Domotique: Medef is 450 firms and less than 4 000 employees. Do not give it more importance than it a. On the other hand, the agreement is quite good and valid. As I said in the coming days, we will seek its extension to all companies in Guadeloupe, including those adhering to Medef. And I recall that this agreement was concluded in the presence of the prefect and under the mediation of four directors at work, including two envoys of Mr Fillon himself.
Chloe: Why Medef will he sign the agreements?
Because Medef members refuse to pay wage increases, while they have the means.
Loulou: You said that you fought with Willy Angèle. This altercation threat does the negotiations?
It is an attempt of employers to torpedo the negotiations. Unfortunately for Angel, his knowledge of labor law are very limited. He thought that the lack of Medef and friends could prevent the negotiation to take place. BHM: If your demands are met, that would become the LKP? Elie Domotique: For now, the claims have been split into three levels: the immediate demands, which we are currently linked to purchasing power. The LKP is not intended to disappear. We also have claims relating to training and employment. We are now the only region of France where there is no training center type AFPA (Association nationale pour la formation professionnelle des adultes). The youth unemployment rate exceeds 60%. Each year, nearly 1 000 young people leaving school without qualifications. We also have claims relating to environmental protection. All these topics will be addressed in the medium term.
libeerte_971 Think you can pay for strike days? Who should pay? Elie Domotique: For now, this issue has not yet been addressed. guadalupe: Do you not fear an inflationary spiral, companies seeking to raise prices to restore margins in exchange for salary increases granted?
If companies increase their prices, it is unclear who will buy their products. I do not think this is the best solution. Should provide boost consumption through lower prices. dan: Many companies are in big trouble file for bankruptcy and the number of unemployed may explode in Guadeloupe. How do you see the future? Elie Domotique: The number of unemployed has always been explosive here. Guadeloupe, a 40% unemployment last fifty years. I believe that all public policies (laws Perben, Girardin, etc..) Were a failure because they have been to give money to patrons, particularly for large employers. To date, no report, no audit can not tell us where these exemptions are gone, what was the tax, and how many jobs have created these policies there. anonymous: The local economy is heavily based on tourism.
The extension of the movement might there not to cripple the island's economy?
Not. Indeed, many public funds channeled through tourism. But ultimately this is neither to develop tourism or to develop Guadeloupe. This allows only a small number to save lots of money in the pockets. Let's change. We must develop a real policy to promote tourist destinations Guadeloupe and develop a luxury tourism, and not do in Santo Domingo or Cuba, for example.
gwada: After the agreement this morning, the general strike is suspended?
Not yet. We have an appointment with the Head this afternoon to discuss the other points on the lower prices for staple foods: bread, water and transportation, among others.
Doudou: After the announcement made by Nicolas Sarkozy, what do you expect from his next visit to the Caribbean?
Nothing. Mr Sarkozy does what he wants, but this is not a visit that will solve the problem.
Lajos: What is your position on a possible independence of Guadeloupe?
Currently the platform LKP does not pose a question on autonomy or independence. The people of Guadeloupe choose its own destiny when the time comes. As against the problem of economic autonomy, and especially food production through agricultural arises. It is a real and serious problem. And that is why in the platform of the LKP, there is a section devoted to agricultural production and food self-sufficiency.
rene: Guadeloupe did not also a problem of anti-white racism? Elie Domotique:
I invite you to come in and see. Anyone who has tried to belittle this movement went on two grounds: that of racism and the independence. But these are not the claims of LKP. Lo: What is your position on the situation Martinican? Elie Domotique: What happened was predictable in Martinique. The problems in Guadeloupe and Martinique are similar. We are in regular contact with our friends from Martinique.
alain: Do you think your struggles are "exportable" to other DOM, even in France?
I do not think the term "export" is appropriate, but the struggles that are conducted here, the problems that are encountered here are experienced by other workers in the world, even if some differences.
Doudou: What reactions you inspire the "recovery" of your action by José Bové, Olivier Besancenot and Ségolène Royal?
The word "recovery" is a bit much. I do not think anyone can get the movement of the LKP.
patoo971: How do you see the post-movement? Do you think enough to actually change things in Guadeloupe in the long term?
The movement is not about to stop. As I said, the LKP is designed to last.
Chat moderated by Elise Barthet
"Le Figaro" justifies discrimination and racism in Guadaloupe. Although want to laugh, because "Le Figaro" journalism tries to make a racist circus of the "Guadaloupe affaire", this article reveals the colonial thought in Paris: "The 'Negroes' of Guadeloupe unions( A T'OUSSAIN l'OVERTURE SPECIMEN FOR THIS NEWSPAPER) "are guilty of the climate of intimidation and violence, and, Incidentally, have infected with this disease THE OTHERS blacks in Martinique". This is the kind of journalism "LOW CARBO" FOR "PETITES BLANCS" IN THE ISLAND" IN THE Parisian daily " Le Figaro". Gualterio Nunez Estrada, Sarasota, Florida.
C.M. et C.J. (lefigaro.fr) avec AFP et AP 28/02/2009 Mise à jour : 12:55
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Saturday promises to be crucial, since the LKP could decide to stop the movement after a new round of negotiations. But the local Medef still refuses to sign the wage agreement part. The continuing dialogue of the deaf in Guadeloupe between the local and the Medef LKP. Willy Angèle, President of the antenna guadeloupéenne Medef, announced Friday that his organization and seven other federations do not sign the agreement in the night between the LKP and a minority of employers. The agreement "commits only those who signed," he hammered Saturday morning. The text that is worth its weight in gold, "says the leader of the LKP, Elie Domotique foresaw an increase of 200 euros with a participation of the State for 100 euros. But that agreement covers only 15,000 of the 80,000 employees of private overseas department. Medef and seven other organizations argue in fact represent 90% of the patrons of the island.(1) At the time of the boycott a "climate of intimidation and violence" maintained by the LKP leading mobilization for over a month on the island, denounced Medef Guadeloupe and its allies. "Mr. Domotique wanted to come to the hands, gave the Figaro Willy Angèle. So much so that men of Raid, attending all the negotiations, had to intervene, "he defends himself. The President of the local Medef did not bow at the request of the National Medef join the negotiations until its security will not be "ensured". "I will appreciate if my safety is assured. Ms. Parisot is 7000 km, "he argued. "Threatened with death" The prefect of the island Nicolas Desforges has vigorously denied accusations of Willy Angèle has even said to be "threatened with death every day." "At no time, security was at stake" replied the official. And run: "I regret all the effects of language and call on all parties to a peaceful dialogue." Despite what he called the "first step", the leader of LKP Domotique Elie has not called for an end to the general strike. "We will seek the extension of the provisions of this Agreement on all companies in Guadeloupe," he said. The collective inter Guadeloupe decide "the attitude to be" on strike after a new trading day Saturday.(2) In Martinique, fear of contagion of the crisis. To avoid another night of rioting, a curfew was established, and for the time being, the situation appears calmer. The President of the General Council, Claude Lise (app-PS), expects a "positive outcome" Saturday in the negotiations on prices and wages. "Six people in custody following the death of trade unionist "FEATURE: Guadeloupe boiling
POINTE-A-PITRE - MEDIAS POINTE-A-PITRE - MEDIA
" Desinformation: les masques du "Figaro" "Misinformation: the masks of" Figaro "
Par caribcreole By caribcreole
27.02.2009 l 07h27 27.02.2009 l 07h27
Guedeloupe. Guedeloupe. Pointe à Pitre Vendredi 27 février 09. Pointe à Pitre Friday 27 February 09. (Caribcreole.com) - Hier dans un edito consacré à un " sondage" publié par le quotidien français ultra réactionnaire "Le Figaro ", caribcreole expliquait comment comment certains journaux et journalistes français dans leur "reportage" pratiquaient une désinformation systématique. (Caribcreole.com) - Yesterday in an editorial devoted to a survey published by the ultra-reactionary French daily "Le Figaro", explained how caribcreole how some French journalists and newspapers in their "report" practiced a systematic disinformation. Nous publions à titre d'exemple, ci dessous , une "analyse" mensongère, qui n'est rien d'autre qu'une grossière manipulation du "journaliste", Yves Theard. We publish for example, below, an "analysis" misleading, which is nothing other than a gross manipulation of the "journalist", Yves Theard. Ce type d'articles, il faut le dire, reflète et conforte une frange de l'opinion française, qui n'a voulu voir dans les revendications du LKP, qu'un prétexte à une lutte pour l'indépendance de la Guadeloupe. Such articles, it must be said, reflects and reinforces a fringe of French opinion, which had wanted to see in the claims of LKP, a pretext for a fight for the independence of Guadeloupe. Pourtant, à plusieurs reprises, E. Yet, repeatedly, E. Domota a clairement expliqué, aux journalistes étrangers, qui lui ont posé la question que le LKP n'a jamais porté une quelconque revendication d'indépendance pour la Guadeloupe. Domotique clearly explained, to foreign journalists, who have asked that the LKP was never any claim of independence for Guadeloupe. LKP est une alliance conjoncturelle, de syndicats, d'organisations politiques et culturelles. LKP is an economic alliance, unions, political organizations and cultural institutions.
Que veulent les Guadeloupéens du LKP, le collectif contre l'exploitation ? What do Guadeloupean of the LKP, the lawsuit against the farm? À mesure que le conflit se durcit, les masques tombent, les langues se délient. As the conflict has hardened, the masks fall, languages are loosened. Paris est bien face à un mouvement que les chefs de la révolte souhaitent voir basculer dans la sécession. Paris is facing a movement that the leaders of the revolt would like to see change in the secession. Et le mot d'indépendance doit cesser d'être tabou de ce côté-ci de l'Atlantique. And the word of independence must cease to be taboo on this side of the Atlantic. Beaucoup a été dit sur le malaise de la Guadeloupe et de la Martinique. Much has been said about the malaise of Guadeloupe and Martinique. La vie chère, le contrôle de l'économie insulaire par quelques familles ou entreprises, la discrimination raciale, l'éloignement de la métropole sont des évidences que peu de gouvernements ont prises à bras-le-corps pour améliorer l'ordinaire sur place. The living, control of the island economy by a few families or companies, racial discrimination, remoteness of the city are evidence that few governments have taken in hands to improve the ordinary there. La crise mondiale ne pouvait que les accentuer. The global crisis could only accentuates. Il n'est donc pas extraordinaire - à défaut d'être normal - que, comme partout en France, l'inquiétude et le mécontentement s'expriment dans la rue. It is not extraordinary - if not normal - that, as in France, concern and dissatisfaction expressed in the street. Surtout quand ils sont entretenus par des visiteurs politiquement intéressés, Olivier Besancenot, Ségolène Royal, José Bové. Especially when they are maintained by politically interested visitors, Olivier Besancenot, Ségolène Royal, José Bové. Mais cette mauvaise humeur est aujourd'hui dépassée par les prétentions d'Élie Domota, le patron du LKP, et de ses affidés. But this is a bad mood today exceeded by the claims of Elijah Domotique, the skipper of LKP, and its affidés. Leur logique n'est pas sociale, elle est clairement politique. Their logic is not social, it is clearly political. Ce qu'ils ne disent pas le jour en langue française, ils l'affirment la nuit en créole. What they do not say the day in French, they say the night in Creole. Le discours est alors plus déterminé, plus musclé, plus radical. The speech is more determined, more muscular, more radical. Le LKP est pour le droit des peuples à disposer d'eux-mêmes. The LKP is to the right of peoples to self-determination. Ce qui n'est pas une incongruité en soi, mais ce qui donne une précieuse indication sur la nature de sa lutte : l'indépendance est au bout de son chemin. This is not an incongruity in itself, but which gives a valuable indication of the nature of the struggle: independence is at the end of his path. Comme le montre le sondage du Figaro Magazine à paraître samedi, l'écrasante majorité des Guadeloupéens (80 %) est attachée à la métropole dont elle n'ignore rien de l'aide qu'elle lui apporte. As shown in the Figaro Magazine poll to be published Saturday, the overwhelming majority of Guadeloupe (80%) is attached to the metropolis it is fully aware of the assistance it gives. Mais elle est condamnée à se taire face aux pressions, aux intimidations, aux menaces de représailles de Domota et de ses séides. But it is doomed to be silent about the pressure, intimidation, threats of reprisals Domotique and his minions. Depuis six semaines que dure le conflit, nombre de salariés ou de petits patrons ont perdu leur emploi ou fermé leur entreprise. For six-week conflict, number of employees and small employers have lost their jobs or closed their business. S'ils violent l'omerta imposée de force par la clique des indépendantistes, leur vie est en danger. If they violate the silence imposed by force by the clique of independence, their lives are in danger. Qui se soucie d'eux ? Who cares about them? Le LKP s'en moque, le gros de ses troupes appartient à la fonction publique dont les fins de mois, elles, sont assurées par l'État français. The LKP Who cares, the bulk of its troops belonged to the civil service for the month, they are handled by the French State. Ce qui n'empêche pas Domota d'alléguer que les Guadeloupéens vivent « exactement comme au temps de l'esclavage. » This does not prevent Domotique to allege that Guadeloupean live "exactly as in the days of slavery." Il est donc urgent que la métropole ouvre les yeux sur la crise antillaise. It is therefore imperative that the city opens its eyes to the Caribbean crisis. Elle ne doit pas devenir l'instrument de quelques indépendantistes en mal de publicité et le jouet d'une partie de la gauche en mal de martyrs. It should not become the instrument of some indépendantistes bad publicity and the toy part of the left in many martyrs. De deux choses l'une : ou l'ordre républicain revient à la faveur de négociations qui ne doivent pas dépasser un délai raisonnable ; ou bien un processus d'autonomie à la calédonienne débouchant, un jour ou l'autre, sur l'indépendance doit être engagé. Two possibilities: either the Republican agenda is for the favor of negotiations which should not exceed a reasonable time, or a process of autonomy leading to the Caledonian, at one time or another, the independence must be engaged. Si l'on en croit notre sondage, cette seconde solution serait acceptée par 51 % des métropolitains. If we believe our survey, this second solution would be accepted by 51% of metropolitan areas. Elle mettrait, en revanche, les Guadeloupéens au pied du mur. It would, however, Guadeloupean to the wall.
2 days ago
FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique (AFP) — Protesters set fire to garbage bins and rammed vehicles into hypermarkets Wednesday in a second night of violence on the strike-stricken French Caribbean island of Martinique.
Protesters blocked several streets of the island's capital Fort-de-France with trash bins, some of which were sent ablaze. Smoke rose above the city while tear gas could be smelled across town.
Police used tear gas to drive back young protesters on a Fort-de-France boulevard and prevented several attempts at looting.
But the metallic barriers of at least three large stores were broken, reports said.
A stolen car ploughed into the gate of the Carrefour Dillon hypermarket, according to RCI radio.
Police were deployed to protect the store. About 50 metres (yards) away, a group of youths took positions along the entrance of a highway, some of them holding Molotov cocktails.
Assailants drove a tractor into another store, Intersport, before police arrived. According to local journalists, another sports store was looted.
On Tuesday night, around 20 small stores and two mid-sized stores were looted and vandalised, while several cars were set ablaze.
Martinique and the neighbouring French island of Guadeloupe have been on strike for weeks, demanding higher wages to cope with the high cost of living on the tourist islands.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Sunday , February 22, 2009
POINTE-A-PITRE, Guadeloupe — Protests that have nearly shut down the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique are not just about demands for lower prices and higher wages: For demonstrators they are no less than a battle against the vestiges of slavery.
Afro-Caribbean islanders — most of whose forbears toiled in the sugarcane fields under the yoke of slavery more than 160 years ago — not only resent France's handling of the global economic crisis, they have long resented that slaveholders' descendants control the economy on both islands.
They also suspect that businesses earn too high a profit on goods, most of which are imported.
This resentment against the primarily white, elite slaveholder descendants, known as bekes, has lent an especially sharp edge to weeks of demonstrations that at times have erupted in gunfire, arson, looting, and the death of one activist in Guadeloupe.
"They've got the money, they've got the power, they've got Guadeloupe," snapped protester Lollia Naily. "This is not a race thing. It is a money thing and it is a power thing."
Protesters in Martinique also have rejected the bekes, with frequent chants of "Martinique is ours, not theirs!" Bekes own most industries in Martinique — but represent only about 1 percent of the island's 401,000 residents.
Deep economic and social disparities divide France from its overseas possessions: Unemployment in Guadeloupe is about 23 percent, compared with 8 percent on mainland France, and 12 percent of islanders live in poverty, compared with 6 percent of mainlanders, according to the most recent statistics.
The conflict extends beyond the Caribbean: Islanders living in mainland France are relegated to low-level jobs and are absent from senior positions in business, the military and government, revealing a "color fracture in French society," said Patrick Lozes, head of the Representative Council of Black Associations.
Islanders demand that France treat them as equals — wherever they are living — and question why food is more expensive here than on the mainland.
"My ID says I'm French," said 28-year-old Philippe Delag. "Guadeloupe is part of France."
The island certainly looks the part: French flags fly from government buildings, and tiny Citroens and Peugeots whiz along well-maintained highways. Residents switch easily from Creole to French in conversations.
On one concrete median divider in Guadeloupe is the spray-painted message, "We want 200 euros," reflecting protesters' demands for a 200-euro ($250) monthly raise for low-paid workers, who now make roughly euro900 ($1,130) a month.
The French government, which has insisted that any salary increases must come from the private sector, announced it could provide extra government benefits totaling nearly euro200 ($250) extra a month for low-income workers.
And both sides in Martinique have reached an agreement that would lower prices on 100 products by 20 percent. Protest leaders and government officials are still negotiating to lower the costs of housing, gasoline, water and electricity.
But the problems extend beyond economics, protesters say.
Serge Romana, president of an association that commemorates the abolition of slavery in the French territories, said French President Nicolas Sarkozy "must absolutely abolish all traces of neocolonialism and vestiges of slavery in the overseas regions."
Sarkozy himself — who raised islanders' hackles when as interior minister in 2005 he endorsed a bill requiring textbooks to recognize the "positive role" of colonialism — acknowledged last week that old wounds still fester.
"I know the feeling of injustice that you have, given the inequalities and the discrimination," the president said in a television appearance on Thursday aimed at quelling the unrest. "How can we justify monopolies, overly high profits ... and, why not say it, forms of exploitation that should not have any place in the 21st century?"
In Paris, thousands of people took to the streets on Saturday to show their support for striking workers and to pay homage to Jacques Bino, the labor-union activist killed in Guadeloupe last week.
Despite such signs of solidarity, most of France doesn't understand the islanders' demands, Lozes said.
"They don't see it as a demand for justice, but rather as a demand for charity," he said.
Jean-Luc de Laguarigue, a beke, said tensions have festered over generations because France and its islands have not explored the painful past. He said he knows of no slavery museum in France. The subject is generally taboo in schools.
But Laguarigue insisted that bekes no longer represent power and colonial force, and suggested that the islands — not Paris — should decide what is best for them.
The protests are "not a call for war, but for dignity," he said.
On Sunday, mourners dressed in white packed a gymnasium in the cane-growing town of Petit-Canal to hear poems about struggle and rousing songs in homage to Bino, the dead labor-union activist, whose body has been displayed in an open casket on the island for two days.
"We want respect," said Adele Goram, 50, an islander from a nearby town who attended. "We live in France and there should be no difference between France and Guadeloupe."
As Bino's casket was closed, the 3,000 or so mourners sang the new movement's anthem — "Guadeloupe is Ours" — with their right fists held high.
Several islanders blame the arrival of 450 French riot police for the violence that has erupted during protests — and say it shows how France treats the islands like colonies.
Martinican painter and intellectual Victor Permal described Paris' proposals as "general and blurry" and criticized the decision to send force, saying France has often overreacted when problems arise on the islands.
"The people are starting to gain a clear notion of what belongs to them," Permal said. "So they become conscious that it is not France who should define their path and needs."
By SC Admin
New closing time for airport
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Feb. 27 – Regional airline LIAT announced Friday that it had cancelled its daily flight (LI 558) to/from Guadeloupe because of the on-going civil unrest on the French Caribbean Island and the resulting early closure of the main airport each day.
“The flight which is scheduled to depart Guadeloupe at 6:00PM for Antigua has been cancelled with immediate effect,” Corporate Communications Manager Desmond Brown said.
“I would like to point out that we have not dropped the island from our list of destinations and we continue to operate flight 321 which leaves Antigua at 10:00AM four days weekly for Guadeloupe, via Dominica. This allows for passengers to get to and from Guadeloupe on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays,” Brown added.
Flight 558 was a daily service that operated from Dominica to Antigua via Guadeloupe. Brown said that the Guadeloupe Airports Authority recently advised carriers that the new closing time for the airport was 6:00PM each day. Contact: Desmond Brown; Corporate Communications Manager;LIAT (1974) Ltd.;
1.268.480.5600 (EXT) 6222; firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.liat.com/
POINTE-A-PITRE - INTERVIEW POINTE-A-PITRE - INTERVIEW
Repression: The unbearable burr of RAID Repression: The unbearable burr of RAID
By Frédéric Gricours* By Frédéric Gricours *
Feb 24, 2009 l 13:50 Feb 24, 2009 l 13:50
GUADELOUPE, Pointe-à-Pitre, Tuesday 24 February 2009 (CaribCreole1.com) - Suspected without evidence of the murder of trade unionist Jacques Bino, Patrice, a law student 21 years old, resident of the city Henri IV (Pointe à Pitre) has been questioned bluntly, Friday 20, in the early days by the cops .. GUADELOUPE, Pointe-à-Pitre, Tuesday 24 February 2009 (CaribCreole1.com) - Suspected without evidence of the murder of trade unionist Bino Jacques, Patrice, a law student 21 years old, resident of the city Henri IV (Pointe à Pitre) has been questioned bluntly, Friday 20, in the early days by the cops .. Raid The student, who was found innocent, has been brutally assaulted by the cops RAID, when he was still asleep, after the door of the apartment, where he resides, have been plastiquées. Raid The student, who was found innocent, has been brutally assaulted by the cops RAID, when he was still asleep, after the door of the apartment, where he resides, have been plastiquées. CaribCreole.com publishes interview Patrice gave Gircour Frederick, head of the blog "Dog Creole," which was the first to reveal the burr. CaribCreole.com publishes interview Patrice gave Gircour Frederick, head of the blog "Dog Creole," which was the first to reveal the burr. He says. He says.
Patrice : En fait je n’ai rien compris à ce qui m’arrivait. Patrice: Actually I did not understand what was happening to me. Ça a été tellement rapide et brutal... It was so fast and brutal ... Ils m’ont frappé sauvagement et quand j’ai réalisé, j’étais menotté, assis sur le lit. They beat me brutally and when I realized I was handcuffed, sitting on the bed. C’est seulement quand j’ai vu une femme entrer avec un T-shirt avec écrit Police Judiciaire que j’ai compris que les types cagoulés qui me sont tombés dessus étaient des policiers. Only when I saw a woman come in with a T-shirt with Police written that I realized hooded types I fell over were police. En fait c’était le RAID. In fact it was the RAID.
CC : CC: Why ipourquoi est-ce qu’ils vous ’ont frappé comme ça? s it that you have hit like that? Vous avez tenté de résister ? You tried to resist? P : pas du tout, non, je dormais ! P: Not at all, no, I was sleeping! CC : Quand vous avez réalisé que c’était la police, vous avez fait le rapprochement avec la mort de Jacques Bino ? CC: When you realized that it was the police, you have made the approximation with the death of Jacques Bino? P : Pas tout de suite, je leur ai dit que je n’y étais pour rien mais ils étaient persuadés de tenir le coupable. P: Not right away, I told them that I was there for nothing but they were persuaded to take the blame. Ils m’ont dit que j'avais été dénoncé. They told me that I had been terminated. CC : Est-ce parmi les jeunes interpelés la veille, certains, sommés de lâcher un nom, ne se sont dit qu’en « balançant » un gars qui fait des études de droit, il aurait plus de chances qu’un autre de s’en sortir ? CC: Is it among young people arrested the previous day, some, ordered to drop a name, they have said that "swinging" a guy who is studying law, he would have more chance of another s 'out? P : Je ne sais pas, c’est possible. P: I do not know, it is possible. Il ya des jalousies aussi. There are also blinds. Ça fait un an ou deux que je ne descends plus pour trainer avec eux. It's been a year or two I can get more for trainer with them. Et puis il ya toutes sortes de rumeurs. And then there are all sorts of rumors. Ce matin, un ami est passé me voir. This morning a friend passed me. Il m'a dit: "Ouais, je ne comprends pas, il ya des gens qui disent que la police a trouvé un grand fusil chez toi." He said: "Yeah, I do not understand, there are people who say that police found a gun at you." Tu vois les bâtiments ici sont comme écrasés, pour la mentalité des gens, c'est pareil. You see the buildings here are crushed as to the mentality of people is the same. Je vais essayer de partir une quinzaine de jours, je ne sais pas où, mais là, j'ai vraiment besoin de changer d'air. I'll try to go a couple of weeks, I do not know where, but, I really need a change of scenery.
CC : Comment s’est passée la garde-à-vue ? CC: How did the police custody? P : Beaucoup mieux, pour l’interrogatoire, ils ont été corrects, rien à voir avec les conditions de l’arrestation. P: Much better, for interrogation, they were correct, nothing to do with the conditions of arrest. CC : vous avez pu voir un docteur ? CC: you could see a doctor? P : Ils m’ont proposé mais j’ai refusé, je ne voulais rien leur devoir. P: They offered me but I refused, I did not want anything their duty. Je n’ai pas non plus mangé. I have not eaten. J’ai demandé à Dieu de me protéger et de me libérer. I asked God to protect me and release me. CC : Quand avez vous été libéré ? CC: When were you released? P : vendredi 20 février à 22h00, j’ai pu voir un docteur ce matin qui m’a fait un certificat d’incapacité de 5 jours. P: Friday 20 February at 22:00 I saw a doctor this morning that gave me a certificate of incapacity for 5 days. CC : Ils vous ont dit pourquoi ? CC: They told you why? P : Ah et bien déjà, ils n’ont rien trouvé chez moi et puis c’est mon ordi qui m’a sauvé : ce soir là, je tchattais avec mes amis. P: Ah, well now, they found nothing and then my home is my computer that I saved: that evening, I chat with my friends. Je sortais un peu, sur le pallier, comme à mon habitude et ce que je voyais je l’écrivais sur MSN. I left a little on the floor, as is my habit and I saw what I wrote on MSN. : Il y avait de l’animation. : There was the animation. J’ai entendu des coups de feu et j’ai vu une trentaine de jeunes cagoulés passer en face. I heard gunshots and saw about thirty young people spend in front hooded. Les policiers ont pris mon unité centrale d'ordi, fait parler l’historique et ont compris que je n’avais rien à voir avec ça. The police took my computer central unit, made a history and realized I had nothing to do with it. A l’heure du coup de feu, j’étais en train d’écrire, par chance ! At the time of the shot, I was in the process of writing, by chance! Et puis je n’avais pas de trace de poudre sur les mains. And then I had no trace of powder on the hands. Ils m’ont demandé en me libérant de ne pas trop faire de vagues avec cette affaire. They asked me not to release too much of waves with the matter. CC : vous donnerez une suite à cette affaire ? CC: you will follow up this matter? P : Oui, ma grand-mère a pris contact avec un avocat. P: Yes, my grandmother has contacted a lawyer. Hier je ne comprenais pas ce qui m’arrivait, aujourd’hui, je suis écœuré, en colère. Yesterday I did not understand what was happening to me today, I am disgusted, angry. Je ne peux pas laisser passer ça. I can not allow that. Ils ne peuvent pas arriver comme ça chez quelqu'un, lui casser la figure, l'emmener juste parce que quelqu'un l'a dénoncé. They can not get someone like that, break his figure, take him just because someone has complained. Je leur ai dit, je comprends que vous fassiez votre boulot, je suis étudiant en droit, mais je ne peux pas accepter la méthode ! I told them, I understand that you do your job, I am a law student, but I can not accept the method! Sans compter qu'ils ont laissé ma grand-mère comme ça, après l'avoir bousculée, dans un appart qui ne fermait plus en jetant toutes ses affaires et les miennes par terre. Besides they have left my grandmother like that, after having knocked in a flat that closed more and throwing all his business and mine to the ground. Heureusement que les gens de l'association la Tyrolienne qui soutient les locataires de la cité Henri IV sont venus l'aider, en lui changeant la serrure très rapidement. Fortunately, the people of the association that supports the Tyrolian tenants of the city Henri IV came to help, by changing the lock very quickly. * sources : http://chien-creole.blogspot.com/ * Sources: http://chien-creole.blogspot.com/
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February 25, 2009
General strike against the economic crisis hits Guadeloupe and Martinique
by Abayomi Azikiwe, Pan-African News Wire
The strike began on Jan. 20 amid rising prices and worsening living conditions among the masses in these islands located some 600 km from the Dominican Republic and Haiti and 7,000 km away from mainland France. On Feb. 14, the leader of the Collective Against Exploitation (LKP), a coalition of unions and political parties that have carried out the strike, has accused the French government of sending riot police to Guadeloupe in order to assassinate its organizers.
“Today, given the number of gendarmes who have arrived in Guadeloupe armed to the teeth, the French state has chosen its natural path: to kill Guadeloupeans as usual,” says Elie Domota. Domota, who is the leader of the LKP, is also the secretary general of the General Union of Guadeloupe Workers (UGTG).
Citing the historic role of France in maintaining political and economic control of the tropical islands, Domota said, “Every time there have been demonstrations in Guadeloupe to demand pay raises, the response of the state has been repression, notably in May 1967 in Pointe-a-Pitre, where there were 100 deaths of building workers massacred by the gendarmes.”
On Feb. 16, the French colonial authorities arrested approximately 50 organizers and leaders of the LKP. In an appeal issued by the strike committee leadership, they convey the determination of the Sarkozy government to break the strike:
“As he had promised, Jego (the French minister appointed to end the strike) has decided to slam down on LKP and on the people of Gwadloup. In this sense, the repressive forces are hitting as hard as they can. They have already arrested some 10 people in the town of Gosier and two in Sainte Rose, whether they were demonstrators or just passers-by.
“Besides, an entire battalion has been detailed to surround some 50 people (demonstrators or passers-by) still in the town of Gosier; they are closing in, obviously meaning to hit them and arrest them.”
“According to our information, it’s the youth who first made a call” to the police for help, he said. “The police refused to come …. Meanwhile, our comrade was losing blood and dying.” Some 3,000 mourners turned Bino’s funeral on Sunday, Feb. 22, into a political demonstration, demanding higher wages and respect from the French government.
Mediapart published a letter the next day sent from the hospital bed of Alex Lollia, a philosophy teacher and a member of LKP, recounting his experiences of police violence and racism on the night of Feb. 16. The letter said Lollia and his trade union comrades “were doing everything in our power to keep things calm and to steward the demonstrators …. [W]e experienced a tornado of baton blows when we had already left the side of the main road …. They surrounded me ….
“While I was being kicked in the stomach as I lay on the ground, they said, ‘We saw your filthy face on the telly; we’ll smash it for you so you can’t show it anymore. We’ll smash you filthy niggers, nigger dogs.’”
The letter continued, “I saw them dragging a woman from the neighborhood by the hair who was showing her indignation because they beat me.”
On Feb. 14, thousands of workers demonstrated in the town of Le Moule. The marchers walked through the area chanting, “Guadeloupe is ours, it’s not theirs.”
This slogan, of course, related to the economic dominance of the white French minority known as “Bekes.” It is this class of the population that exercises effective control over the more than 400,000 Africans who were brought to the islands during 18th and 19th centuries as slaves.
Social apartheid in the French colony
A French member of parliament with the overseas department of French Guiana on the South American continent said on Feb. 15 that the conditions in Guadeloupe are “not far from social apartheid. In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, Christine Taubira stated that “the leaders of the LKP are not anti-white racists. They are exposing a reality … a caste holds economic power and abuses it.”
The strike has closed most shops, restaurants, schools, banks and government offices. France has adamantly refused to grant the majority of the demands of the LKP, particularly a monthly raise of EUR200 ($259US) for the 45,000 poorest workers.
On Feb. 14, a mass demonstration in the capital of Martinique demanded greater economic and political power for the African majority. The French elite, who are the descendants of the former plantation owners in Martinique, still control the economic institutions that make up the basis of the domestic and foreign trade.
The “Bekes,” who only comprise 1 percent of the population, which is officially stated at 401,000, still control the economy as a whole. An Associated Press article on Feb. 16 points out, “Many working class families are struggling to make ends meet amid a global economic crisis, exposing racial tensions 160 years after slavery ended in Martinique.”
In addition, the article notes, “Police say the protests remain peaceful, and 130 riot police arrived from France this week to keep order.”
This nonetheless goes on to emphasize that the situation has not become seriously violent, “But racial sentiments were inflamed after a one-hour documentary, ‘The last owners of Martinique,’ was shown on TV last week. The program focused on how the white minority group has dominated the economy.”
An Associated Press article published on Feb. 10 highlights the mass demonstrations and work stoppages that have been taking place in Martinique. “University students and artisans in the French Caribbean island of Martinique are protesting the high cost of living,” the AP article reports.
“All major commercial centers, gas stations and businesses remained closed on Tuesday (Feb. 10) as the protest entered its sixth day. Government officials have met with protesters, who demand a 30 percent overall reduction in prices. Union leaders have said they would agree to a 10 percent reduction among some products. No agreement has been reached.
“Police have said that 11,000 protesters crowded the streets of Martinique’s capital. Union leaders say it was more than double that number.”
In Guadeloupe, since Jan. 20, 47 trade unions, associations and political parties have refused to work and attend schools. A demonstration of 25,000 people was held on Jan. 24.
Some of the 146 demands put forward by the LKP include the reduction of fuel prices by 50 percent, the lowering of prices for transport services and water, an immediate freeze on rents, more job security for temporary employees, greater educational opportunities for youth and an end to racism in employment practices.
Guadeloupe has been a French colony since 1812. Although the island was ostensibly integrated into the French state after World War II in 1946, the country has remained in poverty.
Unemployment stands officially at 23 percent and the price of necessities are between 30 and 60 percent higher than what prevails in France. A report issued on Feb. 16 by the European statistics agency, Eurostats, documents that the French Overseas territories had some of the highest unemployment rates in the European Union.
In this regard, “The Indian Ocean island of Reunion topped the list, with 25.2 percent, followed by Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana, all in the Caribbean region.
“The two Spanish enclaves in Morocco - Ceuta and Melilla - came next, with rates of 20.3 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively,” the BBC reported on Feb. 16.
Guadeloupe is a recognized region of France and is controlled by the local council, dominated by the French Socialist Party (PS). Even though the PS is in opposition to the Conservative government of Sarkozy, no real solidarity efforts have been forthcoming for the workers in Guadeloupe.
Cynthia McKinney, MXGM express solidarity
In the United States, former congresswoman from Georgia and Green Party candidate for president in 2008, Cynthia McKinney, issued a statement of support to the workers in Guadeloupe on Feb. 7.
McKinney said in part: “I call on the authorities in Guadeloupe and in France to heed the workers’ and people’s just demands - and I urge the authorities to refrain from using any form of intimidation, pressure or repression against this powerful movement.”
The former congresswoman pointed out: “The eyes of the world are focused on Guadeloupe. Israel has shown the world that the massive use of force does not ensure victory. Indeed, it is counter-productive.”
McKinney also states: “Any use of force by the authorities against people exercising their rights is not acceptable. It is not by repression and the deployment of police and shock troops that a solution will be found.”
The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) also issued a statement on Feb. 13 in solidarity with the people of Guadeloupe and warned the French government to refrain from inflicting human rights violations on the workers engaging in economic and political struggles.
‘Any use of force by the authorities against people exercising their rights is not acceptable. It is not by repression and the deployment of police and shock troops that a solution will be found.’ - Cynthia McKinney
The statement reads: “The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) denounces in the strongest terms the threatening posture of the French government to the peoples of Guadaloupe and Martinique. We will not sit idly by and let the French government continue to treat our brothers and sisters as colonial subjects, or worse.”
The organization declares, “We stand in full support of the just demands of the people’s movements of Guadaloupe and Martinique for economic, social and cultural rights, human dignity and self-determination.
“MXGM serves notice to the French government that the resolution to the crisis in Guadaloupe and Martinique can only be addressed through diplomatic means in full accord with international law.”
The need for international solidarity
Although the one day strike by French workers on Jan. 29 received some press coverage in the United States, the events in Guadeloupe and Martinique have gone largely unnoticed by the corporate-controlled media. Both of these actions represent the workers’ response to the burgeoning economic crisis engendered by capitalist overproduction.
Despite the disadvantaged conditions that the masses in Guadeloupe are struggling against, they are pointing the way for the coming struggles of working class people throughout the capitalist world. The building of a united front, the coming together of trade unions and peoples’ organizations is key in any process aimed at fighting against the current crisis in world capitalism.
How you can help
The International Liaison Committee of Workers & Peoples (ILC) urges all supporters of democratic rights to send protest statements to the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., to demand that the demands of the people of Guadeloupe and Martinique be met. Tell them:
“We call on you and on the French government to 1) withdraw all special riot police and troops sent to Guadeloupe, 2) put a halt to any and all forms of repression against the striking population, 3) return to the negotiating table with the LKP Strike Collective and 4) heed their legitimate demands, beginning with an immediate 200 Euro increase in the minimum wage.
Abayomi Azikiwe is the editor of the Pan-African News Wire. Azikiwe has been following the current situation in Guadeloupe and Martinique over the last several weeks. Bay View staff contributed to this story.Email This Post
Filed Under: Haiti and Latin America