Faced with the “very explosive crisis” in Guadeloupe, in the grip of a social protest linked to the vaccination obligation, the executive strongly condemned on Monday the urban violence and looting. He called for calm, recognizing “a necessary dialogue” with elected officials.
After having “condemned with the most extreme firmness” the violence, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the creation of a “forum for dialogue” in order to “convince and support individually, humanely” the professionals concerned by the vaccination obligation . Finally tested positive for Covid-19, he spoke at the end of a meeting held by videoconference with elected officials from the Caribbean island.
“A mission from the Ministry of the Interior will be at work on site from tomorrow (Tuesday) to examine with them the ways and means to allow the conditions for the deployment of the vaccine obligation and also discuss the subjects specific to the functioning of the Departmental fire and rescue service of Guadeloupe, “continued the head of government, while the firefighters are part of the living forces of the protest.
Earlier in the day, Emmanuel Macron assured Guadeloupe of the nation’s “solidarity” and asked “not to give in to lies and manipulation by some of this situation” on the sidelines of a trip to Amiens.
“We cannot use the health of French women and men to wage political battles” and “it is necessary that” public order is maintained “, he underlined in a soothing tone, insisting on” a growing membership vaccination “on the island, despite the opposition of a” very small minority “.
Violence and looting
Guadeloupe, which has a high unemployment rate which reaches 35% among young people, and hit hard by the Covid-19 epidemic this summer, has been shaken for a week by a movement, originating from the protest of the ‘obligation to vaccinate caregivers, which degenerated into a social crisis punctuated by numerous violence during the night from Thursday to Friday, when violence and looting began.
Threatened with a “shotgun”, doctor “held in play”, the Regional Health Agency of Guadeloupe castigated “the physical attacks that health professionals have suffered in recent days while they were going to treat fathers, mothers and children of Guadeloupe “.
Faced with a rapidly deteriorating situation, the government sent 200 police and gendarmes, as well as 50 members of the GIGN and Raid units – deployed as soon as they got off the plane – bringing the forces mobilized there to 2,250, while the Prefect has instituted a curfew between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m., until November 23.
The unrest continued over the weekend, however, leading the rectorate to suspend the reception of students “in schools, colleges and high schools” on Monday. Classes have not yet taken place on Friday.
The night from Sunday to Monday was however calmer than the previous one according to the prefecture, for which the mobilization of the police “made it possible to prevent in the town centers and in rural areas, the majority of the attempts of regrouping and damage to property “.
“There were a lot of roadblocks but little looting”, confirms a police source who does not note “significant facts”.
In neighboring Martinique, the call for a general strike launched by 17 trade unions with various demands including the end of the vaccination obligation for caregivers, led to blockages which paralyzed a good part of economic activity.
Protesters in Fort-de-France invaded the arrival village of the Jacques Vabre transatlantic on Monday.
“I condemn the violence, but there is an extremely eruptive situation in our countries at the moment”, declared Monday the PS senator of Martinique Catherine Conconne, for whom “the dear life constitutes the most complicated element to manage and the strongest element of recrimination of our populations.
Since the summer, the vaccination rate has increased in Guadeloupe, with a rate of nearly 90% of caregivers vaccinated, and approaching 50% in the general population – far, however, from the more than 75% of vaccinated in metropolitan France.
This article was published automatically. Sources: ats / afp