An extreme reaction to The French Governments regulations regarding the vaccination of service workers in Guadeloupe has resulted in near anarchy throughout the Island. Many Citizens protested these extreme measures and refused to be vaccinated. Hundreds of these workers we suspended. A General Strike was announced Nov 15th, and many union organizations representing hospital, fire fighters and other labor Unions joined in the fight. A fight it has really become.
Highway blockages were established by the protesters, which brought about an immediate reaction from the Island Government and its police. The situation deteriorated into looting and street battles between the forces of the government and protester’s. Faced with urban violence as not seen before in Guadeloupe, the government sent in agents of The GIGN and mainland RIAD Forces to calm the situation and bring Guadeloupe’s streets uncontrol.
Multiple retail, pharmacies and business establishments were looted and fire bombed. Seemingly professional troublemakers were taking advantage of the protesters energy and mission. Police were assaulted and shot at. The capitals prefect instituted a curfew from 6pm to 6am. Many schools were closed for the students safety. Many teachers spurred on by their unions walked off the job or joined in the protest.
The UGTG (The General Union of Workers of Guadeloupe) declared its opposition against the vaccine mandate, and may have initiated the mass protest. Many young people joined in this massive grass roots protest. The protestors have much to protest besides these mandates. Inequalities, poverty and indignities suffered by the indigenous population. Small Business owners suffered much from the safety mandates issued recently.
by Nov 22 there were 2,250 police and gendarmes on the streets, along with 200 agents sent from metropolitan France. Such events had happened previously in January 2009 when a general strike was declared. It ended after 44 days.
France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex, with The Minister of Over Sea’s Territories must stand before the elected government to explain how they plan on bringing about peace on this Island and also France. The population of Guadeloupe may need more than platitudes and money to stop this protest. A sense of anti colonialism and nationalistic pride seem to be centered in this multi member umbrella of Citizens who are looking for more than protection from COVID-19.