The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Martinique:
Demonstrations of Anger

Aug 2, 2021

Translated from Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group active in France.

Since Macron’s announcement on July 12 of the compulsory vaccination of caregivers and the health pass, reactions are strong in Martinique.

A first spontaneous demonstration took place on the evening of Tuesday 13, just after the announcement of the reinstatement of the curfew by the prefect. About 800 people gathered in front of the prefecture of Fort-de-France to shout: “Nou pa kobay” (we are not guinea pigs).

Then, on Saturday, July 17, more than 3,000 people demonstrated in the streets of Fort-de-France. During the nights of July 17 and 18, riots broke out in neighborhoods of the city, in particular that of Terre-Sainville. Groups of young people attacked the police with stones, but also with guns. They took advantage of the climate of general protest to attack stores, burn some of them, and loot. They set up barricades, including with undamaged cars, and set them on fire. The fire has spread to homes. At least three houses have burned down in Terre-Sainville, poor people finding themselves homeless and having lost everything.

These young people who took over from the anti-compulsory vaccination demonstration also expressed their revolt against unemployment, poverty and a life without prospects. But the real arsonists are Macron and his ministers. It is they who, by their decisions, enrich the soil on which the revolt of young people grows. Not to mention the immense visible inequality between the mass of the poor and the minority of the big and rich “békés” who own everything. This is the source of the revolt and the riots.

Tuesday, July 20, it was the turn of health workers to march through the streets to the headquarters of the Regional Health Agency. Also accompanied by workers from other sectors, they numbered two thousand. And on Saturday, July 24, 300 people again demonstrated in Fort-de-France.

Other events are planned in the following days.