The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

The Fight Continues

Dec 6, 2021

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

The ongoing mass revolt in Martinique and Guadeloupe is starting to worry the government.

French Overseas Territories Minister Sebastien Lecornu came to the Caribbean, spending November 28 and 29 in Guadeloupe and the following day in Martinique. On November 27, nearly 15,000 demonstrators in the cities of Pointe-à-Pitre and Basse-Terre marched alongside neighborhood carnival crews and protest movement activists. A real human tide. This mass was the “minority” that French President Emmanuel Macron derides! Both marches were extremely impressive.

In Guadeloupe, Lecornu’s first visit was to the forces of repression at the Jaille barracks. He also announced the bringing in of 70 additional gendarmes, as well as an additional 10 elite tactical GIGN gendarmes. Arrogance on display.

The morning of November 29 he was to meet with Pointe-à-Pitre leaders. But 300 demonstrators marched across the street to Place de la Victoire, crawling with police. Lecornu demanded that the 30 or so union and political organizations in the revolt pick a negotiations delegation of only six people, and then 10 people. This was an insult. Obviously, the 30 or so organizations demanded the presence of at least one member for each.

Lecornu then tried to impose as a prerequisite that the organizations in the struggle condemn “violence.” Incredible but true! He didn’t come to appease the revolt, but only to make a political statement, to meet with elected officials, and to make promises about autonomy for the islands.

The demonstration at the Place de la Victoire, with drums beating, lasted long after the government leaders left. Lecornu’s trip was a formality meant to demonstrate the firm policy of the French Republic and its “republican law.” That’s all he had on his tongue. The August 5 Law—the law of the Republic—will be maintained. But the demonstrators demand the fired workers be brought back with full pay. Lecornu retreated just a step, promising the deadline for bringing unvaccinated health workers into good standing would be postponed to December 31, as in Martinique. This minor retreat seemed very insignificant to everyone.

But the demonstration genuinely came from the streets. Road blockages have multiplied. Anger has amplified. The island is full of barricades. On the evening of Lecornu’s departure, roadblocks ignited everywhere, showing the anger of activists and young people. Roadblocks were proposed again for the following day. Many believe that the level of the fight must keep rising.