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 Current Social Revolt:
An Example to Follow and Strengthen

Jan 31, 2022

The following is translated from the journal of Combat Ouvrier, the revolutionary group active in Guadeloupe and Martinique.

In Guadeloupe and Martinique demonstrations, actions, outbursts follow one another every day against the sanctions linked to the vaccination obligation and employer exploitation.

The revolt of part of the workers and the population continues seven months after it began, and without weakening.

In Martinique, on Wednesday, January 12, the workers demonstrated in front of the CHUM in Fort-de-France. On Friday, January 7, trade unions and caregivers demonstrated in front of the ARS: the next day they demonstrated through Fort-de-France and in front of the prefecture.

On January 11, in Guadeloupe, hundreds of demonstrators opposed the forces of repression who had destroyed the picket of caregivers at the Pointe-à-Pitre University Hospital. The January 8 street demonstration in Pointe-à-Pitre brought together a thousand people. Workers are on strike in more than a dozen health establishments. At the Pointe-à-Pitre hospital center, on Tuesday, January 4, caregivers deprived of salary showed the extent of their anger to the director Gérard Cotellon, forced to be escorted by the police to leave his office.

At the same time, workers in several other sectors are on strike: those of the multinational ArcelorMittal for more than four months, those of the Post Office, the IME, health establishments.

Yes, the fight pays off: the organizers of the United G 128 association in Goyave, on strike against their dismissal, have won!

The workers who demonstrate and who go on strike are certainly a minority for the moment, but they constitute a combative minority who do not give up and who show the way to others.

The number of people at risk of being affected by the suspensions is very large. For example, at the Martinique hospital center, 3,800 letters of formal notice were sent to agents. The inter-union in struggle estimates at nearly 6,000 the number of people threatened by the suspensions in Martinique. In the two islands several thousand workers have already lost or will lose their wages.

These figures are added to those of the already massive unemployment in the West Indies. With the increase in prices, the absence of water in the taps, wages falling in relation to the cost of living, the suspensions are too much, overflowing the anger of a combative fraction of the workers! They ultimately have no choice but to fight. This is a battle for the reinstatement of suspended workers but above all a struggle for the whole working class—the class of those who have no choice but to be exploited to obtain a salary and who suffer all the violence of this society.

However, to win against the increasing onslaught against workers, the social revolt will have to go further. It must succeed in drawing the majority of the workers and the population in its wake. It is only if the state finds itself faced with a more general, collective struggle that it will give in. A general fight against the suspensions linked to the law on the obligation to vaccinate, but also for the increase in wages, for mass hiring, the cessation of layoffs, for drinking water everywhere, among others, will produce a greater balance of forces on the workers’ side.

Whenever a government made concessions to the workers it was because the ruling class feared the initiatives taken by the working class in struggle. Let’s create this balance of power!