The Spark

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

Guadeloupe:
Militant on Trial

Nov 26, 2012

The following article was first published on October 13 in Combat Ouvrier (Workers Fight), newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group of the same name in Guadeloupe and Martinique.

On October 10th, a young comrade of Combat Ouvrier (Workers Fight), Sony Laguerre, went on trial in Pointe-à-Pitre. This comrade was a leader of a small newspaper aimed at college and high school students called Rebelle! (Rebel).

Sony is accused of wounding a policeman last May 18th. On that day, Rebelle! called for sympathizers to accompany one of their comrades summoned to a police station for a minor matter. Some 40 young people arrived, only to have the police charge them!

Several days later, a complaint against Sony was drawn up. Another comrade, Raphaël Cécé, was also summoned by the police for “threats” he supposedly made that day.

These accusations are the latest harassment against the Rebelle! youth. Pressure, threats, intimidation take place both inside and outside school. The goal is to silence this group of young militants because their little newspaper mocks the authorities irreverently. The paper denounces the exaggerated and useless disciplinary measures against high school students; it opposes sexist and scornful comments against young women, and other humiliations.

A hundred people, including some 50 high school and college students, came to support our comrade in court at Pointe-à-Pitre. Political and union militants and students’ parents were also present. And at one high school there was a protest against the daily injustices and bullying which they suffer, and for the defense of Rebelle! and freedom of expression.

The trial prosecutor and police lawyer weren’t happy to see the mobilization, not to mention the six defense lawyers for Sony.

The trial of our comrade is pushed back to next January 18th, two days after that of Raphaël Cécé.

Those who demonstrated on October 10th promise to bring out even greater numbers for the trials on January 16th and 18th.