The Spark

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

Martinique:
Blind Violence, a Social Phenomenon Resulting from a Society in Crisis

Feb 4, 2013

This is an article from the February 2nd issue of Combat Ouvrier (Workers Fight), the paper of the revolutionary workers group of that name active in the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, which are overseas departments of France.

In January, the “Martinique Region” organized a campaign of awareness and prevention against violence.

For several months, there has been an upsurge of violent acts, which the daily paper France-Antilles and the broadcast media regularly cover. This violence is affecting more and more people, especially in workers’ neighborhoods and schools. It is prevalent among the youth, who are often petty criminals who’ve lost their bearings and who are usually unemployed, and/or involved with drugs and alcohol.

Things have gotten so bad that the Martinique Region organization calls it “... a blight that is growing and diverse (armed attacks, all types of robberies, knife attacks, rapes, etc.). Martinique, Guadeloupe and Guiana have a higher rate than in France, the facts are undeniable. France has a rate of armed violence of 13%, Guadeloupe stands out at 47%, Guiana is notable with 42% and Martinique is a bit lower at almost 30%.

We can understand the concern of families and older people who are afraid to go out. No one is spared from this upsurge of violence.

The campaign against violence certainly brings together people who are rightfully shocked by what they see and live through. But it is silent when it comes to addressing those who are responsible for the degradation of our society.

There can be no illusions on the results of this campaign, and on the eventual reduction in violence.

The crisis of this society led by the capitalist class gives rise to many wrongs; unemployment, layoffs, the high cost of living, low wages and the difficulties in making ends meet.

It is this that in turn gives rise to the violence workers see destroying their communities and schools every day.

It will take more than postering campaigns to get rid of the wrongs of this society.