The Spark

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

Guadeloupe:
Court Rules in Case of High School Militants

May 25, 2015

The following article was translated from the April 25 issue of Combat Ouvrier (Workers Fight), the paper of comrades in Guadeloupe and Martinique, two islands that are French overseas departments in the Caribbean. It reports on the current status of charges against two young militants who protested a series of incidents and injustices against students.

On April 21, the courts handed down sentences for two Combat Ouvrier comrades, who produced the journal Rebelle! Sony Laguerre was accused of knocking down a cop. Sony’s charge was dismissed. Raphael Cece, accused of having threatened the police, was given two months on probation, with a fine of 500 euros. Raphael is making an appeal to a higher court.

Once again, there were a lot of police present in the court and they tried a bunch of provocations to create an incident.

In reality, this whole business should never have taken place. It grew out of some pieces written in the student journal Rebelle! which embarrassed the high school administration, the judiciary system and the police. The articles talked about a series of grave injustices against the students. No one could debate the facts cited by the journal. It especially drew attention to the sexual harassment of a number of young women.

So what Sony and Raphael were reproached for was the mocking tone they took in their journal, which became an example for other young people. The school administration was afraid the youth might revolt.

The judgement given was really successful thanks to the mobilization. In the first court proceeding, Raphael was sentenced to five months in prison with probation and Sony sentenced to eight months with big fines. Next will come an appeals court and we will see the judgment made concerning Raphael. The mobilization will continue.