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Roadblocks and fires were on the increase on Wednesday evening in Martinique where a general strike has been going on for three days to protest against the compulsory vaccination of caregivers against Covid-19.
The situation worsened, Wednesday, November 24, in Martinique, on the evening of the third day of the general strike, with the proliferation of roadblocks on the main roads of the island, shaken like its neighbor Guadeloupe by a challenge to the anti-vaccine. Compulsory Covid for caregivers, which turns violent in some neighborhoods.
In Robert, a supermarket was set on fire, firefighters told AFP, who said they only intervene in the presence of the police, after having come under several projectiles during their missions.
In Guadeloupe, two roundabouts in Baie-Mahault (Basse-Terre), until then spared by blockades, were barred and set on fire Wednesday evening, according to a source of the gendarmerie, after a rather calm day.
>> To see: Antilles: anger is roaring – Martinique and Guadeloupe sink into the crisis
The Martinique authorities on Wednesday opened the door to dialogue with the inter-union which launched the blockades on Monday on the island and plans to toughen up the tone.
“We received an invitation to a meeting Thursday morning at 10 am (3 pm in Paris, Editor’s note) with the prefect and the president of the executive council (of the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique Serge Letchimy) at the prefecture”, announced to the press Éric Bellemare, general secretary of Force Ouvrière Martinique on Wednesday afternoon during a press point.
Five people arrested
An invitation arrived when the members of the intersyndicale threatened “to make other arrangements” in the face of “the contempt displayed by the prefecture”, had launched the union representative.
The leaders of the 17 trade unions, who have launched a call for mobilization in Martinique since Monday, had to turn to their respective bases to decide on future actions.
The unions have all the same warned that they do not intend to lower their guard. “If until now the state has taken small steps, it is thanks to the balance of power,” observed Gabriel Jean-Marie, secretary general of the CGTM. Dams could therefore persist.
The prefecture of Martinique had already reported “very violent events (…) in the agglomeration of Fort-de-France” on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday. “Seven police officers and five gendarmes were slightly injured but they were not hospitalized”, according to the same source.
“Five people were arrested and are still in police custody for attempted homicide and aggravated violence against persons holding public authority, damage caused by fire, carrying and possession of weapons, participation in armed groups. all have already been sentenced, ”she added.
Curfew until Saturday in Guadeloupe
In Guadeloupe, the prefecture, which extended the curfew until Saturday, announced that two gendarmes had “been slightly injured” and six arrests carried out, during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Overseas Minister Sébastien Lecornu assured that in Guadeloupe, “the penal response is underway: almost a hundred arrests as I speak to you”.
Faced with the crisis in #Guadeloupe, 3 answers.
1️⃣ The return to public order.
2️⃣ The application of the law on compulsory vaccination accompanied by a dialogue with caregivers and firefighters.
3️⃣ A meeting tomorrow with elected Guadeloupe officials to talk about youth. pic.twitter.com/GP7HWeEHBe
– Sébastien Lecornu (@SebLecornu) November 24, 2021
From Paris, government spokesman Gabriel Attal denounced a “recalcitrant” and “violent” minority which is taking “an entire island hostage”.
“Public health cannot be instrumentalised for political ends”, he insisted at the end of the Council of Ministers during which President Emmanuel Macron “recalled that our objective, our course, is to protect the Guadeloupeans “.
Several investigations were opened Wednesday in Guadeloupe after incidents on the sidelines of the rallies, including the death of a young man, Monday evening, near the Sapotille dam.
The Minister of Overseas Territories will meet Thursday in videoconference “all the elected officials of Guadeloupe” to address health measures but also the issue of youth “who find themselves on the dams”.