One dead in Guadeloupe strike

Aftermath of the night of rioting in Guadeloupe

As Guadeloupe's general strike against rising prices spreads across the Caribbean, a union official is shot dead.

Local officials states that union representative Jacques Bino, aged in his 50s, was shot dead in a crossfire while driving his car near a roadblock manned by armed youths, who opened fire at police in the capital Pointe-a-Pitre.

Workers in Guadeloupe launched a general strike on 20 January in protest at the rising cost of living.

Most businesses, services and government departments across the island have been totally shut down since the strike began, and over a quarter of the population has taking to the streets.

Earlier this month workers in neighbouring Martinique joined the strike, and last night saw heavy rioting as impoverished residents escalated their struggle. Protesters burned shops and businesses and erected roadblocks with overturned cars and chopped down coconut trees.

Strikers warned that the government was preparing to murder demonstrators in order to quell the rebellion, after heavily armed French gendarmes were sent to the region.

Despite emissaries sent from Paris, and the dispute being isolated by French unions , the strike has continued with shops out of stocks and petrol pumps running dry. At the height of the tourist season, two thirds of the 15,000 hotel beds in Guadeloupe are empty.

The Hindu reported that the strike is also being played out in the backdrop of tensions between the original inhabitants of the islands and the “Bekes”, white colonisers who used slave labour to cultivate huge plantations until slavery was abolished in 1848. Former slave owners and a small white minority have kept a tight grip on the islands’ economy ever since. “The situation in Guadeloupe is not far from social apartheid,” warned Christiane Taubura, an MP from French Guyana. “The leaders of the strikers are not anti-white racists. They are exposing a reality...a caste holds economic power and abuses it,” she told Le Journal du Dimanche.

The islands rely almost exclusively on imports sold in French-owned supermarkets at significantly higher prices than in France. A packet of rice or pasta, for instance, costs 90 per cent higher than in the “metropole”. Petrol too is far more expensive.

Comments

Entdinglichung
Feb 18 2009 14:14

the LKP statement: http://lkp.e3b.org/dotclear/index.php?post/2009/02/18/1-mort-cette-nuit

1 mort cette nuit

Un syndicaliste de la CGTG, aussi membre du Mouvman Kiltirèl AKIYO, est mort par balle dans la nuit du 17 au 18 février 2009, à Pointe - à - Pitre. Nous n'avons pas encore, à l'heure où nous écrivons ce billet, les détails des évènements.

Le collectif "Liyannaj Kont Pwofitasyon" renouvelle son appel au calme !

En raison des derniers évèvements, et pour une période encore indéterminée, aucun commentaire ne sera diffusé.

jef costello
Feb 18 2009 14:42

The union delegate for Unsa police has said that the police are overwhelmed and facing 'guerilla tactics' and has warned people to stay in their homes.

400 gendarmes mobiles have already arrived and more are on the way.

The dead man is called Jacques Bino, and he was shot dead by a barricade, it's unclear who by at the moment.
The authorities are claiming that after the 'first' gunshot was heard police came under attack and three were injured and that they were driven back by gunshots, probably from a shotgun.
Police have reported three injuries from shotgun wounds in the capital as well.

miles
Feb 18 2009 19:21

We written a short article about the events, currently just in French

akai
Feb 18 2009 20:48

There is a notice on the LKP website that it is "suspended". Did anybody copy the statement?

gbdz
Feb 19 2009 05:28

I find it terribly irresponsible to state that THE POLICE has killed somebody.
It appears that it was the demonstrators who shot and most certainly it was the demonstrators who kept the paramedics from reaching the victim until it was too late.

What is your agenda?
Hatemongering?

Entdinglichung
Feb 19 2009 15:21

@ laureakai: it is (in french) in the first comment on this article ... some more on the website of the UGTG: http://ugtg.org/ & http://ugtg.org/article_748.html

more stuff here:

* http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/show_news.pl?country=Guadeloupe&alllanguages=1&languagename=English&langcode=en&lang=English (mainstream & trade union sources)

* http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?rubrique489

Entdinglichung
Feb 19 2009 15:53

p.s.: a statement of the CNT-F: http://www.cnt-f.org/spip.php?article956

disgusted
Feb 19 2009 16:41

I see that you are claiming a policeman shot a demonstrator just to get hits on your crappy website. You are a disgusting bunch.
For your information they were looters/rioters that shot Mr. Bino. Just the kind of people that should be working at your business....idiots.
You probably won't print this....doesnt matter....this is just for you administrators. Shame on you.

Zazaban
Feb 19 2009 21:12

To the people who posted complaints - This is a communist/anarchist class war website. There is generally very little sympathy towards the police.

I highly recommend you go to the forum and look around. You might learn something. grin

jef costello
Feb 19 2009 21:27

Sarkozy has announced a 580 million euro package. It's a bit unclear, on the one hand it claims to be charging the employers on the others it claims to stimulate wage increases by making those increases exempt from the social security payments that normally go along with them. He claims it will help 110000 households.
The government will pay a 'prime' (bonus or extra payment) for two years which is close to the 200 euros that the LKP demanded.
The government will also set up investment zones and funds for development.

He's also authorised 2.6 bn euros for people in France affected by the financial crisis.

gbdz
Feb 20 2009 09:11

Wow, you got an argument there don't you!

I am telling you that the deadly shots were shot by Benyamin Netanyahu.
Now show me an article where it is stated that it was not him.

Whatever your agenda might be, your credibility nears zero as you put up unverified statements as the truth.

According to preliminary reports the "forces of order" were nowhere near and the shot came from a hunting rifle. But you had already decided that this is another case of police violence, never mind the facts. The enquiry will not change your mind either since it will be made by the corrupted colonial regime...

I thought that people like you got buried with Leonid Brezhnev.

Cleishbotham
Feb 20 2009 11:53

According to the Financial Times the protestors opened fire on the police from behind their baricades "killing one demonstrator". But if Mr Bino was behind the barricades this is difficult to explain. All the Ed has asked is for some reference to some source to take this out of the realm of assertion.

As to the people who support this website being "buried with Leonid Brezhnev" I rarely take part in discussions here but I do read it occasionally and I can assure "gbdz" that Stalin would have already have murdered all of them (and the members of the organisation to which I belong, the IBRP) as being far too close to real communism for his liking. But then perhaps you should take up the invite to look at some of the discussions on the other forums?

Ex-temp
Feb 20 2009 11:58

We would like to apologise for the incorrect assertion in this article originally, that police were responsible for the killing. While the actual perpetrator is unclear, all reports indicate it is likely that he was shot accidentally by demonstrators.

We have edited the article accordingly. It was written rapidly while information was still scarce.

jef costello
Feb 20 2009 12:11

gbdz:
-The forces of order have claimed to have been present and driven back by gunfire.
-It wasn't a hunting rifle otherwise we'd have dead cops, they are referring to shotgun.

Sean68
Feb 20 2009 13:37

Shipwreck
Come back 'gbdz'! We aren't all John Holloway/fetishists of violence around here! Come back!
Oh no! Someone normal nearly stopped by. Will we ever get off this island now?

Entdinglichung
Feb 22 2009 14:24

a chronology of the strike (in French) can be found here: http://www.lkp-gwa.org/chronologie.htm and two (a bit older) articles by "The Spark": http://www.the-spark.net/np839402.html & http://www.the-spark.net/np839403.html

varlet
Feb 22 2009 16:25

An interesting article on the strike gives a historical perspective on how French government and French police behave in the West Indies:

"
To take care of niggers, the French government traditionally sends in the Gendarmerie Mobile, “the Yellow” as it is also known, no fucking around, and they’re taking their Cougars-these nice little teargas grenade-throwing bazookas-with them. The gendarmes, like most of their buddies of the CRS riot police, are all based in continental France. A few days ago, Alex Lollia, a member of LKP, was beaten up by gendarmes apparently well aware of his position in the organization, and possessed of a peculiar notion as to the nature of their mission: getting the nigger [5]. Here again, this is not so surprising coming from French gendarmes; in fact, punctuating kicks with sweet words is something of a French police tradition. What is more specific to the locale is general massacre with no consequences.

Here’s for a non-exhaustive timeline:

On February 14th 1952, the CRS open fire without warning on a demonstration of canefield workers and small cane plantation owners: Guadeloupe’s Valentine’s Day Massacre leaves 4 dead and 14 wounded.
...
"

The rest here:
Strike in the French West Indies

varlet
Feb 26 2009 00:37

As the article below points out, the bullet that killed the trade unionist last week is generally used for hunting and killing game, which would tend to imply that it wasnt shot by the police.
However, someone found an article from a French right wing paper (L'express) reporting on an incident in 1995 in which a policeman had 'accidentally' killed a child, and in that article a policeman mentions that recently the police have started using hunting type of rifles, that shoot the same type of bullet that killed our trade unionist in Guadeloupe. The bullet type is called 'Brenneck'.
Doesnt prove nothing but strongly suggests that we should at least be sceptical and not take for granted the official version.

The article in French.

Excerpt below:

...le procureur de la République, M. Prêtre, avait affirmé que la balle ayant été à l'origine de la mort de Jacques Bino était de type brenneck, des munitions utilisées pour la chasse au sanglier. Je m'étonnais qu'on puisse se procurer ce type de balle en Guadeloupe où il n'existe aucun gros gibier mais, naïvement, j'ajoutais que cette information semblait de nature à innocenter la police, puisqu'on l'imagine mal avoir recours à ce type de calibre. Un lecteur attentif de Chien Créole vient de me faire parvenir le lien d'un article paru le 24 août 1995 dans l'express, pas franchement une feuille subversive comme le souligne mon informateur.


L'article relate une bavure policière ayant entraîné la mort d'un petit Bosniaque de 8 ans dans le massif du Mercantour : http://www.lexpress.fr/informations/les-frontieres-de-la-police_609248.html

Interrogé sur le fait que le sous-brigadier responsable de la bavure avait fait usage d'un fusil à pompe, un de ses collègues répondait :
"C'est tout à fait réglementaire. Il y a quatre ou cinq ans, pour les contrôles routiers, le fusil à pompe a remplacé le MAT 49, tombé en désuétude. Il s'agit d'une arme de défense collective. Quant aux cartouches, la première est toujours en caoutchouc, les suivantes sont des Brenneck(...)"

Cet article date de 1995, il faut à présent savoir si cet usage s'est poursuivi officiellement, ou non. Plus que jamais, la nécessité d'une enquête sérieuse pour faire toute la lumière sur la mort de Jacques semble impérieuse. Chacun doit garder son sang-froid afin qu'elle puisse se réaliser dans la sérénité si on veut que la vérité se fasse. La seule chose que nous disons est que le doute est permis, qu'une enquête doit avoir lieu...

gbdz
Feb 27 2009 13:33

I am impressed by the fact that you actually revised your article according to the facts or rather the lack of them.

As to the "mouvement social" in the French DOM-TOM it is quite surprising to see magazines like Marianne and le Point reporting on the other side of the protesters and the situation of the economy on the islands.

As to the protesters, surprisingly they are not unemployed nor are their jobs threatened. They are "fonctionaires" or state clerks who are 100% protected against being sacked. Also, they have a habit of putting up another strike or the threat of after the main one to get paid for the days they were on barricades.

It is true that problems in the French territories are huge and the policy of buying the peace has to come to an end as the payers in the EU do not quite realize why they should share the bad conscience of the Colonial France.

It is very easy to manifest against whatever you wish, block the roads, burn buildings and provoke hate. Especially racial issues are so sore that one is sure to hurt somebody by merely touching the subject. But finding and applying lasting solutions is another question. The French resist everything that one could call "change". Still they demand it, maybe just to be able to demonstrate against, I do not know.
But developing something like Martinique into a modern highly-educated, high-tech society takes time and strength. It takes an enormous change in attitudes also. But whenever there is a crisis or a conflict people dig deeper in their trenches and forget first whatever they have learned last.

I have lived in Martinique and I live currently on another French Territory.
I felt the anti-white racial hatred in Martinique and I know of several afro-european (was that politically correct?) families who have left the island after having been attacked on the streets. According to some elder people I talked with this is a recent development, some politicians are taking advantage of the black poverty in a populistic fashion.

I was surprised to see the statistics where the economies of the different French Territories were compared. Martinique pretty well off on the list but on the island one senses deprivation and poverty. La Réunion is mathematically much poorer but walking around here (with the exception of the social accomodation areas) one sees well fed and well clad people minding their own business.

Something does not match.
Either the distribution of the riches is really different on the two islands or there is a monumental difference in the way people spend their money.

I should think the first.
I am sure that the insular monopolies are taking all there is to be taken and leaving as little as posible to the rest. But why block the roads and destroy the small enterprises?
Why not take on the biggies?
Too big, too powerful or maybe paying securities?

to jef costello,
it seems my sources had the gun right
good question what could anybody hunt with such a caliber weapon on the island
not much left of a rabbit or a hare after a direct hit....

to nico,
somebody had seen the guards on the barrage carrying hunting rifles
whereas nobody had seen any police around

there was talk that the shooter thought it was an unmarked police car and actually tried to kill a cop...to provoke a counteraction and a full-fledged armed conflict! Please note that I said "there was talk" not that this was the truth.

Rats
Feb 28 2009 11:48

to posters gbdz & disgusted:

Fuck the police.
We don't know if they did shoot the union organiser.. but hell, it wouldn't be the first time.

varlet
Feb 28 2009 22:22

Whoever did it, the main point to me is that until the French government sent extra police from continental France to break the barricades, the movement was fairly well organized and the strikers managed to avoid any unnecessary violent slip-up.
As always it is violence, agressive tactics and repression by the police (and this one is specially trained to 'deal with' the oversea territories population) that is the cause of this tragic accident, which is therefore hardly an accident if you ask me.
They're only here to protect the capital, serve the bourgeoisie and defend their interests.
Nothing new under the Antillean sun.

gbdz
Mar 1 2009 10:36

Yes, fuck everybody. With this crowd, fuck the truth and those who try to stick with it!

As to the murder scene in the Antilles, now there has been an arrest.
A man named Ruddy Alexis 35 years, has been charged with murder.
He has a criminal record with three charges of violence. The police found the "brenneke" type cartridges at his house, the same kind that had been used for the killing. For those less informed, these cartridges are solid slugs for a shotgun that are used for boar hunting and also for crowd control. In the latter case, they are made of rubber or a plastic to hurt but not to kill.
In the search there was also a handgun found which was not related to the killing.

The shooter actually thought he´d be shooting at the "forces of order".
Probably being just a thug, he could not have foreseen the consequences he should have caused had his victim really been a policeman.

The main point is not at all what the police did to control the spread of violence after it already had erupted. How can you be so fucking naive and stupid and badly informed?

Or maybe just a bunch of alienated and frustrated losers to whom life is just a video game.

"berk"

varlet
Mar 1 2009 12:09

You're going to have to take it easy buddy, especially when you're talking so much crap.

So you're reading Le point and Marianne, but we're the ones badly informed? You're a joke, man. No wonder you're already condemning one of the five guys the police has arrested. Can I remind you there hasnt been a trial yet? Oh but he's 'just a thug' anyway. He must be guilty. 'Just a thug' what a reactionary thing to say. Its so easy to put people into categories made by simple minds for simple minds. Typical bourgeois propaganda. What are you even doing here parroting this crap? So you're condeming some guy without a trial because he's a thug, and we're badly informed, our agenda is hatemongering, and we say fuck to the truth?? Get a grip man. Try and make some sense rather than typing random words on your keyboard.

If you want a bit of information on how the arrest took place, how the police (typically) (mis-)behaved outside the court, and how condemning anyone here and now is obviously jumping to conclusions (which the press is obviously doing), you should read this:
Chien Creole

So you get informed before you come and repeat the police propaganda here. Thanks.

As for being 'naive and stupid', again you're a joke. If you dont realize how the police behaves in any demo, any strike movement, if you dont know the history of how the police has behaved in the West Indies, well you must be blind and you should read a thing or two. But you've probably never been in any demo, or been part of any strike, cos you dont like these tactics. 'block the roads, burn buildings and provoke hate' thats all the same for you, and this is the antillean strikers agenda. Let me guess. You've read that in Le point... Or was it Marianne?
Now for your information, if you want historical background on the the violence and killings the police have committed in the West Indies, read this:
Melanine (theres a French version as well)

Heres a sample for you:

-On February 14th 1952, the CRS open fire without warning on a demonstration of canefield workers and small cane plantation owners: Guadeloupe’s Valentine’s Day Massacre leaves 4 dead and 14 wounded.

-In 1961, Martinican cane workers in struggle for a measly wage hike are attacked by gendarmes; three men are shot and killed.

-In May 1967, construction workers went on strike in Guadeloupe to demand a 2% hike in wages (the idea!). As union negotiations faltered, CRS decided lead might help: suring two nights, they shot at strikers, killing anywhere between 80 and 200 people. A great classic of the Republic: none of the CRS responsible for the massacre was ever tried or even questioned, but the leaders of the independentist Groupe d’Organisation Nationale de la Guadeloupe and the leaders of the student group Association Générale des Etudiants Guadeloupéens were tracked down and imprisoned for sedition, arguably for forcing police to shoot at them.


-In February 1974, the gendarmerie mobile turns the banana workers strike of Lorrain in Martinique into a bloodbath, shooting at 200 peaceful demonstrators, killing one and wounding four.

Is that enough for you to get the message?
Who is ignoring the truth? Who is alienated? Who is badly informed?
Look at you man.

Think twice (though once would be an achievement already) next time before you come here parrotting the police and the mainstream press propaganda and insulting us.

gbdz
Mar 1 2009 14:50

You are making a strong case here: Since there was police violence in the Antilles in 1961, 1967 and 1974, the syndicalist who got killed in 2009 was a victim of police violence as well.

Take a look at the mirror, there is a clown there.

varlet
Mar 1 2009 15:18

Is this what i said? Obviously not. I was just being kind and giving you contextual information you wont read in the bourgeois press you're so keen on.
Thought that might help you think with a critical mind.
But some people never learn, do they?

Did i say anyone in particular was guilty of killing Jacques Bino? No, but you did! Even before any sort of trial happens. And you come here lecturing people?! You've got some nerve, man.

Sorry to sound patronizing but your arguments are really poor and the way you put them forward is dishonest and really annoying.

gbdz
Mar 2 2009 07:59

bourgeois propaganda to say that somebody is being charged of murder and attempted when he actually is...?

and while this somebody has already been caught and sentenced three times before for violent crimes he still does not qualify as "a thug"

trying to warp reality to conform with one's ideology results in a crash landing sooner or later

but probably you remain in your middle class playgrounds with your silly "let's pretend we are revolutionaires" farce without even noticing that you do not crack jokes, you are one....

varlet
Mar 2 2009 23:58

You're still being dishonest, you're still annoying and you still havent got anything to say.
You're wasting my time, you're wasting your time, you're wasting everybody's time here.
So, please save your reactionary thoughts for Le Point or Marianne or Liberation's web forums.
Over and out.

gbdz
Mar 3 2009 10:47

You're still being dishonest, you're still annoying and you still havent got anything to say.

well the "dishonest" me with a couple of others managed to get the lying headline changed

there are charges of murder and attempted murder against a person who already has been committed three times, who was not part of the police force

PS. I hate Marianne, le Point and Nouvel Observateur.
they are worse liars than you as they know how things are and lie on purpose
(you are just plain ignorant)

radicalgraffiti
Mar 3 2009 12:10
gbdz wrote:
I find it terribly irresponsible to state that THE POLICE has killed somebody.
gbdz wrote:
I am telling you that the deadly shots were shot by Benyamin Netanyahu.
Now show me an article where it is stated that it was not him.
gbdz wrote:
As to the murder scene in the Antilles, now there has been an arrest.
A man named Ruddy Alexis 35 years, has been charged with murder.

But blaming anyone else is ok doesn't matter who so long as there not the police

gbdz wrote:
well the "dishonest" me with a couple of others managed to get the lying headline changed

I'v seen headlines changed on here before when they turned out to be inaccurate without you help, and there's a difference between lying and making a mistake