Riots in Martinique and Guadeloupe continue, some negotiations begin | Coronavirus pandemic news

The protests that began due to COVID restrictions have developed into a call for solutions to long-standing problems in the French territory.

French news media France Info reported that protesters looted shops and set up burning roadblocks in Martinique all night because of the intensified riots on the French islands in the Caribbean over the restrictions of the coronavirus.

France Info released a video of protesters aiming at a shopping center and escaping with goods on Thursday, as well as a video of demonstrators setting up burning barricades on the road.

In the past week in Martinique and neighboring Guadeloupe, demonstrators Took to the streets to protest The mandatory vaccination rules for health workers, the French mainland also has this requirement, and other restrictions related to COVID-19.

The protesters set fire to tires and trash cans and blocked the roads, while the Martinique police Got shot This week is in turmoil.The authorities said on Wednesday that they had Controlled several gas stations Because of concerns about fuel supply.

On Thursday, the leaders of the 17 trade union organizations that launched a general strike in Martinique earlier this week were meeting with local authorities to try to reach a solution.

In addition to ending vaccination obligations, protesters have been calling for salary increases and lower gasoline prices.

The French minister in charge of the country’s overseas territories, Sebastien Lecornu, also held a video conference with the mayor and other officials of Guadeloupe on Thursday morning, “to assess the health, safety and health there. Social conditions”.

Lecornu’s office said in a statement that similar meetings with officials from other territories are scheduled for Friday. statement“In these free and open exchanges, special attention will be paid to the priorities of Guadeloupe youth,” the ministry said.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Monday that a dialogue process will be established to “individually and humanely persuade and accompany” health workers who have expressed concerns about vaccination requirements.

But although the protests started to contain the coronavirus, Al Jazeera’s Natasha Butler said that the people of Guadeloupe have since used them to express their anger over the long-standing problems on French territory.

“It’s about Guadeloupe. Many people feel like the French government [is] Keep telling them what to do, even if they are about 7,000 kilometers away from Paris,” Butler reported outside a hospital in Pointe-a-Pitre where health workers protested on Thursday.

“Many people here say that they feel that Paris has always treated them as second-class citizens. There is a problem of high unemployment here, and there is also a problem of poverty,” she said.

“For them, to some extent, these protests against COVID restrictions are an opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with many issues.”

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