Guadeloupe: French Gov’t Backlash Targets Strike Leader Elie Domota

Your assistance is needed to help build a speakers tour for the voices of the workers of Guadeloupe, Martinique and Haiti. The French colonies of Guadeloupe and Martinique have successfully waged campaigns for workers and human rights and are now faced with French backlash. Haiti has been pushed to the cliffs of genocide. These three islands work hand in hand to gain workers rights, human rights and world attention for their plight. Their energy, ingenuity and courage deserves to be heard. There story is an inspirational one that will invigorate and inspire universal action for workers and human justice. Please ask your group to invite one are all three voices to your area. Most of these workers speak fair English.If you are interested in have a speaker, please be in touch with Colia Clark. [Editor’s note: If you do not have a contact for Ms. Clark, please contact Kimberly Wilder at kimberlywilder06 at yahoo dot com.]In Solidarity,

Colia L. Clark

Guadeloupe: It Ain’t Over Yet; French Gov’t Backlash Targets Strike Leader Elie Domota

International Liaison Committee
P.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140.
Tel. (415) 641-8616; fax: (415) 626-1217.
email: ilcinfo@earthlink.net
Web site: www.owcinfo.org

“Hands Off Elie Domota! Implement the Jacques Bino Agreement!”

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

This morning, we received a communiqué from the Caribbean Workers and Peoples Alliance (ATPC, in its French acronym) with the following information:

No sooner had the ink dried on the agreement that ended the 44-day general strike in Guadeloupe than the Attorney General for French Overseas Department and Territories announced that he was filing legal charges against Elie Domota, general secretary of the UGTG trade union federati on and spokesperson of the LKP Strike Collective, for “provoking discrimination, hate and violence against a category of persons based on their ethnic origin.” More ominous still, the Attorney General accused Domota of “fomenting provocations and promoting the use of force to extort the signing of the so-called Jacques Bino agreement.”

This announcement of possible legal action by the French authorities came in response to a statement made by Domota to a celebration rally on Thursday, March 5 — the day after the Jacques Bino agreement was signed. (Bino was the trade unionist killed the night of Feb. 16 by bullets now widely believed to have been fired by masked government provocateurs who infiltrated one of the barricades on the outskirts of Pointe-à-Pítre.)

In response to a question from the crowd as to whether the French government and the white ruling elite in Guadeloupe, the Béké, could be trusted to live up to the signed agreement and to pay the 200 euro monthly increase in the minimum wage, Domota stated: “Either they respect and implement the agreement, or they will leave Guadeloupe. … We have to be very firm about this. We will not allow a band of Béké to re-establish slavery on our soil.”

The attack by the Attorney General against Domota is an attack against the UGTG, which was the backbone of the general strike movement. It echoes the racist diatribes in the French media against the people of Guadeloupe and the LKP Strike Collective, in particular. The media portrayed the French government as the victim of “mob violence” that had compelled the government to sign an unjust agreement under duress and in violation of all conventional labor relations.

This reference to a “mob” — a reference to the overwhelming Black majority on the island — is not only racist to the core, it shows the total contempt by the colonial authorities for the democratic aspirations of an entire people. It reveals the deep fear of the Béké, as the ATPC communiqué puts it, that their stronghold over political power and their privileges have been greatly undermined by the powerful general strike movement that swept the entire country.

The question that arises is this: Does the announcement by the Attorney General against Domota foreshadow an attempt by the French government to invalidate, through the courts, the agreement signed officially by all the concerned parties on March 4th at 8 p.m.? Given the wording of the charges, it appears that this may be the intent.We urge you to join us in demanding of the French government: “Hands Off Elie Domota! Implement the Jacques Bino Agreement!”

We will bring you more information, including proposals for solidarity statements and actions, in the coming days. Please remain vigilant.

The “first victory” t hat was won by the people of Guadeloupe through a heroic 44-day struggle is fragile. The colonial backlash has begun with its targeting of the spokesperson and most recognized leader of the general strike movement.

In solidarity,

Eduardo Rosario and Alan Benjamin
For the ILC

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