Anti-vaccine anger causes riots in the French islands overseas

Infected by his 11-year-old daughter, the French Prime Minister Jean Castex, gave positive on Monday in Covid, which caused the quarantine of his Belgian counte

Anti-vaccine anger causes riots in the French islands overseas

Infected by his 11-year-old daughter, the French Prime Minister Jean Castex, gave positive on Monday in Covid, which caused the quarantine of his Belgian counterpart, Alexander de Croo and four of his ministers. Everyone had seen hours before in Brussels during a meeting on security.

While Castex - which only had mildly symptoms - reorganized his agenda to spend the next days in isolation, France does not escape the fifth wave of the pandemic. The number of daily cases has almost doubled in a week (18,000 registered on Monday compared to 10,000 a week before) and the main medical institutions make a call to generalize the third dose of memory for the entire adult population. The Government, for now, has not announced new restrictions and seems to be especially concerned about the "explosive" situation in Guadalupe, in the words of President Emmanuel Macron.

And is that for a week, this Caribbean archipelago, one of the French overseas territories, lives between barricades and fires. The mandatory vaccine of health personnel has caused a social outbreak and even Macron has had to call "calm".

You do not seem to have served the touch of night's night decreed or even the shipment, from France Metropolitan, of 200 policemen and up to 50 members of the elite units. The looting of shops, fires, and arrests (more than 90) continue. The Ultramar Minister Sébastien Lecornu regretted that, in the last hours they had registered "shots against police, especially in Pointe-à Pitre", the most populated city. Meanwhile, the health agency of Guadalupe (ARS) alert that physical aggressions against health professionals increase. Among them, theft of cars, doctors threatened at pistol tip and barricades that blocked access to hospitals.

Only 46% of the population of Guadalupe is vaccinated (with at least one dose), a percentage well below the registered rate in metropolitan France, greater than 75%. "We are not dealing with a health issue, it is gangs, thugs, people who are unfortunately known by the police or justice and who are using this crisis to act violently. For once, the government's response is going To be firm, "Lecornu warned, before remembering that the" mandatory measurement of doctors and firemen will be applied "since it would be" scandalous not to apply the law ".

The government said yesterday that it would give the option to medical personnel that they choose vaccines without messenger RNA (RNA vaccines tend to be more rejected because they use a more novel action mechanism). In addition, doctors who refuse to immunize and prefer to change employment, the authorities "will accompany them in this professional transition," Lecornu said.

The French media echoes the protests in Guadalupe and seek the true reasons for this crisis in a territory where one third of the population lives below the poverty threshold and the unemployment rate reaches 19%. Macron himself warned him, who talked about "tensions that we already know, which are historical".

In Declarations to Le Monde, Stéphanie Mulot, professor of Sociology of the Caribbean Laboratory of Social Sciences, spoke of "growing distrust towards state authority". One of the turning points of that distrust, she remembers her, was the scandal of the clordecone, a pesticide that was generally used in Guadalupe and Martinique until the 90s and that, however, was prohibited in the rest of France .

The use of this poison, for more than two decades, in the banana plantations, caused a huge health and social crisis. Even today, these two territories have the highest prostate cancer rates in the world and a figure of premature births four times higher than the rest of France. Mulot also mentioned a feeling linked to the colonial past of Guadalupe, which has derived in a kind of "therapeutic sovereignty". "There is a general desire to be cured by themselves and not following a policy imposed from the outside," said this sociologist.

Of any of the ways, the pandemic seems to have been the wick of protests that speak of a rooted social and economic malaise and that have already spread to Martinique, which on Monday also lived a general strike day, with closed colleges and barricades on the streets.

Updated Date: 24 November 2021, 09:28

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