Elie Domota, leader of the Liyannaj Kont Pwofitasyon collective (LKP – Collective against outrageous exploitation), was arrested and placed in police custody in Guadeloupe on Thursday, December 30. The trade union leader was arrested while participating in a new demonstration against the health pass and the vaccination obligation. He is accused of “willful violence in a meeting on a person holding public authority,” said Patrick Desjardins, public prosecutor of Pointe-à-Pitre.
Main figure of the riots of 2009, on the occasion of which the LKP was founded, which brings together about fifty trade unions, Élie Domota is a figurehead of the violent demonstrations which have shaken Guadeloupe for several months. On the images of local television Canal 10, Élie Domota first appears advancing on a road with other demonstrators having seized barriers, while the police, with tear gas bombs , try to stop their advance on the roundabout of Petit-Pérou in Abymes.
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Not far away is one of the island’s main shopping centers. In the following images, demonstrators force their way and Élie Domota appears on the ground, the gendarmes handcuffing him behind his back. In a statement, the UGTG union (General Union of Workers of Guadeloupe) considered that “the arrest of Elie Domota is a provocation”.
We do not repeal a law of the Republic
This arrest comes as tension remains high in this French overseas department, shaken by a social crisis since early November, with first and foremost the vaccine obligation. Just before Christmas, anti-health pass demonstrators had occupied the Guadeloupe regional council. In the aftermath of this action, the French government ruled out any negotiation aimed at “repealing a law of the Republic”, in this case that requiring health personnel and firefighters to be vaccinated in order to work.
On Wednesday, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran was however favorable to an amendment tabled by the deputy Justine Bénin – and adopted in committee to the National Assembly – asking for the postponement of the date of entry into force of the future vaccine pass in the overseas territories. “We do not want to reignite a social conflict” in the West Indies, justified the minister.
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Guadeloupe, where resistance to vaccination is strong, is facing a resurgence of the epidemic. The number of new cases of Covid has almost tripled in one week and continues to progress in a “worrying” manner, the ARS and the prefecture announced on Wednesday.