(en) Solidarity with Guianese school strike

Platform (platform@geocities.com)
Fri, 06 Jun 1997 11:23:30 +0000

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From: agony@dorsai.org

---------- Forwarded message ---------- Dear Comrades,

We request you to get involved with the French C.N.T. in some solidarity protest. Indeed, we are currently leading a campaign against recent events in Guiana, one of the last French colony. First, let me expose the situation.

In November 1996, Guianese pupils at secondary school started a strike to obtain a real teaching policy in their country. As all the others Guianese sectors, education is underdeveloped. Indeed, the French state, together with the leading European industrial companies, limits its view of Guiana to the space-launching base of Kuru (Kourou). Space industry represents 70% of the activity, whereas a very small part of the population is working in it. All the more, employees of the base are mainly French middle-class metropolitans. As a consequence, the native workers live very precariously (mean salary is there much lower than in France) right in front of technological equipment that is worth billions of francs. The main objective of Guianese workers is to have access to real progress, prior future independence. Social protests are growing in number, impulsed by the U.T.G., main Guianese trade union (with whom we are in contact) that voted indepedence as one of her goals in 1973. What happened in November 1996 is significant. Joining the student's protest and extending the claims, U.T.G. workers shook the French colonial power. Demonstrations followed riots as the instrument of repression felt upon them, leaded by zealous bureaucrats and supported by the army. Nevertheless, this was a victory for youth and workers of Guiana. Students got what they claimed, and the imperialist government created "the States General for Guania's development".

The States General were a way for colonists to calm people down. Indeed, neither the employers nor the French state believed that the independentists would get involved in a process de facto controlled by the government. But things went differently. The U.T.G. and her representatives got a seat in four of the seven local colleges. They had absolute majority and could impose their view. Some days prior the publication of the first pool results, the French state changed his strategy. A wave of repression felt upon unionists and youth organizations at the beginning of April. Without any grounds, eleven guianese were deported to Martinique and Guadeloupe (other French colonies). They could not have any lawyer to defend themselves, and some of them were submitted to torture. Still today, nine of them remain in jail, others being charged. The process started with the States General is now frozen.

Facts are clear. Colonial dictatorship is a stranglehold that tightens around guianese workers. It is time for France to understand that they have support. Their independent claim, their refusal of the neocolonialist oppression as it exists in so many African countries, their fight and their suffering, ask for us to held a hand. Capitalism must feel secure nowhere, in as much in places were he feels he has all the rights. This is why it is time to recreate a strong counter-imperialist impulse. Let us be the initiators !

On the 10th June, a protest day is organized by the group for sympathy with the guianese people (which C.N.T. belongs to). We ask you to plan something on the very same day, or some time later if you are in a hurry, as, for example, a demonstration in front of your local French Embassy. If you feel motivated, check for an office of the E.S.A. (European Spatial Agency), and feel free to disturb them for a while...

Please take this into account. Please acknowledge receipt of this message.

Anarcho-unionistic and revolutionary greetings.

PS: don't forget to send us reports of your action.

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