Elie Domota, leader of the LKP, arrested during an anti-pass demonstration

Tense atmosphere in Guadeloupe. Clashes broke out this Thursday between demonstrators against the health pass and the vaccine obligation and the police, responding to the call of the collective of organizations of struggle, in general strike since November 15. The leader of the LKP collective Elie Domota, arrested and placed in police custody, was released before 7 p.m. (local time).

The trade unionist, leader of the 2009 demonstrations, and member of the “collective of organizations in struggle” was “arrested” and “taken into custody” at the beginning of the afternoon, said Patrick Desjardins, public prosecutor of Pointe-à-Pitre. He was summoned to the Pointe-à-Pitre Criminal Court on April 7, 2022 on charges of “willful violence against a person holding public authority without ITT” and “refusal to submit to compulsory deductions”.

“The arrest of Elie Domota is a provocation”.

On the images of local television Canal 10, Elie 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. Not far away is one of the island’s main shopping centers. In the following images, demonstrators force their way and Elie Domota appears on the ground, the gendarmes handcuffing him behind his back.

The arrest of Elie Domota, filmed by local TV Channel 10. – Screenshot FB Canal 10

In a press release, the UGTG union (General Union of Workers of Guadeloupe) considered that “the arrest of Elie Domota is a provocation”. 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 vaccination 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.

A postponement of the entry into force of the vaccination pass

On Wednesday, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran was however in favor of an amendment tabled by the deputy Justine Bénin – and adopted in committee at the National Assembly – asking for the postponement of the date of entry into force of the future vaccination pass in overseas territories. “We do not want to reignite a social conflict” in the West Indies, justified the minister.

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.