A group of demonstrators in the French territory of Guadeloupe have stormed the island’s legislative chamber, holding an extended protest over a series of Covid-19 vaccine requirements imposed by the government.
Protests began Thursday night and continued through Friday, when activists were seen waving banners and singing slogans decrying the pandemics after they had pushed their way into parliament.
Following the incursion on Thursday – which at some points got heated, with activists destroying a Christmas tree in the building’s lobby – regional president Ary Chalus said he had agreed to meet with 10 protest leaders, though only after denouncing the “invasion of the chamber” as an act of “intimidation and unworthy violence.” It’s unclear whether the meeting took place, or if any agreements were made to amend the controversial policies fueling the protests.
Guadeloupe is an outlying French province. Guadeloupe requires medical personnel to get vaccinated, or else they will lose their wages. Guadeloupe also mandates the use of masks in indoor and outdoor public areas. A health pass system has been established that prohibits entry for those who are not vaccinated.
The curfew was also extended briefly to more than 20 localities and municipalities earlier in the month. It was initially imposed following violent protests across the island. These were also provoked by angry Covid-19 policy violations. However, the curfew was lifted on December 7.
Depuis 12h14, le président de la collectivité régionale, Ary Chalus, a proposé de rencontrer une dizaine de personnes du collectif sous réserve que l’hôtel de Région soit libéré… pic.twitter.com/w2wXVoFR3C
— Région Guadeloupe (@CRGuadeloupe) December 23, 2021
Demonstrators also blasted the Covid restrictions and demanded better access to safe drinking water. They also called for increases in wages and pensions and urged officials to offer more opportunities to citizens to find work.
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