We publish a translated transcript of a speech given by Lita Dahomey at a meeting in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, in the French Antilles, on Jan. 4, 2022. It is available on Youtube as well as on the website of Combat Ouvrier, a revolutionary socialist organization fighting for workers’ power in the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. The workers of these islands have mobilized to oppose the vaccination mandates emanating from the central government in France, and this struggle has broadened to one for higher wages and workers’ rights.
Good evening to the large crowd out there!
The government has chosen force and repression rather than dialogue. But we know French colonialism has that habit: it would rather scorn us, and humiliate us, than discuss with us. That is French colonialism.
In Algeria, back during the time of the Algerian war, when they were confronting the fight for independence, they chose to continue to massacre the Algerian people. That is the true face of the French state.
We must also be careful not to fall into the trap of division that [French President] Macron has laid for us. If we allow ourselves to be divided, we walk right into the dead-end where they want us. Whether we are vaccinated, or unvaccinated, let us unite, as one.
In this collective, neither comrades who are against, nor for masks, neither comrades who are unvaccinated, nor those who are vaccinated must think any less of the other. Whether you have had no shots or three, we have to have strong ties of comradery among all of us in the entire collective, united, otherwise we are playing Macron’s game.
And if we do that, it is we who stand to lose, and we would allow Macron to climb upon our heads.
The real problem is a political problem, a real political problem. Because all the governments that have preceded Macron’s have had the same policy: to oversee the deterioration of the healthcare system. In France, they close hospitals, and create medical deserts. There is not enough personnel at our hospitals, not enough material—that is the policy of their government.
They use the unvaccinated as scapegoats, when it is their healthcare policy that does not allow us to save hundreds and hundreds of Guadeloupeans. The unvaccinated are not the real problem, the fault is not theirs.
We must think on that. What policy must we have? Let us continue our actions, maintain unity, insist on tolerance, in order to maximize our forces, so that all personnel support the strike. And that the workers in the hospital mobilize to demand higher salaries, despite the fact that we face the police and armed men that they send against us. With everything we’ve done, we’ve faced the armed forces mobilized against workers. That is the force mobilized by the bosses, because the armed forces protect the interests of the capitalists.
Good evening, the struggle continues!