POINTE-A-PITRE, 1 May 2009 (AFP) — The leader of the New Anti-Capitalist Party Olivier Besancenot marched on Friday in Guadeloupe, joining the procession organized by 13 trade unions of the LKP, which started the recent general strike in the island. Besancenot characterized his presence as “hats off” to the movement.
Several thousands of people (30,000 according to the organizers) marched in Petit-Canal (in the north of Grande-Terre), the birthplace of Jacques Bino, a unionist killed by rioters during the general strike.
Olivier Besancenot marched in the contingent made up of militants of the independent trade union CTU (United Workers Center), whose ideas are close to his own. Answering a question from an RCI journalist, he stated that his presence was meant to “say hats off to the mobilization here and give a wink to the mobilization in France, which would do well to take inspiration from what was acomplished here by assembling forces at the same time at the same place.”
At the end of the march, which unfolded without incident, the demonstrators were able to visit a “May Day Village” located in a landscaped park in Petit-Canal, where unionists, artists, and food and beverage venders set up their booths.
The 13 trade unions that organized the march are members of Lyianaj kont pwofitasyon (Movement against Outrageous Exploitation, LKP), which led the general strike that affected Guadeloupe for 44 days. The movement that shook Guadeloupe is regularly cited as example by movements of the far left.