Burned aftermath of Guadeloupe’s COVID protests

The damage remained visible on Monday (November 22) after violence erupted during the second week of a general strike in the French island territory over COVID-19 restrictions.

The unrest erupted last week over COVID curbs imposed by Paris, including the mandatory vaccination of health workers and health pass rules, but it has also revealed a deeper discontent over the relationship between some overseas territories and metropolitan France.

Streets were unusually quiet in Pointe-a-Pitre on Monday after a fourth straight night of trouble that was less intense than previous nights. Burned out cars and debris littered streets and most shops remained closed.

Pointe-a-Pitre store owner Willy Romanos said his establishment was set on fire after jewelry stores were looted across his street."I don't know how, but they cross over the street, and the fire came to my building. I lost everything," he said.

Local police have arrested several dozen people and food stores and pharmacies have been looted. French media reported on Sunday that rioters had broken into an arms depot in Pointe-a-Pitre and taken rifles.

Guadeloupe has been hit by violent protests before, but he said there were "big worries" on the island now because rioters had guns. Schools were closed on Monday.

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