Thousands of demonstrators have held a silent march in Guadeloupe’s largest city of Pointe-a-Pitre to commemorate a union member shot dead there on Tuesday.
He was the first victim after protests against the high cost of living on the French island started turning violent following a month of general strike, which has totally paralysed Guadeloupe. More than 20 percent of the population is without a job and many struggle to make ends meet. “What if Bordeaux had been paralysed for a month? Or Lille? If they were blocked for a whole month, do you think the president would hide?,” asked one angry protestor. The unrest has now started spreading to neighbouring Martinique. Dozens more people were arrested as rioters ransacked shops, restaurants and a town hall overnight. Local representatives are due to meet president Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris later to resume talks, which have proved fruitless so far.