Monday, February 09, 2009

Cynthia McKinney Solidarity Statement With the Workers in Guadeloupe

February 7, 2009

Collectif des 47 organisations
UGTG, Rue Paul Lacavé 97 110 Point-à-Pitre Guadeloupe
Fax : International : 00 335 90 89 08 70
France : 05 90 89 08 70
Email :

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Guadeloupe:

Just now, on my way back from Malaysia, where I participated in a Forum for Palestine that brought to international public attention startling revelations about the crimes committed against the people of Gaza, I learned about the powerful general strike that has shut down your country since January 20.

I have read in the report sent out by the General Union of Guadeloupan Workers (UGTG) that you have formed a Strike Committee of 47 trade unions, political organizations, consumer associations and popular-cultural associations -- and that you have brought forth a list of 120 demands. I have read about your mass mobilizations to sustain the strike, the latest of which gathered more than 65,000 people into the streets of Point-à-Pitre.

Please know that I fully support your just demands and your resolve to win your demands against the French colonialist forces that continue to oppress you. You are setting an example of resistance for workers and peoples worldwide.

I have also read with alarm from the UGTG organizers -- some of whom I had the opportunity to meet and work with during the International Tribunal on Katrina in New Orleans in August 2007 -- that the employers are preparing a lockout against the workers and are seeking to drag in the forces of repression, including French troops, against your strike movement, just as they did in May 1967, when the French government killed more than 100 Guadeloupans in response to a strike in the building trades.

I call on the authorities in Guadeloupe and in France to heed the workers' and people's just demands -- and I urge the authorities to refrain from using any form of intimidation, pressure, or repression against this powerful movement. The eyes of the world are focused on Guadeloupe. Israel has shown the world that the massive use of force does not ensure victory. Indeed, it is counter-productive. Any use of force by the authorities against people exercising their rights is not acceptable. It is not by repression and the deployment of police and shock troops that a solution will be found.

A solution will be found when the Prefect of Guadeloupe and other representatives of the French government agree to return to the negotiating table and when they agree to respond positively to the legitimate demands and aspirations expressed by the people of Guadeloupe through this powerful movement.

In this time of struggle, please know that I am solidly at your side,

In solidarity,
Cynthia McKinney
Former Congresswoman from Georgia
2008 Green Party Candidate for U.S. President

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