In the early months of 2009, the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe witnessed the largest wave of social protest in its history. A coalition of 48 different syndical, cultural, political, and civic organizations came together in order to protest against profiteering, exploitation and the 'expensive life' that characterizes life in the French Antilles. Armed with a list of 120 claims that spanned the terrain of disability rights, environmental policies, cultural nationalism, syndical freedom and increased wages, these Guadeloupean militants took to the streets, unified in their assertion that 'Guadeloupe is ours, not theirs'. Through their movement they effectively asserted their right to shape the course of their social, economic and political futures - despite their ongoing colonial relationship with France. In this essay I explore the impact of this strike on the Guadeloupean political imagination and examine the glimpses it provides into the current political climate, and future political horizon, of the French Antilles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- labor strikes
- social movements