Exactly 10 years ago, a general strike conducted by the “Liannaj Kont Pwofitasyon” (LKP) had brought Guadeloupe to a standstill for 44 days.The island, a French territory, did not follow the protest movement of yellow vests that currently takes place in France but the famous jacket, already worn by safety members in the groups, has become a very fashionable costume during this carnival 2019.
Since the protest movement of yellow vests began in France, never so many people in Guadeloupe had worn this famous reflective safety jacket. Indeed, during the carnival 2019, the authorities have decided to make safety their priority. Consequently, the number of police officers and gendarmes has been increased during all the parades that will take place on the island every weekend and until March 6 (Ash Wednesday). In addition, there was also a rise in the number of security guards from private companies and all carnival groups must have their own safety service wearing frequently the very famous yellow vest…
This protest movement of yellow vests went almost completely unnoticed in Guadeloupe, recently, only about ten protesters had been counted. Of course, the island has many problems to solve and could have embarked on this national demonstration but the Guadeloupean people still remember the very long general strike led by the “Liannaj Kont Pwofitasyon” (LKP) in 2009 that had brought the territory to a standstill for 44 days; they remember especially that all the protests against the cost of living have not been solved; they remember that many companies had closed down and unemployment had increased etc.
Marianne in yellow vest
This Sunday, January 13, carnival which is a moment of entertainment, creativity, culture was going full swing in Pointe-à-Pitre. As usual, thousands of spectators were on the streets to see the different groups, admire their costumes and enjoy their music. Each year, the carnival lovers are inspired by the news to dress up, mockery is often used. Obviously, the yellow vest has been chosen as a theme for example by the young group “ADN Mass” and the group “Very Important Mas” (VIM) which has been founded for several years and is well-known because it likes to provoke.
The French government might have preferred to get into trouble with protesters like VIM members. Indeed, women were in black underwear (panties, bras, stockings, garter belts) and men in boxer shorts or underpants not forgetting the essential yellow vest, the Phrygian hat worn by Marianne (name given to the French Republic), the red, white and blue, French flag, the tricolour scarf of the mayor… At the entrance of Frébault street, this carnival group performed one of its choreographies and critiziced French law in one of its songs… Then, the parade continued in music, song and mockery in the night. See you next Sunday for a new theme of fancy dress.