Resistance in French Guiana - population fed up with exploitation and neocolonialism

My name is Lya and I’m a 21 year-old student from French Guiana (currently living in Toulouse, France). You’re probably not aware of the current situation in French Guiana and you might not care at all but whatever. It needs to be said.

Photo Christel Bonard. Photo Christel Bonard.

(Published as Front page of the 03/30/2017 Médiapart in English Edition here

 & Published by AFROPUNK here )

French Guiana is a French region located in South America between Suriname and Brazil. The majority of the people are black, mixed race or have foreign origins. We all live together and our culture (music, spoken languages, food…) is a mix of these things. We have gold, oil, wood… and we launch space rockets !!! European rockets but we live like a… third-world country. 

Our daily life is made up of power cuts, there is a lot of insecurity, some foreign criminals come in and terrorize the population and then live freely, the educational system is a total joke, our gold is looted, the forest is slowly dying, they’re poisoning the indigenous peoples living in the Amazonia, the young indigenous people are committing suicide more than any other groups, the health care system is as dangerous as cancer, we don’t even have a decent network… LIFE IS WAY TOO EXPENSIVE. The list is not done yet but I'd rather stop here.

Some Guianese people want independence because our status is that of a French 
département even if we live like a neo-colony. But most of them don’t want it. (I think it is a matter of comfort, you know. They’re afraid of becoming a third-world country… BUT THIS IS ALREADY WHAT WE ARE). Nevertheless, it is not my point.

Over the last few weeks, a huge social resistance has begun, yay! We want to be seen and heard! Some collectives have been created and the ones already existing have joined the movement. The Government is taking us for fools we are done with them. With their lies, their oppression… their seizure !!! They didn't want to handle our problems… we’re showing them that we’re taking care of ourselves by ourselves. These collectives blocked the Space Centre so [one of our] rocket[s] is stuck on earth, they put roadblocks on the roads, the airport is closed, and more.

But it is way too easy! Police are using tear gas on the protestors! The French national media were totally ignoring us. The whole country (I consider Guiana as a country) is blocked but France is dealing with the corrupted politicians' bullshit!

I'm writing this to tell the world that we have a voice and we want you to know that we’re sick of this colonization 2.0. They treat us like dogs. I live in France because Guiana doesn’t have enough professional and academic training. We are forced to travel 8000km to study. Yes, we open our minds but it is still not right.

Our motto is in Guianese creole 'Nou bon ké sa' ('we’re done with this').

So… that’s it. Thanks if you relay this message or the information. Otherwise never mind. It’s cool.

(On the photo above is Gwendolyne, our new Marianne lol, with our beloved Guiana flag, the one created by the pro-independence party.)

Lya Zbs-Lbk


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