Citizens attacked the police at various checkpoints that the authorities had set up on the roads and streets to try to contain the general strike called by 17 union organizations earlier in the week.
While reporting on the intense expressions of urban violence that occurred in a Fort-de-France district, AFP photographer Loic Venance, BFMTV reporter Maureen Lehoux, RMC Sport reporter Julien Taureau, and Abaca Press photographer Raphael Lafargue were intimidated by citizens on motorcycles who shot at them. Fortunately, none of the journalists were injured.
“We got out of the car to film a barricade… and then I saw two motorcycles pull up,” Venance said, aknowledging his concern given that armed bikers had been provoking the police during the nighttime protests.
Les blocages se poursuivent en #Martinique pour la quatrième journée de grève générale contre le #PassSanitaire, l'obligation vaccinale des soignants et la vie chère. La nuit a été marquée par une intensification des barrages sur l'île. pic.twitter.com/5uwUus4YkT
The tweet reads, "The blockades continue in Martinique during the fourth day of the general strike against the Health Pass, the mandatory vaccination for care workers, and the high cost of living. The night was marked by an intensification of the barricades on the island."
“We had spent an hour and a half touring the city… Many policemen told us to go home. They were super tense… it really was a night like no other… the city was empty and the atmosphere was heavy,” Lehoux recalled.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced that police detained 10 people during protests that occurred between Thursday night and early Friday morning. He did not confirm, however, whether those people were involved in the shootings. "We are doing everything we can to find those responsible," Darmanin tweeted.
Over the last week, Guadalupe and Martinique, two French overseas territories in the Caribbean, have witnessed several armed incidents during riots against mandatory vaccination, fuel price increases, and low wages.