The measures mandate a health pass and mandatory coronavirus vaccination for health care workers and other professions. The most violent protests took place in Sainte-Therese and Canal Alaric in Fort de France City.
"We have cases of demonstrators who do not protest against the measures but who seek to fight with the national police and attack property," Police spokesperson Jimmy Helenis said, commenting that the riots followed a massive protest called by trade unions.
In recent weeks, Martinique has been the scene of demonstrations against the measures imposed by France to control the new wave of contagions. “The Martinican population, already poisoned with chlordecone by the French state, refuses the compulsory vaccinations,” activist Aiana tweeted.
La Martinique continue de se révolter contre le reconfinement qui lui est imposé. De nouvelles émeutes ont eu lieu dans l'île. La nuit précédent un centre de vaccination avait été incendié par la foule en colère pic.twitter.com/UUJOBhJykG
The tweet reads, "Martinique continues to rebel against the confinement that has been imposed on it. There have been new disturbances on the Island. Last night, an angry crowd set fire to a vaccination center."
One of the leaders of the protest, trade unionist Serge Aribo, pointed out that the problem is not the vaccine itself but the fact that the government imposes its will on citizens.
"We want to recall today the fundamental principles written in international agreements: human rights must be respected. We cannot introduce a product into a man or a woman without their prior consent," he said.
Faced with an increase of contagions, the University Hospital of Martinique is transferring patients in serious condition to France. The French government sent soldiers to assist the hospital. The Caribbean island has 375,933 inhabitants and has reported 17,215 COVID-19 cases and 104 related deaths so far.