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Guadeloupe protesters seize state television

Video by Louis MASSIE

Latest update : 2009-02-26

Protesters from the LKP coalition movement in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe have seized control of RFO, a state-run television station, claiming they plan to make an on-air statement, the channel's editor in chief has said.

AFP - Protesters have seized control of a state-run television station on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and plan to make an on air statement, the channel's editor in chief said Thursday.
Speaking by telephone from Baie-Mahault, Francois-Joseph Ousselin said members of the LKP protest movement, which is leading a five-week-old genral strike, had taken control of local network RFO-Guadeloupe.
"They're everywhere in the corridors, the studios, the gardens and the car park," he told AFP. "They asked to be able to express themselves on air, which they should be able to do very soon."
At 1:00 pm (1700 GMT) RFO began broadcasting music and militant chants.
According to Ousselin, the protesters were angry about moves by the station management to transfer RFO's broadcasting base to Paris during the strike, which has paralysed the island.
Since January 20, the LKP has been protesting the high cost of living in Guadeloupe, which in theory is part of France and the European Union but which has much higher poverty levels than the mainland.
Government negotiators believe they are close to an agreement to end the action in exchange for a package of salary increases.

Date created : 2009-02-26