On Thursday, October 24, 2019, barricades were set up and 28 cars were destroyed in La Réunion in an uprising against the French colonial forces, whose leader Macron was visiting the island. The riots concentrated mainly in the Chaudron neighborhoods in Saint-Denis, from the Rivière-des-Galets to the Port.
In total, all over the island, 33 garbage cans were burned, and 28 vehicles completely destroyed. Two businesses were looted. During the riots, 9 people were arrested. Moreover, the clashes resulted in a few injuries among the uniforms: 8 policemen, a policeman and a firefighter.
At midday, clashes broke out between young people and the police, following several blocks of roads and roundabouts. When Macron arrived the day before, a hostile host committee was waiting for him at the airport.
In the evening, the clashes continued, with groups of young hooded people who erected barricades of garbage cans and pallets at Chaudron (Saint-Denis). Around 7 PM at the Port, some rioters took advantage of the disorder on the roads to go set fire to a Peugeot car dealer in the Rivière des Galets: 25 vehicles went up in smoke, 25 others were vandalized. The large number of barricaded roads and scattered clashes partly explains the fact that the flames had time to destroy these metal carcasses for a long time. The firefighters were forced to wait for the mobile gendarmes to be able to extinguish the fire. As extinguishers of the fires of the rebellion, the men in red were obviously hit with rocks during their intervention.
At the Port, a tobacconist was completely looted during the night: scratch tickets, alcohol, cigarettes … everything vanished in a few minutes. The St. Laurent dump was also burned in la Possession. A Burger King was attacked with stones.
La Réunion has been occupied by the French colonizers since the 17th century. The anti-colonial uprising against Macron, a neoliberal who has often invoked a racist narrative of France’s “civilizing mission” in colonized territories, is likely to continue.