Information re-elaborated from French media
About twenty cars on fire in a car showroom, rubbish skips burnt out, a fast-food outlet targeted. Violent clashes broke out in the night of Thursday 24th October 2019 between a hundred youths and police near a roundabout in the city of Port and the neighbourhood of Chaudron, in Saint-Denis (an island in La Réunion, a French colony situated in the Indian Ocean). The information was spread by Réunion 1ère. The clashes occurred as Emmanuel Macron was still travelling in the island.
The insurgents’ stones and the teargas launched by the police rained down at the Rivière des Galets roundabout, in the municipality of Port. Rubbish skips were burnt out and about twenty cars were set on fire in a Peugeot parking area situated near the roundabout. A huge plume of smoke could be seen.
At around 9pm the roundabout was restored to order with police always on the spot. The demonstrators scattered in the area. Moreover a fire was confirmed at a rubbish dump in the city of Possession.
In the neighbourhood of Chaudron, in Saint-Denis, skips were burnt out in the early hours of the evening. At around 9pm a fast-food outlet was targeted by youths come from all over the neighbourhood. Violent clashes were reported again soon after 10pm, in the same neighbourhood.
Still on Thursday, but in the morning, about forty people tried to erect a barricade near Port, before being dispersed. This was reported by the Élysée (the presidential palace in Paris, here it stands for the source of the reported news, that is to say the French presidential institution) during the day, pointing out that they were “rather young” people. According to the same source, some were masked.
On Wednesday 23rd October, as the French president arrived at La Réunion, clashes broke out between demonstrators and the police near the airport of the island and the demonstrators burnt a photograph of the president. Still according to the Élysée, five people were remanded in custody, out of a total of about 80 demonstrators who dispersed, as the demo had not been authorized.
According to 20 Minutes on 24th October: “In this territory of over 850,000 inhabitants, 40% of the population live below the poverty line, the unemployment rate hits 24% and even 42% among the youth. In La Réunion costs of living went up by 7,1% in a medium budget household, compared to that in metropolitan France, according to Insee [“Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques”, national institute of statistics and economic studies], while average income in La Réunion is 30% lower than the national level (AFD data, 2015)”.