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Britons are among thousands of tourists fleeing Guadeloupe after full scale urban warfare erupted on the French Caribbean island.
Trouble broke out on the island earlier last month after protesters began rioting over high prices and low wages.
But the situation escalated this week after protesters began turning on rich white families as they demanded an end to colonial control of the economy.
Protesters were now targeting 'all white people', with the media in mainland France describing the situation as virtual civil war'.
Guadeloupe is a French overseas department ruled directly from Paris, and authorities in France have sent 300 extra riot police to the island in a bid to quell the violence.
Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters are roaming the streets of the capital Point-a-Pitre, looting shops and restaurants, burning cars and vandalising public buildings.
February 20, 2009 -- Updated 1323 GMT (2123 HKT)
France pledges $730M to head off Caribbean riots
French Guadeloupe hit by month of sometimes violent protests
Strikes over low wages, living conditions hit businesses, utilities
French PM: Crisis linked to lifelessness of the economy in the Antilles
Sarkozy: Death of trade union activist during unrest unrelated to crisis
PARIS, France (CNN) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy is pledging $730 million (€ 580 million) in economic aid to France's Caribbean territories in an effort to head off escalating protests, his office said Friday.
Sarkozy made the announcement after a meeting in Paris with leaders from French Caribbean territories. He also proposed adding €200 ($253) a month to the salaries of low-paid workers.
The French territory of Guadeloupe has witnessed a month of sometimes violent demonstrations over low wages and living conditions. At least one civilian, a trade unionist, has been killed in riots.
French Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie on Thursday announced the deployment of four state police units to Guadeloupe .
"We have the duty to listen to our countrymen and at the same time, we must bring law and order back as quickly as possible," Sarkozy said in remarks Thursday.
"Our countrymen expect the state to protect them. It's unacceptable that a trade unionist has been killed. This is murder. It's a hateful act that has nothing to do with the social crisis."
France sends police to quell violence
Hospitals and emergency services continue to function and the main international airport is open, but petrol stations, schools, and most businesses -- including supermarkets and car rental offices -- are closed, the British Foreign Office said in a travel advisory.
Hotels are open, but the strike is causing daily cuts to electricity and water supplies, the Foreign Office said.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Thursday the crisis is linked to "the lifelessness of the economy in the Antilles , aggravated by the global economic crisis."
They will soon find out that while they hated white people, they won't be able to live without them.
Originally posted by Rockpuck
Ignorance.. that's all it is. They will soon find out that while they hated white people, they won't be able to live without them.
Originally posted by burdman30ott6
Are you also a fan of kicking your supervisor in the nuts when he hands you your paycheck every other week?