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Report on LALIT demo against US Warship in Port Louis

15.05.2012


Saturday 12 May, LALIT held a “revolving” demonstration in front of the US Embassy in John Kennedy Street in Port Louis, to protest against the presence in the Port Louis Harbour of US Warship Mc Faul and against continued military occupation of Mauritius by the UK-USA. This US destroyer is a missile carrier being upgraded to carry Aegis weapons systems. The demonstration also linked this military presence in the harbour right now with the military occupation of part of Mauritian land, Diego Garcia, which is occupied illegally by the USA, and the rest of Chagos which is occupied illegally by Britain.

In order to avoid prosecution under the Public Gathering Act which requires 8 days’ notice of any demonstration, LALIT organized eleven people at any one time to hold pancartes up in front of them, a Court judgment having defined a demonstration as needing at least 12 people. This meant that the 40 people present took it in turns to hold the pancartes. While not in the actual demonstration, other participants would distribute leaflets (see content in Kreol on our site).

At peak time for pedestrians changing from one main bus station to the other walking on the Embassy-side pavement as well as cars and buses taking people to the horse-races, the demonstration was organized with the following two slogans, in two different languages, which all eleven people who turn around to show the “verso” slogan:

L I B E R _ D I E G O (counting the space is eleven letters, meaning free Diego Garcia).

U S _ W AR SH IP _ O U T

The USA has an ongoing plan to put an increasingly “visible” military presence in place in the Indian Ocean. The Wikileaks documents (see our site) show this. The Seychelles, when in an economic panic, agreed to a US military base for hunter-killer drones, while the Mauritian Government has gradually ceded and allowed this inacceptable presence in the harbour. Recently the Mauritian Government even expressed its agreement with the military base, in a thinly veiled deal being offered in exchange for rental.

This LALIT demonstration follows our poster campaign against the French military presence on Independence Day. The three imperial powers, US, UK and France, are sharing a control over the Indian Ocean, with the US being in command.

LALIT protests against this.