French civil servants in Tahiti Demonstrate
Papeete’s plainclothes policemen march for better resources
(Tahitipresse) - More than 100 members of Papeete’s “Police nationale” plainclothes police officers marched through downtown Saturday morning from Place Tarahoi in a demonstration for better resources, both human and in terms of equipment.
Since they are French civil servants covered by the French Ministry of Interior, they cannot go on strike, leaving them only to march in civil clothes as a means of calling attention to their demands.
They gathered at Place Tarahoi in the center of Papeete around 9:30 am and set out on their march through the streets to the Papeete City Hall. Their spokesman, Wallace Teina, secretary-general of the French union represented plainclothes police officers, said the demonstrators planned to submit their demands in writing to Michel Buillard, one of Tahiti’s two deputies in the French National Assembly and Papeete’s mayor.
Demonstration originally scheduled for last
They are calling for improved equipment and human resources for their priority missions, particularly security for people and their belongings.
Saturday’s march was originally planned for last October, but had to be postponed due to the tense local political situation in Tahiti, which included the political occupation of the French Polynesia presidency and several government offices. The police did not want to mix their march with the political crisis of the moment.
“We asked to meet the (French) high commissioner in October, without success,” Teina said. “So today we haven’t asked to meet (anyone in) the administration. We wanted to alert the news media and the population to make them aware of our problems.”