TravelTalkOnline

French side protest today

Posted By: Carol_Hill

French side protest today - 12/12/2019 02:31 PM

Daily Herald story
Posted By: bran

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 03:05 PM

Oh boy.. arrived on the Ferry from Anguilla early. On the way to Sandy Ground. Saw smashed cars with windscreens taken out. Police by the market By the market just standing there. Turned round.. tried to get round the back of Marigot, streets blocked off again Police doing nothing. Now at Arawak Restaurant just waiting. Nobody knows what to do. Trying to get to Terres Basses and someone said that Bellevue is clear and then take the causeway, but not sure how to get there from here. Madness!!! In for a long day.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 03:11 PM

bran--sorry to hear that. Hope you can get out of there soon.
Posted By: SXMScubaman

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 03:32 PM

Oh man. What a mess. Good luck. Just hope violence doesn't break out too.
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 04:33 PM

The PPRN is a way of taking land by expropriation... Think Club Orient for example!
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 04:54 PM

I'm really not that familiar with all the workings of Club Orient, but I really don't think that the PPRN is the main problem there. From my understanding, the PPRN IS a big problem in local areas like Sandy Ground, where people are being prohibited from rebuilding.
Posted By: jeepers

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 05:44 PM

Not too smart with 5 ships in port. French side have enough issues & people come to that market in Marigot. Those stalls & restaurants will suffer as well as tour buses. Not good
Posted By: bran

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 05:49 PM

Made it back safely. I saw a destroyed car that obviously had been decimated recently by whoever, collected by a pick up truck that was originally blocking the road. Had to go over the bridge route. What I can’t understand is why the Polive just allow this to happen. When we had originally tried to go the Sandy Ground way, 2 cars in front of me I saw at least 20 youths tipping a car over to obstruct the road. Now initially, stupid me thought, how nice, they are moving the car out of the way, thinking it had conked out, hence the traffic, they were actually pushing ot towards the bridge to stop vehicles from entering. I heard later from a cop who actually understood and spoke some English that they had initially blocked that area with a bus!! I just didn’t have it in me to question what exactly they are doing in this situation but from what I saw, absolutely nothing!
We turned round very quickly and got the hell out. hate to think if there was some people in the car that they turned over and what happened to them? For the first time ever, got a bad feeling and wonder if there is just some terrible incident that will occur in the near future. Eerie feeling and Marigot was dead, no business’s doing any business, some had just closed and asking the owners and waiters who some had to walk into work up to at least one hour just about at their wits end with all these recent strikes. Arahawak also no longer do breakfasts, can’t afford to pay the cook from early in the morning until 11.30. A sign of the times we are in. Not good. Sad for the people who try so hard.
Did though by going a different route back find Sublime. Yes, not the best location, took a menu away to study as just wanted to get the hell back. Safe but did feel extremely uncomfortable at the time.
Posted By: bran

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 05:50 PM

Sorry about the spelling....
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 06:40 PM

The Dutchside would only do a land grab for possible airport or public road expansion. The Frenchside could do a land grab to take property for the State. For example AW33 Orient Beach where an AOT was given leasing the land for 5 Beach Bars. That land was Beauperthuy land and was taken in court when Beauperthuy died and the heirs went to court.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 07:01 PM

bran--glad you made it back safe. Sounds scary..
Posted By: Bahston

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 07:04 PM

The situation in Sandy Ground has deteriorated:

https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/93223-sandy-ground-stand-off-turns-violent
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 07:11 PM

Wow. Not good.
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 07:41 PM

Video taken 6 hours ago...

https://www.facebook.com/carl.javois/videos/2634835453277003/

Link working?
Posted By: jazzgal

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 08:35 PM

Yep - link works.
Posted By: bran

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 08:45 PM

Update....10 minutes ago got a call from Tropicana telling us not to come tonight for dinner. She can see fires burning from where she lives and Be Kool opposite has closed the shutters as a precaution and doesn’t know if he will open tonight and nor do they. WTF is going on ?
So will possibly try nowhere special if traffic is not insane unless you guys tell me differently.....
Posted By: boucharda

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 08:48 PM

Thanks for the link....sad day in Sandy Bottom and an interesting look at the Gendamererie AND interesting comments by a local that is filming
Posted By: BeachKitten

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 08:52 PM

If you made it out to safety, there is NO WAY that you should go back over to Marigot.

Does anyone know if the Quarter-d'Orleans side is open and passable?
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 09:01 PM

more video here...

https://www.facebook.com/LePelicanjournal/videos/524544578135432/
Posted By: BeachKitten

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 09:07 PM

Originally Posted by BeachKitten
If you made it out to safety, there is NO WAY that you should go back over to Marigot.

Does anyone know if the Quarter-d'Orleans side is open and passable?


I just learned that the answer is "no". frown

A mini tour bus managed to get back through Oyster Pond but apparently that was blocked off later
Posted By: BeachKitten

Re: French side protest today - 12/12/2019 09:14 PM

Originally Posted by sxmmartini


From that video it appears that perhaps you could get through from the Galisbay side?
Posted By: SXMScubaman

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 05:43 AM

Looks like violence erupted with schools closed tomorrow.
Posted By: PelicanPirate

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 07:46 AM

So, what are the prognostications? One day issue? One week issue? One month issue?

Will be on the French side transiting most times through Marigot and the causeway. Any violence against drivers or just burning tires and cars?
Posted By: bran

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 12:05 PM

Yea, anyone know if this is continuing today? So Yesterday, was on the way to Nowhere Special at 5 pm. Got to the roundabout leading into Puerto Cupecoy and Police we’re stopping each car from basically going into France. The traffic must have been backed up for miles. Spoke to the officer who says Dutch side no problem but couldn’t guarantee the situation for us getting back home not to mention how long it could take from the Restaurant. Took no chances and first had a drink at Steviez whilst I walked around wondering where to eat as I was starving. Not a great fan of Mario’s as I think they are overpriced....$15.00 for hummus? Plus lacking in atmosphere. Checked their menu out again and my thoughts haven’t changed. Altrios wasn’t impressed the last time and Rendevous too casual. That leaves a Chinese place and Mama Pizza.
Went in and saw the chef and asked if they could do a soup for the wife. No problem, where are you they said as we will get some veggies from the grocery. Wow I thought. 10 mins later wife had a fantastic pea and cauliflower creamy soup and I had eggplant parmigiana followed by mussels and gnocchi in cream sauce then Tiramisu coffees and drinks. Well priced, great service and not just a Pizza place. By the way, the Christmas decorations and how the whole area is beautifully lit up is nicely done and there is security everywhere. When leaving no police or traffic and home in 3 minutes.

Attached picture 32577C41-5981-4894-AE64-6BF15C9673C6.jpeg
Attached picture 727AF9DB-7273-489A-B7E4-087D523DF979.jpeg
Attached picture 301B8CB8-9FCB-4F17-ACA3-E48B52C9F99D.jpeg
Posted By: bran

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 12:09 PM

Forgot to mention. Mama only takes cash. And Steviez when I gave her a $50.00 note for the drinks she gave me change of Euros and dollars but the euros did me short by about $1.11. Not a big deal but that’s all she had in the draw. Would take a CC but for a 5% charge. I told her to get the change as didn’t want euros. She eventually did so!!
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 12:24 PM

There was no traffic in Cupecoy yesterday. If Dutch police were turning you back it's because of the violence happening in Sandy ground and blocked roads everywhere. THIS is what they helped you miss.

https://www.facebook.com/SXMLATESTN...STE3ODMyNDEwNjM6MTAyMTI0NDY4ODE0ODU0MjU/
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 12:30 PM

Originally Posted by BillandElaine
There was no traffic in Cupecoy yesterday. If Dutch police were turning you back it's because of the violence happening in Sandy ground and blocked roads everywhere. THIS is what they helped you miss.

https://www.facebook.com/SXMLATESTN...STE3ODMyNDEwNjM6MTAyMTI0NDY4ODE0ODU0MjU/


OMG 🌴

http://www.lepelican-journal.com
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 01:44 PM

Préfecture de Saint-Barthélemy et de Saint-Martin
13 hrs ·
[demonstration of December 12]

DENY:

The borders with the Dutch part have not been closed.
The Prefecture asked for the kpsm (Korps Politie Sint Maarten) to guide people and prevent them from engaging on blocked roads.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 01:47 PM

bran--thanks for the report. You stay safe!
Posted By: Biturbo

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 10:06 PM

We're currently staying in Orient Village and have to get to the airport Sunday. Supposedly 300 military and extra gendarmes have arrived. If the situation isn't resolved by tomorrow we'll have to make different plans. As of this morning the roads were blocked going into Grand Case near the rumble strips and in French Quarter near the gas station. If we have to, we'll leave the rental car here and take the ferry from Anse Marcel to the airport.
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 10:22 PM

On Social Media there is a couple staying at Grand Case Beach Club who hired a boat to get them to the airport...
Posted By: Biturbo

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 10:38 PM

Trouble is, we can't get Grand Case.
Posted By: sxmfantoo

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 11:00 PM

Also staying in Orient and leaving Monday. Is there a regular ferry that runs from Anse Marcel to Simpson Bay?
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 11:01 PM

The boat leaves from Anse Marcel TRANSFERT ANSE MARCEL—> JULIANA AIRPORT
50€/pers.
DÉPART 10pers
0690651640
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 11:04 PM

Check you messages
Posted By: leonard

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 11:18 PM

My flight is Saturday and I’m also stuck in Orient Bay. Where are folks getting the most up to date info about the blockages? Google maps shows a way to get thru French Quarter via back streets unless the blockage is south of Rue Chic Chic.
Posted By: Kennys

Re: French side protest today - 12/13/2019 11:26 PM

We had some people that were staying at Esmeralda and had to take a boat today to get the Airport.
The car is safe but can't pick it up till things cleared up.
Posted By: Beachluvr

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 05:28 AM

We are the couple that Lesley was referring to above. Roads blocked on both sides and Esmeralda arranged for a boat to take 12 of us from Anse Marcel to Nettle Bay, just past the barricades. We were then able to take a taxi through Terre Basse to the airport. Almost missed our flight.
Posted By: leonard

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 08:00 AM

I was able to drive out from orient bay to the Dutch side just now. N7 is blocked just after rumble strips at Grand Case still but I was able to go though town by driving around the airport. There were smoldering piles north of Marigot to drive around carefully and the roundabout was really littered with debris all over, be careful. Debris scattered all thru Marigot. Gendarme checkpoint just south of Marigot way out of the French side at Bellevue, they were looking in all cars for petrol cans etc.

Get out right now, you won’t be able to later after folks wake up and rebuild the barricades.
Posted By: ChuckG

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 11:54 AM

For what it's worth Orient was quiet yesterday (Friday the 13th) and almost normal on the beach except for fewer people than normal. Cedrick was missing on Club O beach but Randy of Perch lite filled in for him as well as serving sandwiches and drinks. Nice crowd in the village last night but no problem getting a table around 6PM (yes I know that's early).

We did have a helluva time getting to Orient (Club Fantastico) Thursday night. Alain's son warned us about the blockades when we picked up our car rental at AAA so we went through P'Burg and Oyster Pond. Still were blocked in Orleans but a wonderful local named Rudy guided us around it on his motorbike. (He said that he actually likes Americans, guess that's not typical?)

Attached picture perchlite.jpg
Posted By: PelicanPirate

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 12:13 PM

I’m sympathetic to protest and maybe some inconvenience that is handled by rerouting. I’m not sympathetic to bodily harm. A little worried a couple weeks out. Hope the Gendarmes figure a way to keep the holidays safe.
Posted By: ruralcarrier

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 12:35 PM

It should be safe ALL the time, not just for the holidays. This is out of control. A local friend who lives on the French side (French Quarter) said he is not leaving his house until this is resolved as he fears for his life at this point. Burning tires, cars, looting, etc. is not protesting it is destroying property and endangering life and livelihoods of many and may have a long lasting effect on tourism, especially on the French side.
Posted By: ruralcarrier

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 01:04 PM

Here is a FB group I found about traffic on the island.

SXM TRAFFIC
Posted By: BeachKitten

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 01:51 PM

French Tourist Office issued this:

Dear Esteemed Tourism Partners,

St. Martin is in process of returning to normal operations following a series of sporadic civil
demonstrations that took place in Marigot yesterday. Limited roadblocks are still in place
affecting traffic and accessibility on the roads. The President and Territorial Councilors are
calling for calm and restraint as they seek to address concerns raised by the protestors.
With minimized taxi and transportation services operating until further notice, we ask that
cruises recommend visitors enjoy the attractions and restaurants in Sint Maarten and choose St.
Martin during their next visit.
To our hotel and villa partners, we suggest recommending that guests refrain from venturing out
on tours and enjoy their amenities and activities on-property or within walking distance until
further notice.
We are closely monitoring the situation and will issue updates as soon as traffic resumes to
normal.
Valérie Damaseau Aida Weinum
President Director of Tourism

However they DO NOT have it under control. "In the process" is crap. Some people got around early this morning, but they will fire things up again. Does anyone know when the 300 extra French troops and police will arrive?
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 01:58 PM

Wow, I hope this gets resolved soon. I never would have thought to read such stories about St. Martin. I do understand the underlying frustration though I cannot condone the violence. It is really scary to me, that a local is scared to go out....
Posted By: BeachKitten

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 02:00 PM

Additional help arrived last night at 6:00, landing in Grand Case.

https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islan...LXY93PvdDBbP4UCRufwigv51W9KcuK5FdSIEp_gQ
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 02:05 PM

20 gendarmes?? Not sure where the 300 number came from, but 20 isn't much.... I was kind of wondering, reading the story, how a plane holding 300 people was going to land in Grand Case..
Posted By: Rumlover

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 02:08 PM

BeachKitten, can you post a link to where you got the information from the French Tourist Office? I'm scheduled to start my travels to SXM on Wednesday arriving on Thursday. Staying at Palm Court. So I'm seriously considering cancelling my 2 week trip.
Posted By: BeachKitten

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 02:50 PM

This site scares me...lots of videos.

https://www.facebook.com/LePelicanjournal/?hc_location=ufi

Gibbs was brave to put himself in the middle of that crowd! And they are wearing masks. frown
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 05:45 PM

I agree! I don't like masked men approaching Gibbs or anyone else for that matter! I am not buying airline tickets till this is resolved.
Posted By: BeachKitten

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 06:13 PM

Ferry to Anguilla has been stopped.

Trying to get to Anguilla via a private ferry is now dangerous, as they are throwing things from the bridge onto the boats.

https://www.facebook.com/SXMLATESTNEWS/videos/587808808697936/
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 06:15 PM

This is escalating and needs to be controlled with the military!!!!
Posted By: Biturbo

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 06:27 PM

We're taking a boat from Anse Marcel to the airport Sunday. 50 Euro pp. The car rental (Sax) is giving us a hassle about leaving our car there but we have no options. There is no taxi service from O'Paradis to the dock.
Posted By: BeachKitten

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 06:43 PM

Let's hope they don't figure that out and attempt to block Anse Marcel.

Your car rental company needs to understand and take a chill pill. Hopefully you can leave it somewhere safe and they need to retrieve it later. Is Sax a Dutch side rental?
I would pressure the resort to have someone employed there give you a ride to the dock. Forget no taxi service.
Posted By: Ellen777

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 06:56 PM

Originally Posted by BeachKitten
Ferry to Anguilla has been stopped.

Trying to get to Anguilla via a private ferry is now dangerous, as they are throwing things from the bridge onto the boats.

https://www.facebook.com/SXMLATESTNEWS/videos/587808808697936/


That was yesterday. Today, the AXA private shuttles are taking a longer route, via Simpson Bay and avoiding going under the bridge and the French side of St. Martin.
Posted By: LBI2SXM

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 07:07 PM

Correct me if I am wrong but weren't the last few protests held without incident, just protesting with no violence? It's quite simple to realize who the flame throwers are. The so called hoodlums from St. Martin that cause trouble where ever they go. They are getting in a good thing for them to keep up on their gangster pranks and what a great time to join in. They love it, won't even get In trouble with the law. Most of them probably don't even know what they are protesting for, they just want to join in and raise he!!.
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 07:11 PM

I agree! The violence is from the youth who don't know what the protest is about! IMO
Posted By: BeachKitten

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 07:43 PM

https://bb.usembassy.gov/security-a...sy-bridgetown-barbados-december-14-2019/
Posted By: Biturbo

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 07:53 PM

Yes, Sax is a Dutch side company, and they do need to chill. The parking area in Anse Marcel is no less secure than the front of where we're staying - it's a 4 unit guesthouse. We tried to find an alternative but the boat is our best option. We'll take pictures of the car. We'll also notify our cc company as soon as we get to the airport.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 07:59 PM

Biturbo--Best wishes getting out tomorrow.
Posted By: bran

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 08:25 PM

L’Auberge owners son arriving at 4.30pm from Miami. He has arranged a taxi to Nettle Bay and then a private boat to take him to Grand Case but all this has to be done before dark... going to be tight. Think he will not open tonight. His staff cannot get in to work. Had lunch in a restaurant today next to Skipjacks. Very pleasant staff indeed but food not the best at all. What was cool were the men’s toilet. Spoke to a waitress who has to come from the French side and she said that people do have a right to object to having their properties and land basically taken away from them as they are not allowed to rebuild but does object to the way and manner the strikes are being conducted by hoodlums.

Attached picture 441DFA5F-B38E-4F0C-B3C1-BFB6E4D80744.jpeg
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 09:32 PM

This email was sent to owners at Orient Bay this afternoon. It's from their security department.

Subject: Re: AVIS MANIFESTATION


Here it is


Hello everyone,

We have just been informed that several groups of demonstrators
would likely come to completely block Parc de la Baie
East.

We would like to point out that all types of behavior are
Possible ...

We are currently taking all necessary measures to be able to
ensure your safety and that of Orient Bay Park.

We also requested the services of the Gendarmerie so that they
lend us a hand, but they are not in the business
currently.

We ask all residents to stay at home so
avoid any overflows.

We will keep you informed as much as possible.

We thank you.

The ARES Security team.
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 09:48 PM

Not sure what "They are not in the business currently." Not sure what that means? 24 hour security has always been my choice. This is so not good for tourism and it will not spill over to the Dutch side it will still effect tourist on both sides.
Posted By: BeachKitten

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 09:50 PM

Originally Posted by Ellen777
Originally Posted by BeachKitten
Ferry to Anguilla has been stopped.

Trying to get to Anguilla via a private ferry is now dangerous, as they are throwing things from the bridge onto the boats.

https://www.facebook.com/SXMLATESTNEWS/videos/587808808697936/


That was yesterday. Today, the AXA private shuttles are taking a longer route, via Simpson Bay and avoiding going under the bridge and the French side of St. Martin.



According to this, affects today as well.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 09:55 PM

Talking to some tourists at the Boon today. Arrived this am and could not get to their rental at Grand Case Beach Club due to the road blockade. They found rooms on St Barth and were taking the ferry from Simpson Bay. No ferry from Marigot.
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 09:56 PM

It's a Google translation from French. Take it for what it's worth.
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 10:24 PM

It is not the best... If you have an url to French website this free translator is not bad.
https://www.ipvoid.com/website-translation-tool/
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 10:28 PM

It tells me what I want to know, and my friends in Orient also.
Posted By: Ellen777

Re: French side protest today - 12/14/2019 10:30 PM

Yes, you are correct, the port is closed for sure, but they are no longer going the old route as depicted in the video, they are taking the longer route, for safety's sake.
Posted By: Kennys

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 12:11 AM

The boats are leaving via the Police Station in Simpson Bay. I helped our first client today , first timer to a place close to our home today .
No chances needed .
Posted By: BeachKitten

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 12:38 AM

The big regular ferry boats that go to Blowing Point? Or just the private ones?

Are they doing departure tax at the station?
Posted By: Ellen777

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 01:03 AM

They are just the small shuttle boats, the big ferries are not going at this time. I hope this gets resolved for all. Anguilla travelers are very concerned and I am sure SXM people are as well. I would hate to get to PJIA with a plan of taking the public ferry, only to find I could not, and have all the shuttles booked. Same on the return. I know many people would be at a loss as to what to do. Not everyone reads the internet, and it would be a real shock for some.
Posted By: RonSchaffner

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 01:36 AM

Here is our experience on Friday afternoon/evening re St. Martin Blockages:

On Friday afternoon/evening we tried three routes to get to our rental which was at Yellow Sub near Bikini Beach Bar on Orient Bay.


1. The west side route to Marigot was blocked but we could not observe the blockage directly. We just saw vehicles backing up. We had to turn around. Shortly afterwards the St. Maarten police came and closed the road.

2. On the east side, the main route was blocked just north of McDonald’s (corner of Illidge and Bishop Hill roads). There was a barricade at the border, and we could see that the road on the French side - St. Martin Road up the hill - was covered with boulders for about 100 meters. There were a few people milling around the barricade, no threatening behavior. We talked to some of them, who told us there was no way to get to Orient Bay.

3. We then tried to use Coralita Road to bypass that blockage. There was a blockade of burned cars near the border, but it was not manned. We, and several other vehicles, drove around it, so we actually got onto French territory for a brief time. However, near where Coralita Road enters the built-up area of Orleans in the French Quarter, the road was blocked by burned vehicles. At that point we were surrounded by yelling children, banging on our car windows and demanding money to let us through. There were adults watching from a distance. It was clear that there was no way to get a vehicle past that barricade, so we turned around and found lodging at Simpson Bay.
Posted By: Biturbo

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 01:48 AM

Thanks, Carol. Someone from Sax actually texted my wife and apologized, that he understood our situation and to leave the car @ Anse Marcel and they would get it as soon as possible. This has been a wonderful two weeks up until 3 days ago. We took lots of notes for a TR.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 02:04 AM

Ron--I hope you are able to enjoy your vacation, after an extremely scary start.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 02:05 AM

Biturbo--Please let us know how things go tomorrow, if you can..
Posted By: PelicanPirate

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 02:47 AM

We are supposed to arrive in two weeks.

We are going to sleep on it and may bag the whole trip in the morning.
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 10:42 AM

http://www.lepelican-journal.com/sa...des-reponses-fortes-de-l-Etat-18134.html

Translated: Gibbs talking to Oversea Minister

Attached picture image.jpeg
Posted By: Lucky13

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 11:08 AM

I’m on the island now and thought I’d pass along some info. I was driving through Simpson Bay last evening with the radio tuned to 105 listening to a bouncy Caribbean tune when I realized that the song was about the French side protests. How someone wrote and recorded a song that quickly I have no idea, but it was very clearly within the last day or two because the lyrics were talking about burning cars and blocking the bridge in Sandy Ground. They were also about how frustrated and angry the people are.

None of that is news at this point, but what was news to me was the racial tension expressed in the song. The chorus of the song spoke about how the government only works for white people, that it doesn’t work for “the colors” and that if you want government to work you have to be “whitey-tighty”. Those are quotes from the song.

Keep in mind this was being sung by a St Martiner to other St Martiners.

These protests are not just about PPRN. There is a racial aspect to the unrest that shouldn’t be ignored. One of complaints mentioned in the articles about the protests was alleged unfair treatment of locals relative to “metropolitans”, i.e. French nationals from the mainland. It makes the earlier comment about encountering a local on the French side who said “I actually like Americans” a little more understandable. It also puts the video of the attack by the bridge occupiers on a tourist ferry in a different perspective.

This tells me that whatever the trigger of the protests was, the underlying tensions run much deeper, and will be much more difficult to resolve than just fixing the PPRN. It also explains why the reaction by the Gendarmes has been relatively restrained. The gendarmes are all metropolitans - there are no local police on the French side - so a strong reaction by the Gendarmes would only feed the sentiment that the government is biased in favor of the metropolitans against the locals. The French government is almost in a no win situation. As of right now, the protestors run the French side, and unless cooler heads prevail soon, any escalation by authorities could make the situation a lot, lot worse.
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 11:26 AM

Thank You for your post... Lucky 13

This escalation is seeded in something far beyond the PPRN

PPRN was a spark that sadly started an inferno!

https://youtu.be/ILzJP5qChSk
Posted By: dcareri

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 11:43 AM

We’re on a sailboat in Marigot and it was pretty quiet on Saturday. We were able to drive to Philipsburg, Simpson bay, the airport, and had dinner at Tropicana. There was still some debris in the road but no blockades anywhere we went. Also passed under the Sandy Ground bridge via dinghy a couple of times with no problem. However the Sandy Ground bridge road is still blocked and was the only place we saw protesters milling about. I don’t know that status in Grand Case or Orient. There is very little traffic and most businesses in Marigot were closed. Hopefully the quiet yesterday is a good sign.

Please don’t take the above as anything other than my experience on Saturday and use your own judgement on whether to venture out if you on island.
Posted By: bran

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 11:52 AM

Good post Lucky. That certainly explains to me when I asked a cop can I get to Terres Basses through Sandy Ground he had no idea where this was....Unfortunately I started to notice a certain tension in June and this is what starts riots which ultimately leads to violence. The Government needs to take action now but I’m not sure how they would go about it. Someone posted to get in the Military but that would cause utter chaos to the tourism industry. The fact that the US Embassy has issued a warning for people traveling to the French side is cautiously a good thing in one respect but not something that leads to solving anything. It’s for the French authorities to resolve and quickly. I am not sure how I would feel being told that my land was now worthless and I would never receive a permit to rebuild plus knowing that there could be some nasty bromates in the water and nothing is being done albeit the latter is minor to the main issue but ongoing.
This could and should be a matter of urgency to deflect which could become very serious very quickly by first telling the people that they will be looking into the viability of allocating funds for those in flood impacted areas due to ongoing hurricane situations by allocating funds for them to build in a safer zone. However, they will not condone violence, burning of vehicles, barricades, blocking the roads and disruption of any kind that affects their main asset, tourism, which ultimately helps all concerned.

On a personal level and having travelled extensively in the Caribbean, I don’t think I have ever seen another Island and I do combine both French and Dutch sides together which in itself is totally unique as you know, that has so much natural beauty plus huge harbor areas for boats and mega yachts of all kinds, so much untapped potential that both Governments couldn’t get together and inject huge amounts of money and resources with a five year plan to make this destination the place for people from all over to travel to.

Wishful thinking as not sure it will happen in my lifetime as like so many other places money allocated, tends to disappear.
Posted By: bran

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 11:57 AM

Denis, were you at Tropicana on Saturday evening for Dinner and sitting outside? If so we were there as well. There was a party of 4 sitting next to us and a party of two on the other side plus about 4 people inside......small world.
Posted By: Tom

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 12:08 PM

French Tourist Office is attempting to put a positive spin on a very bad situation. I don't envy their task. We have all seen this kind of mentality where destruction is easier and more dramatic than having the opposing factions use a peaceful approach to resolution. We will be on Sint Maarten in a couple weeks and I appreciate that we stay on the Dutch side but the negative impact of these criminal acts will have long lasting effects on both businesses and tourism on both sides of the island.
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 12:22 PM

They have been trying for quite some time with the "peaceful approach" to be heard, to no avail. Sadly, there is an element (on BOTH side of the island and everywhere in the world) who will take advantage of any event to riot, steal and destroy. The animosity between local St Martiners and metropolitans has been around for decades. It the same on Dutch side.

To the poster who said there are no local French police, you are mistaken. Police Municipale can always be seen on the roads.
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 12:35 PM

12 years you two have lived on SXM.... I will never live there! This might be the last straw for me!
Posted By: Lucky13

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 12:36 PM

Originally Posted by BillandElaine
To the poster who said there are no local French police, you are mistaken. Police Municipale can always be seen on the roads.


My mistake and thank you for correcting. I have never noticed anything other than the Gendarmes. If there are local police, they should be taking the lead in dealing with protestors. I saw lots of heavily armed Gendarmes in riot gear standing around in Marigot on Friday, and a few in Grand Case, but no other police.
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 12:42 PM

They do what they are ordered to do. They may be securing schools, banks. You would never see that.
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 12:43 PM

We all make our choices. Back to the old chocolate and vanilla analogy .
Posted By: RonDon

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 12:45 PM

Those protesters on Sandy Ground bridge should be waving signs about their plight not throwing things down on boats.
Posted By: BillandElaine

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 12:49 PM

I'll say it once more for clarity. The protesters are NOT doing those things. Punk opportunists are.
Posted By: Lucky13

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 12:50 PM

Originally Posted by BillandElaine
They do what they are ordered to do. They may be securing schools, banks. You would never see that.

Interesting straw man you got there. Of course they follow orders. The government should be directing them to take the lead in dealing with the protestors who are obviously already irritated by the presence of metropolitans.
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 12:56 PM

I have felt racial tension rising this year... paying bills or dealing with service people.
Civil unrest can take an ugly turn and it is not just SXM but the USA as well.
Posted By: dcareri

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 01:07 PM

Hi Bran,

Yes, we were the 4 noisy people outside. Tropicana is my favorite restaurant on the island. You must have been the person that recommended the soufflé?

I’m sympathetic with the protesters but also feel bad for the shop and restaurant owners trying to make a comeback after the hurricanes. Multiple days with very customers is a business killer.
Posted By: d_fish

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 01:52 PM

Thank you for the updates.

We are currently sailing our boat to St. Martin and had planned on leaving it in Simpson Bay for 8 weeks, either at IWW docks or hauling out at Bobbys Mega Yard.

We were planning on spending NYE in St. Martin as well. This issue has us rethinking our plans. Very sad for the island as it’s our favorite in the Caribbean.

We do appreciate continued updates from those who are there. In the meantime, I believe it’s prudent for us to have a plan b in place.
Posted By: LBI2SXM

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 08:02 PM

Originally Posted by BillandElaine
I'll say it once more for clarity. The protesters are NOT doing those things. Punk opportunists are.


Same thing I quoted previously. It's a no brainer. These rowdy punks are loviing it. Gives them something to do and puts them in control.
Posted By: LBI2SXM

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 08:31 PM

Originally Posted by d_fish
Thank you for the updates.

We are currently sailing our boat to St. Martin and had planned on leaving it in Simpson Bay for 8 weeks, either at IWW docks or hauling out at Bobbys Mega Yard.

We were planning on spending NYE in St. Martin as well. This issue has us rethinking our plans. Very sad for the island as it’s our favorite in the Caribbean.

We do appreciate continued updates from those who are there. In the meantime, I believe it’s prudent for us to have a plan b in place.


d-fish, You may want to consider mooring your boat in Anguilla or St. Bart's. Antigua is not far way either. If things get worse in St Martin you may have to.
Posted By: bran

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 09:02 PM

Originally Posted by dcareri
Hi Bran,

Yes, we were the 4 noisy people outside. Tropicana is my favorite restaurant on the island. You must have been the person that recommended the soufflé?

I’m sympathetic with the protesters but also feel bad for the shop and restaurant owners trying to make a comeback after the hurricanes. Multiple days with very customers is a business killer.


Yes that was us. Soufflé just superb and the fish soup starter was sensational. You noisy buggers😎 also our favorite place. Owner especially made Beef Wellington with Fois Gras sauce. So glad you had a good time but how sad for them and many others. Be Kool opposite had 3 diners. Going there on Monday for lunch unless serious trouble and back to Tropicana the next and last day for us. Stay safe.
Posted By: Lucky13

Re: French side protest today - 12/15/2019 10:06 PM

Originally Posted by LBI2SXM
Originally Posted by BillandElaine
I'll say it once more for clarity. The protesters are NOT doing those things. Punk opportunists are.


Same thing I quoted previously. It's a no brainer. These rowdy punks are loviing it. Gives them something to do and puts them in control.


i’ve seen the protestors in person twice now - once in French Quarter on Thursday and once in Grand Case on Friday. The barricades were being organized and enforced by adult men, not punk kids. The entire protest is highly organized with coordinated roadblocks at key places around the French side. Punk kids will take advantage of a chaotic situation by looting, destroying and such, but IMO the people leading the protests are responsible for all of that now.
Posted By: sxmfantoo

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 11:56 AM

Just made it from Orient through Grand Case over to the Dutch side. Lots of gendarmes. I think it opened up around 6 AM today.
Posted By: bran

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 12:06 PM

Good to hear you are safe, but can you clarify what “it opened up” means? Regardless, have a good flight back.
Posted By: sxmfantoo

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 01:21 PM

The cars and debris in the roads were essential cleared. A few spots of garbage here and there but easily passable. I found the Facebook page SXM Traffic to be very helpful. Most everything is in French but FB does a decent job translating.
Posted By: bran

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 01:30 PM

Not a facebook member but from my limited French capabilities it appears that all roads are passable apart from at Sandy Ground that is still blocked. anyone else care to confirm?
Posted By: pony600

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 01:35 PM

Here’s a Facebook message from a friend who lives in Grand Case:

After 5 days of the protest that has cripple much of French Saint Martin the roads are finally opened 🎉
What were residents protesting: The PPRN law. It is designed for people with property on the shoreline to evenually give up their rights of ownership. (in simple terms) so we have seen blockade throughout the french side.
Many Businesses were closed. There has been reports of injuries and looting (sadly)in some area. However no vehicles in grandcase has been set on fire. As of today, The residents of this little town has done very well the way they managed this blockade. Apparently some agreement has been made. I do not know the details but traffic is finally flowing. 🙏
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 01:53 PM

sxmfantoo--glad to hear that you will be able to make your flight. Hopefully maybe the situation has now stabilized.

Thanks for your note, pony.
Posted By: sxmmartini

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 02:53 PM

I am far away from SXM spending the holidays in Vermont. I turned on my laptop and searched events in Vermont. The first thing that came up was a protest scheduled December 17, 2019. What! National Protest Day! 12/17/19. I am in the Green Mountains and Tuesday there is a protest scheduled in town that has three police officers. I am not making this up!
Posted By: megamania

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 04:08 PM

Oh goodness,,,I cannot believe it....what is going to happen. Makes me fearful to even come to island in January! I obviously do not understand what the issues are, but can an honest government not step in??
Will keep an eye on this for sure,,,and if we come will be staying on the Dutch side for sure!!
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 05:09 PM

I see this story in the Daily Herald today. Does anyone have an update, as to whether there has been a response from the French national government?

Daily Herald story
Posted By: Biturbo

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 05:52 PM

We were able to get a boat from Anse Marcel yesterday, along with 4 other couples - the boat was full to its maximum capacity of ten. Actually, it was a quite pleasant ride of about 35 minutes, and it did pass under the Sandy Ground bridge. Before we left we checked & the road into Grand Case was totally blocked but we saw no protestors. The boat took us to Hotel Mercure, where a van had been arranged to take us to the airport - 50$ for the boat, 10$ for the van. We had to leave the car in Anse Marcel, and we just got an email from Sax saying that the car has been picked up. so apparently the road has been cleared. Hopefully, the government can address the protestors very legitimate concerns.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 05:56 PM

Biturbo--glad you were able to get out to come home. And thankful that the car was OK. If it had been damaged, I am afraid they might have held you responsible for it.
Posted By: Biturbo

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 06:03 PM

I can understand a reasonable extra charge for picking up the car, since the original agreement was to return it to Simpson Bay. But, I'm going to call my cc company just in case they try to gouge us. We took plenty of pictures of the car when we left it.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 06:12 PM

Hopefully it will be a reasonable charge.
Posted By: Kennys

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 10:03 PM

We picked two of cars today and was okay. And no charge .
Posted By: GaKaye

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 11:13 PM

Originally Posted by Biturbo
I can understand a reasonable extra charge for picking up the car, since the original agreement was to return it to Simpson Bay. But, I'm going to call my cc company just in case they try to gouge us. We took plenty of pictures of the car when we left it.


If you think your rental company might try to gouge you, you may be dealing with the wrong company.
Posted By: SXMScubaman

Re: French side protest today - 12/16/2019 11:48 PM

I see the schools will be open tomorrow. That's progress.
Posted By: Carol_Hill

Re: French side protest today - 12/17/2019 12:58 AM

Lesley--Glad to hear you're doing OK so far..
Posted By: Kennys

Re: French side protest today - 12/17/2019 01:13 AM

Thanks Dear and it was scary . I even changed a couple place from the Orient on Saturday to our friend home one bedroom private room in Beacon Hill next to El Zafiro. They are first timers and I didn't want them to be in danger.
Posted By: pat

Re: French side protest today - 12/17/2019 01:19 AM

Originally Posted by Kennys
Thanks Dear and it was scary . I even changed a couple place from the Orient on Saturday to our friend home one bedroom private room in Beacon Hill next to El Zafiro. They are first timers and I didn't want them to be in danger.


Doesn’t happen a lot but every now and then I wish TTOL had a “Like” button and posts like this are the reason why. But having known you for years now, it doesn’t surprise me at all that you did this.
Posted By: PelicanPirate

Re: French side protest today - 12/17/2019 01:21 AM

So whats the guess for those on island for 2 weeks? Will folks be able to cross over/back to orient safely?
Posted By: bran

Re: French side protest today - 12/17/2019 01:42 AM

Have a feeling it might be over and some compromise might be reached. Hope so anyway.
Posted By: Kennys

Re: French side protest today - 12/17/2019 01:43 AM

For when which dates ?
Now it's touch and go .
Posted By: Kennys

Re: French side protest today - 12/17/2019 03:19 AM

Originally Posted by pat
Originally Posted by Kennys
Thanks Dear and it was scary . I even changed a couple place from the Orient on Saturday to our friend home one bedroom private room in Beacon Hill next to El Zafiro. They are first timers and I didn't want them to be in danger.


Doesn’t happen a lot but every now and then I wish TTOL had a “Like” button and posts like this are the reason why. But having known you for years now, it doesn’t surprise me at all that you did this.

Thanks Pat , I do my business the way I do it because In reality love what I do , and thanks for my Wife pushing me . We started from zero lol.
Posted By: SXMScubaman

Re: French side protest today - 12/18/2019 03:24 AM

Posted on St Martin News
"According to the latest info we received the Minister is cancelling PPRN and. The protest is over, clean up time. Got this from F.Q. I just confirm. A new prefete one that was here before will be coming in January to sit down and map out a new plan with the people"
Posted By: SXMScubaman

Re: French side protest today - 12/18/2019 03:31 AM

Correction. Postponed for 3 months.
© 2021 TravelTalkOnline