There has been a strong reaction in France to yesterday\'s police
action in New Caledonia to free a container ship blocked by the Kanak
Acting on a court order, riot police took over the Noumea dock area
where the ship of the company MSC was held, arresting 17 people,
including the USTKE president, Gerard Jodar.
A Socialist senator, Jean-Luc Melenchon, has called for immediate
release of the unionists and warns of a possible escalation.
The French Communists have also denounced the police action and the
Greens say the French high commission chose repression rather than
The USTKE action was aimed at preventing the world\'s two biggest
shipping company from setting up links with Noumea, claiming that
price dumping would force other operators out of business.