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Laurentiu Vlad


Protesters charging in a field and tear gas

Sainte-Soline - Nouvelle-Aquitaine - France

In the french region of Deux-Sèvres, local farmers have been moblising for months against a publicly funded construction project which aims at creating a set of large reservoirs to retain water. The project is considered by many as an environmental disasters as it necessitates leveling large portions of land and drain groundwater from the region. Most local farmers say that they do not need it. - In support, between 20 and 40 thousand activists from all over western Europe have gathered to stop the construction this Saturday, setting camp a few miles away. After a similar gathering last autumn which was severely repressed by the French state, government officials such as Gerald darmanin, minister of internal affairs, called the activists "eco-terror¡sts" and used the label to mobilise a large military police force to suppress the movement. In total, 9 helicopters, dozens of trucks and 2 armored vehicles were mobilized to protect the construction of the basins. - Protesters were faced with water canons, tear gas, rubber rounds, stun grenades and hundreds of flash bangs. At least 200 were wounded according to the organizers (7 according to the government) including 3 in critical condition, one being in a coma. Protesters responded with coordinated attacks on the military police resulting into 6 burnt vehicles, 28 wounded officers (one also in critical condition) and an incursion onto the construction site leading to sabotage. The police also barred ambulances from evacuating protesters according to the NGO Human rights League.

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Posted Date:January 3, 2024 8:23 PM

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