Street Clashes in Nantes over New Aéroport.
Street Battles in Nantes.
Violence erupted when about 20,000 people demonstrated against an airport project near the city of Nantes on Saturday, leaving six riot police officers injured.
Environmental activists have been protesting for more than a year against the government’s plan to build a new airport for the west of the country, with some activists occupying the area by living rough in makeshift wooden cabins.
Police have tried several times in vain to evict the squatters and have had to contain many demonstrations. Reuters.
Agence France Presse also reports,
Riot police moved into the western French city of Nantes on Saturday, clashing with hundreds of anarchists who broke shop windows, destroyed bus stops and pillaged the city centre.
At least eight police officers were hospitalized after violent confrontations with up to 1,000 “radicals,” the prefecture of the Loire-Atlantique region said. Fourteen people were detained.
The rioters had joined an estimated 20,000 people protesting against plans to build a regional airport. Officials did not say whether protesters were injured.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said the delinquents were from the “radicalized ultra-left” and were waging an “urban guerrilla” campaign.
The protests turned very violent as “autonomous” groups broke away.
The evidence remains today,
On the route taken by the demonstrations the day before, this morning we could still see marks of the events. Municipal workers were busy erasing tags and paintings on the walls, including those of the mayor. The façade of a Vinci Immobilier (Estate agents), ransacked on Saturday, has been replaced by wooden boards. Vinci is linked to the airport project. On sites a little further away, lay the blackened carcasses of a giant drill and a bulldozer. The façade of the administrative court, is still painted with large amounts of red paint, and on the ground floor several windows were broken, making it unrecognisable. A huge“Zad Everywhere” was tagged on the main entrance door. Zad means “deferred development zone” of the airport. This acronym has become a symbol of the opposition.
On Kervegan, one of the oldest districts of Nantes island, the cobblestone streets were scarred by large holes. They have been replaced by the earth where the pavement had been torn up. Barricades were erected and then set on fire. At the transport hub of the city, the Place du Commerce, all the ticket booths and the offices of the Society Nantes transport were burnt out. The paving stones for several tram lines were torn out.