April 09, 2018
FRENCH police fired TEAR GAS and stun grenades to clear an eco-activist squatters from the site of an abandoned airport project.
FRANCE RIOTS: Tear gas fired as THOUSANDS of police clash with anti-capitalist protestors
Around 2,500 riot police raided the came at Notre-Dame-des-Landes at 6am local time to evict about 250 activists.
The site in Notre-Dame-des-Landes had been squatted for years by opponents of the plan to build a £505 million airport.
President Macron’s government dropped the plans in January but protesters refused to leave.
The government warned they were be evicted and stormed the camp this morning.
The police fired tear gas to disperse dozens of protesters.
In retaliation the activists used tractors, flaming tyres, wooden pallets, hay bales and electricity poles to try to keep the police at bay.
Many squatters had built permanent homes on the site and they had set up a boulangerie, a brewery, a radio station and weekly vegetable market.
Gérard Collomb, the French interior minister, said police would remain “for as long as necessary” to make sure the eco-activist didn’t return.
FRANCE RIOTS: Tear gas fired as THOUSANDS of police clash with anti-capitalist protestors
He said: “Nobody will be left on the street.”
Adding that alternative accommodation would be offered to evictees.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement: ”We want to put an end to a lawless zone.”
By midday police said 10 out of an estimated 97 squats at the site had been dismantled.
One person was arrested for throwing a firebomb.
FRANCE RIOTS: Tear gas fired as THOUSANDS of police clash with anti-capitalist protestors
FRANCE RIOTS: Tear gas fired as THOUSANDS of police clash with anti-capitalist protestors
A gendarme was suffered an eye injury and was taken to hospital. He was released after treatment.
The eviction operation is expected to last several days.
Within months of taking office President Macron decided to try to end the standoff by pulling the plug on the airport, a sensitive decision that past governments had shirked for decades.
Supporters of the airport plan, designed to handle four million passengers a year initially, said it would have helped economic development in the Loire-Atlantique region
But opponents said it was too costly, environmentally unfriendly and that there was another under-utilised airport 68 miles to the north, near Rennes in Brittany.
Construction giant Vinci has said it is ready to discuss government compensation for the loss of its contract to develop Notre-Dame-des-Landes.
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