“Mégabassins” Project in France: Demonstrators and Police Clash (Photos)

On Saturday, the first clashes erupted between demonstrators and the police around a controversial water reserve under construction in Sainte-Soline (Deux-Sèvres).

At the end of the morning a long procession began to march, which according to the province was at least 6,000 people, “probably a little more”, and about 25,000 people according to the organizers – a coalition of “Posins non merci” associations. , Earth Upheavals and the Farmers’ Union Environmental Movement.

Demonstrators from the “Otters” convoy heading towards Saint-Solain. – AFP.

More than 3,000 gendarmes and police have been mobilized by the authorities, while “at least a thousand” violent activists, “ready to fight the police”, are taking part in the rally.

The last banned demonstration, which led to clashes in the autumn, converged on the “Basin” of Saint-Solain, a nickname given by their opponents to water reserves under construction in the region for agricultural irrigation.

Demonstrators from the Otters convoy towards Saint-Solain.
Demonstrators from the Otters convoy towards Saint-Solain. – AFP.

Shelling, mortar fire and tear gas

“The goal is to get closer to the basin to stop the construction site,” said a member of Earth Rising at the start of the procession, which then split into several groups for the purpose.

As the site approached, clashes quickly erupted between law enforcement and extremists, with projectiles thrown and mortar fire fired, to which police and gendarmes responded with tear gas and water cannons, AFP journalists said.

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