Tag Archives: France

French police fire tear gas on second day of airport protest

27 Nov

crossposted from RT.com

French anti-riot police officers walk through smoke from tear gas, on November 24, 2012 in Notre-Dame-des-Landes as they seek to evict squatters from protected swampland where Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault wants to build a new airport (AFP Photo / Jean-Sebastuen Evrard)

[Read about last month’s epic eviction attempt of La ZAD here on the EF! Newswire]

Eight people were arrested and three injured after protesters clashed with police in western France, as authorities tried to evict protesters camping on a future airport site located on protected swampland in Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

Officers fired tear gas, and protesters retaliated with gas bombs and stones. The activists claim that the future airport will destroy woodland in the area and cause pollution.

On Friday, French police fired tear gas in hopes of dispersing the demonstrators, while protesters responded by hurling bottles, stones and firecrackers, slightly injuring a police officer and two television journalists. Police deployed two backhoes and a large waste receptacle while attempting to clear the site.

Rallies were also held in Paris and Nantes in support of the airport protesters, and several dozen demonstrators were arrested in the French capital.

French riot police face protesters on November 24, 2012 as they seek to evict squatters from protected swampland where Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault wants to build a new airport (AFP Photo / Jean-Sebastuen Evrard)

The airport is planned to be built near the city of Nantes in western France by 2017 to replace the area’s existing airport. The project has the backing of Socialist Party Prime Minister Ayrault, who was the mayor of Nantes from 1989 until this year.

France’s Green Party and several other politicians opposed the construction of the airport over environmental concerns.  Continue reading

Rural Rebels and Useless Airports: La ZAD – Europe’s Largest Postcapitalist Land Occupation

17 Nov

Image

October 2012, Notre dames des Landes, France.

Chris leans forward, her long fingers play with the dial of the car radio “I’m trying to find 107.7 FM“ … a burst of Classical music, a fragment of cheesy pop. “ Ah! Here we go! I think I’ve got it?”  The plastic pitch of a corporate jingle pierces the speakers: “Radio Vinci Autoroute: This is the weather forecast for the west central region…happy driving to you all. Traffic info next.” Chris smiles.

The narrow winding road is lined with thick hedgerows. Out of the darkness the ghostly outline of an owl cuts across our headlights. We dip down into a wooded valley, the radio signal starts to splinter. The well-spoken female voice fractures into static, words tune in and out and then another kind of sound weaves itself into the airwaves. We rise out of the wood onto a plateau, the rogue signal gets clearer, for a while two disturbingly different voices scramble together – the slick manicured predictable sounds of Radio Vinci wrestles with something much more alive, something rawer – a fleshier frequency.

 “ The cops have left the Zone for the night…good riddance… Yeah! Keep it up everyone! ……” There is a moment of silence, we hear breathing, then a scream into the microphone “This is Radio Klaxon…Klac Klac Klac! ”We feel her emotion radiate through the radio waves “ It’s nine thirty five.” she laughs and puts a record on, passionate Flamenco guitar pumps into the car. Continue reading

France Demands Suspension of Monsanto GMO Corn Approval

20 Feb

France asked the European Commission on Monday to suspend authorization to plant Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) MON810 corn, the environment ministry said, as the country seeks to keep a ban on GM crops despite losing court rulings.

France banned in 2008 the growing of MON810 corn, the only GM crop approved for planting in the European Union, citing environmental risks.

Its highest court ruled against the ban in November, following a similar decision by the European Court of Justice last September, leading the government to say it would look at all ways to maintain the freeze on GM planting.

The French government’s request to the EU executive was based on “significant risks for the environment” shown in recent scientific studies, the ministry said in a statement.

EU governments are divided over authorizing GM crop cultivation, with some countries like France reluctant to allow them in view of public hostility.

Denmark, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, is seeking to revive stalled talks on allowing individual countries to decide on whether to allow GM crops.

Italian police and protesters clash over Alpine rail link

28 Jun

Some 60 people were injured when police and protesters clashed over the construction of a high speed rail link between France and Italy. Environmentalists say the railway would destroy a picturesque Alpine valley.

Scores of people were injured in northern Italy as police confronted protesters opposed to the construction of a high-speed rail link between France and Italy on Monday.

Some 60 individuals – about half of them police officers – had to go to hospital for injuries sustained in the violence, according to the country’s medical emergency services.

Police said officers were injured as protesters threw firecrackers and rocks while demonstrators said that some activists had been beaten.

Protesters, includíng environmental activists as well as local residents, oppose construction of the line between Turin and Lyon, claiming it will destroy the picturesque Alpine valley known as Val di Susa.

The confrontation began as 2,500 officers began to dismantle wooden barricades aimed at preventing construction workers from accessing a tunnel boring site.

‘Urgent need to start work’

Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni has said that work must start by June 30 to prevent Italy losing funding for the project from the European Union, worth hundreds of millions of euros. Construction costs for the link are estimated at 15 billion euros ($21 billion).

Environmental group Legambiente said there should be an “immediate end to all the violence” and claimed the government had made a “grave error” by sending police in to clear the barricades. “Batons are not the instrument of good politics,” said Legambiente leader Vittorio Cogliati Dezza.

France and Italy signed a deal in 2001 to build the new rail connection, which is to be a strategic link in the European network and allow travel time between Milan and Paris to be slashed from seven to four hours.

Further protests have been announced, with a demonstration in Rome planned for Tuesday.

Author: Richard Connor (dpa, Reuters)

Editor: Martin Kuebler

cross-posted from here