Tags: EU | France | Airport | Standoff

Police Mobilize against Protesters in French Airport Dispute

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 06:38 AM

PARIS (AP) — French police are deploying extra forces to western France before a government announcement Wednesday on whether to build an airport that has mobilized nearly a decade of sometimes violent protests.

Hundreds of anarchists, farmers and environmental activists have occupied a vast area around Notre-Dame-des-Landes, outside the city of Nantes, to resist the proposed airport. Protesters from other regions have reportedly arrived in recent days.

A security official said that extra gendarmes and riot police are being sent this week to the area, because police plan to try to clear out the protesters once the government makes a decision. An initial attempt, in the fall of 2012, to dislodge the squatters from the resistance community they created ended in a clash between hundreds of riot police and activists hurling sticks, stones and gasoline bombs. A 2014 protest in the town of Nantes which drew some 20,000 plus the anarchists also led to a violent standoff with police.

President Emmanuel Macron's Cabinet is scheduled to discuss the airport at a meeting Wednesday. His office said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who visited Nantes over the weekend, will then announce the decision.

Proponents argue the region needs a larger airport to boost its economic prospects. Opponents say the airport is unnecessary and a symbol of exploitative globalization.

Farmers trying to protect their land, in some cases in the family for generations, have joined forces with the anarchists, who call themselves ZADists, based on the French acronym for "development zone."

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French police are deploying extra forces to western France before a government announcement Wednesday on whether to build an airport that has mobilized nearly a decade of sometimes violent protests.Hundreds of anarchists, farmers and environmental activists have occupied a...
EU,France,Airport,Standoff
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2018-38-17
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 06:38 AM
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