• France's news in English

Scores arrested in Paris protest for dead activist

AFP/The Local · 3 Nov 2014, 08:48

Published: 03 Nov 2014 08:48 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Protesters in several parts of France gathered in a sometimes tense atmosphere Sunday in memory of an eco-activist who was killed last weekend during a demonstration against a controversial dam project.

The gatherings in Paris and on the site of the Sivens project in the southwestern region of Tarn came a day after similar protests erupted in violence, leaving several demonstrators and police injured.

Remi Fraisse, 21, died last Sunday as people protesting against the dam project clashed violently with security forces, and investigations into the case suggest he may have been killed by a police concussion grenade.

In Paris Sunday, some 300 people got together in the northeastern Stalingrad district without prior authorisation, shouting slogans such as "police everywhere, justice nowhere", encircled by security forces who used tear gas when some tried to force their way past them.

According to the latest reports police stopped a total of 78 people in the area, some carrying "hammers, pliers, helmets, brass knuckles, firecrackers and incendiary devices," a police source said.

On the other side of the French capital near the Eiffel Tower, meanwhile, several hundred people gathered peacefully in memory of Fraisse.

And in the Tarn, more than 2,000 people took part in a silent march on the site of the dam project.

Fraisse's death in the protest - the first such tragedy in mainland France in nearly three decades - caused an outcry in the country and embarrassed the government, which was accused of not reacting quickly enough.

Story continues below…

Local authorities subsequently decided to suspend work on the dam, though they have not scrapped it indefinitely.

Those opposed to the project say the dam will destroy a reservoir of biodiversity and will only benefit a small number of farmers, while supporters retort that it will ensure irrigation and the development of high-value crops.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Is Marks & Spencer to close Champs-Elysées store?
Photo: AFP

Is it goodbye to crumpets, jam, and English biscuits?

After Calais, France faces growing migrant crisis in Paris
Photo: AFP

While all the focus has been on the closure of the Jungle in Calais, France must deal with the thousands of migrants sleeping rough in Paris. And their numbers are growing.

Restaurant boss suspected of kidnapping Cannes millionaire
The Nice residence of the president of Cannes' Grand Hotel, Jacqueline Veyrac. Photo: AFP

A restaurant owner 'harbouring a grudge', apparently.

Le Thought du Jour
Vive le pont - The best thing about French public holidays
Photo: AFP

The UK might have guaranteed public holidays, but France has "les ponts".

What's on in France: Top things to do in November
Don't miss the chocolate fashion show in Lyon. Photo: Salon du chocolat

The autumn is in full swing in France, and there's plenty to do.

What Paris 'squalor pit' Gare du Nord will look like in future
All photos: Wilmotte et Assoicés

IN PICTURES: The universally accepted 'squalor pit of Europe' is finally getting a facelift.

Halloween: The ten spookiest spots in Paris
Is there really a ghost on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower? Photo: AFP

Read at your own peril.

Halloween holiday in France: Traffic nightmares and sun!
Photo: AFP

But it's great news for the country's beleaguered tourism industry.

French MPs vote to make Airbnb 'professionals' pay tax
Photo: AFP

Do you make a lot of money through Airbnb in France? You'll have to pay a share to the taxman in future.

France and Britain accused of abandoning Calais minors
Photo: AFP

Scores of young migrants are forced to sleep rough for a second night.

Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
How speaking French can really mess up your English
The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
jobs available