Riot police and ‘Zone a Defendre’ (ZAD) activists engaged in fierce clashes at a protest camp in 20km (12miles) northwest of Notre-Dame-des-Landes on Wednesday, in an attempt to stop police from entering the site.
Protesters threw Molotov cocktails, fireworks and other projectiles at police, who were armed with shields. The security forces responded with volleys of tear gas, creating an apocalyptic scene as sunset fell over the camp.
The eco-activists from ZAD, which literally means ‘Zone to Defend’, initially came together in 2008 to protest against a proposed airport in Nantes.
The plan was recently abandoned, however, it is estimated that up to 200 activists remain at the site and refuse to leave it, despite eviction orders and threats from the authorities.
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