A young man who daubed reunification slogans in the town of Le Mans in Loire-Atlantique was held for several hours and verbally insulted by police it has been reported by news sources in Brittany.
The administrative separation of Loire-Atlantique from the rest of Brittany has long been a source of irritation to Breton nationalists. There have been a series of protests and demonstrations as a concerted campaign to address the
`reunification’ issue gathers pace.
Following this latest expression of protest the person involved was finally released but may face criminal proceedings. The issue has been passed to the public prosecutor in Nantes.
Non violent expressive protest of this type has long been a tactic used in several of the Celtic countries. Welsh language protesters used the technique (and occasionally still do) to effect several years ago.
More recently in Mannin (Isle of Man) there was a concerted campaign of sloganeering which highlighted the Isle of Mans colonial status.
Graffiti campaigns invariably attract disproportionate police counter-measures as happened in Mannin recently and evidenced again by this latest case in Brittany.
The individual involved in the Le Mans case was a juvenile (ie 16 years old) and its questionable if police adhered to Council of Europe standards in relation to his brief detention – the Celtic League are to make further enquiries.
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information