• May 14, 2018

Celtic News reported periodically on the controversy surrounding the proposed new airport at Nante (Notre Dame des Landes) plans for which were abandoned this year.

Nantes is of course the old Capital of Brittany and was an integral part of the country prior to its ‘hiving off’ by the French to the department of Loire-Atlantique.

Earlier this year’s protesters including farmers and villagers in the area won a long and fierce fight to end the project. They were successful but protesters still occupy the site and menacingly the police in the shape of the dreaded Gendarmerie Nationale and CRS are still in the area. This week another meeting is planned in the area.

Protests in France which attract the attention of the CRS are often attended by violence the force has a dreadul reputation and coincidentally it also has a formidable arsenal of weapons some of which are not used by any other police force in Western Europe.

One controversial weapon is the Gli f4 grenade. Designed as a stun grenade dispersing tear gas it also contains a small charge of TNT and this can lead when the riot agent is used irresponsibly to serious injury. It has been used extensively in the Nantes Airport project protest.

Politically it has become unacceptable and so I understand the French police a security services are casting round for a less lethal alternative. Indeed the French State has recently set aside a budget of 22 million Euro for the procurement of new grenades to be used against protesters (Report in the August 2017 ‘Marianne’).

It seems behind the smiling mask of the French President Emmanuel Macron their is a more sinister visage – one that anticipates civil disorder and is happy to allocate large sums of money so the deadly CRS can continue their brutal work on behalf of the Paris government!

Image: :  (1) Grenade being used against anti-airport protesters

              (2) CRS with grenade launchers

Bernard Moffatt

pp Celtic League

May 13th 2018

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