Urban guerilla warfare in the French city of Nantes – that’s how a protest by an estimated 20,000 demonstrators was described by the country’s Interior Minister, Manual Valls.
Riot police used tear gas against the activists angry that plans to build a new airport have been given the green light.
Ten police were injured say the authorities, around 20 protesters were taken to hospital and several arrested. The mayor of the city angry at the damage which was caused has filed an official complaint.
“There is already an airport in Nantes – it is not as if it is the capital of the world. We are here to say we are fed up with the useless project,” said one of the protesters.
Demonstrators had marched peacefully through the city before the violence erupted. Squatters have been living rough in makeshift shelters to show their objection to the 580 million euro project which is due to be completed in 2017.