Protests continue over controversial French dam project

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Protests continue over controversial French dam project

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Protesters in France gathered in memory of an eco-activist who died last weekend during a demonstration against a dam project.

Twenty-one -year-old Remi Fraisse may have been killed by a police stun grenade. His death is the first during a protest on mainland France since 1986.

Fellow protesters planted trees at the controversial project site at Sivens in the Tarn region in southern France

“It’s a symbolic way to give back life to this landscape of disaster. And I understand Rémi – because we’re here for him as well. He fought for life not death,” said one protester.

Sunday saw protests in several French cities. At an unofficial rally in Paris police detained over 60 people who were later released.

Although tense there was none of the violence seen on Saturday in Nantes and Toulouse. Environmentalists have blamed a small minority for provoking a confrontation with police while at the same time criticising police tactics.

The proposed dam at Sivens has split opinion – those opposed say it will destroy a reservoir of biodiversity , while supporters claim it will ensure irrigation and the development of high value crops.

In the wake of Remi Fraisse’s death the regional authorities have suspended work on the project.