It is a subject that increasingly divides society. About 6,000 people came this Saturday according to the prefecture, 30,000 according to the organizers, around the village of Sainte-Soline in Deux-Sèvres to denounce the mega-basin project in the territory. This retention of water, which pumps the surplus of the precious liquid when the water tables are full, should make it possible to partially solve the irrigation problems in the area during the summer. Nonsense for many environmental activists and far left, who have already met five times against the project. So this Saturday, hundreds of people dressed in black, equipped with helmets and masks, decided to do battle with the police.
After these violent clashes, the balance sheet of the Niort prosecutor’s office amounts to seven demonstrators hospitalized and 47 gendarmes injured. On the side of the organizers of the movement, there are at least 200 demonstrators injured.
A “useful” project
However, at the microphone of Europe 1, Marc Fesneau assures him: this project is useful for “reducing the pressure of irrigation. We thus pass during the summer from 21 million m3 withdrawn, to 6 million m3”, he explains at the microphone of Europe 1.
“Scientific studies say that it is good, the legal framework laid down”, continues the Minister of Agriculture. However, in the camp of the militants, there is no question of storing water for agriculture described as intensive. So, “we will face these movements because these movements are anti-democratic (…) and they are not ecological”, he underlines.
But faced with the violence of the clashes and the accusations of police violence, the Minister of Agriculture attacks: “If someone finds that what happened on Saturday, it is from the register of violence that would have been exercised badly” by the police, which he reports, he annoys. “Look at the images, you have people who came in combat gear, with shields, with techniques that are those of the guerrillas. You must not tell us that these people were peaceful”, he continues.
But if “police violence does not exist, (…) because that means that there is basically an organized system, which would give orders to the police to exercise violence (… ), there may be people who produce what is called slippage”, concludes Marc Fesneau, calling now, to let justice work.