Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: VALENTINE CHAPUIS / AFP 18:38 p.m., October 22, 2023

After a day of tensions, between demonstrators opposed to the A69 motorway project between Toulouse and Castres, and the police, the latter were in control of the situation this Sunday late afternoon. The last protesters dispersed.

The abandoned houses in which opponents of the A69 had laid the foundations of a ZAD in the Tarn were totally under the control of the police by the end of Sunday afternoon and the last demonstrators opposed to the motorway were dispersing, an AFP journalist said.

After taking over the premises occupied by the anti-A69 protesters at midday, the mobile gendarmes, supported by two armoured vehicles and several heavy goods vehicles, installed high mesh barriers to prevent the demonstrators from returning to the site of some buildings where they had begun to take up residence since the day before.

Gérald Darmanin salutes the forces of law and order

In the early afternoon, pushed back onto a nearby meadow, the demonstrators continued to face the security forces who used tear gas and grenades to keep them away. By 16:30 p.m., the meadow was almost completely empty. Before leaving, several activists formed the Earth Uprisings logo on the ground with tree trunks, tear gas canister casings and then with their elongated bodies, before cleaning up the site.


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In a message posted on X (ex-Twitter), the Minister of the Interior thanked the forces of law and order "who, thanks to their courage, prevented violent individuals from establishing a ZAD in the Tarn". "The authority of the state and court decisions make it possible not to relive a new Notre-Dame des Landes," he added, referring to the ZAD which had opposed an airport project on this site in Loire-Atlantique.

Thank you to the police who, thanks to their courage, prevented violent individuals from setting up a ZAD in the Tarn. The authority of the State and court decisions make it possible not to relive a new Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Force remained in the right.

— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) October 22, 2023

The organisers of this weekend's anti-A69 protest denounced a "brutal attack by the police on the encampment and the buildings occupied along the construction site". "We denounce once again the government's repression and climate-killing headlong rush, of which the construction of the A69 is emblematic," they added in a statement.