'Police mutilate & kill’: Clashes at French rally honoring activist killed by cops grenade
The major protest against ‘weapons of the police’ was staged in the town of Pont de Buis, north-western France, in front of a local factory. The factory is producing tear gas and rubber bullets, which are used by police to disperse violent demonstrators.
According to an AFP count, at least 250 people attended the rally, with the local media estimating the crowd at 300-400 people.
"Police mutilate, police kill.""Gunpowder is not ammunition, but death and mutilation," chanted the protesters in front of security forces. Many of the participants were wearing masks.
The demonstration was not sanctioned by the authorities, as the venue was not deemed safe. Moreover, an earlier rally saw several protesters trying to break into the factory. On Saturday, police resorted to using tear gas in an attempt to disperse the demonstration.
"I'm here to show that the weapons, that kill and mutilate demonstrators in neighborhoods or abroad, are manufactured here," one of the protesters, Pierre told AFP.
"I come for Remi [Fraisse] and for others who were injured and killed by police shootings,” another activist told the Ouest-France newspaper.
Remi Fraisse was a young environmental activist who was killed when he took part in a protest over a dam project in the Testet wetlands, near the southwestern town of Lisle-sur-Tarn in November. After a tense standoff between security forces and protesters, the 21-year-old was found dead with a wound in his back, which was believed to have been caused by a police grenade.
On Saturday, numerous demonstrations against police brutality were held across France, including in Grenoble, Strasbourg and Tarn. In Nantes, western France, the protesters made a huge mural painting in memory of Remi Fraisse.