21 year old ZAD Comrade Killed in Clashes with Police at Testet Resistance to Deforestation
17 hours after police attacked again the ZAD resistance in Testet, south of France, a 21 year old ZADist was found dead. During the clashes, witnesses say they saw a man collapse and noticed the police taking him away.
On Saturday, October 25th, 5,000 people from all over France gathered at Testet in opposition to the dam project and the violent repression of the ZAD resistance, which is ongoing for years, and has increased in the past months.
Police attacked the protestors to remove them, and some militants battled the cops until late in the night. Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas grenades; several protestors were badly injured.
Later in the night, firefighters and police claimed they have found the body of a man in the woods, while eye witnesses who were there say the body was found at police roadblocks.
“A witness said he saw someone collapse in clashes and being removed by the police“ , says Ben has Lefetey, spokesman for the Collective for safeguarding wetland Testet, during a press conference Sunday morning.
Police blame the clashed on the resistance, to justify the brutal repression they enforced on the protestors. The commander of the gendarmerie Tarn, quoted by the AFP, claimed that “100-150 anarchists masked and dressed in black threw incendiary devices” and other projectiles at police surrounding a mobilization “2000″ opponents (actually they were 5,000).
In a statement, the association Action for the Environment says: “Acting for the Environment can see that after several weeks of police violence indiscriminately and sometimes outside any legal framework (identity papers and personal effects burned, disrespect private areas …), the police have once again made use of rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas and even though the event took place in a good atmosphere [sic -child. The presence of the police at the end of the day will appear again for what it is: a provocation leading to a tragedy.”
“According to preliminary information we have collected, the death took place in the context of clashes with the police at 2:00 am. We are not saying that the security forces have killed an opponent, but a witness we said the deaths happened during clashes, “he told AFP by phone Ben Lefetey, spokesperson of the group Save the wetland Testet, which includes most of the opponents of the dam project . “We do not know more about the cause of death.”
Contacted, the prefecture did not want to comment. The prosecutor in Albi, Claude Derens, refused to make any comment “before the results of the autopsy will take place tomorrow (Monday) in the afternoon.” According to a source close to the investigation, the young man who died was 21 years old and “was among those who were in the midst of clashes last night” (Saturday).
“The proposed reservoir dam 1.5 million m3 of water stored is growing figure “Notre-Dame-des-Landes Southwest”, in reference to this common Loire-Atlantique, where significant mobilization caused the freeze in 2012 the creation of a new airport. Since the beginning of clearing September 1, skirmishes and rallies have multiplied around the site. The proposed water retention is supported by the General Council of the Tarn. Opponents denounce an expensive project for, according to them, only a small number of farmers practicing intensive agriculture.”
“Member of the Paris collective support Notre-Dame-des-Landes and sympathizers es-es of the opponent Testet. According to the information available, one of us died that night during clashes with riot police in the ZAD Testet. Neither oblivion or pardon.”
Massive protests are announced later on Sunday.