water reservoir protest in France

Protest Against Water Reservoir Sheds Light On Water Conflicts

Despite being prohibited by the prefecture, up to 10,000 people have gathered in Sainte-Soline, Deux-Sèvres, to protest against the “mega-bassines” project. The project consists of constructing 16 large reservoirs to store water for agriculture, a move supported by the state and 450 farmers in the area. However, opponents argue that the project would allow agribusiness to monopolize the water supply during climate change and call for a moratorium to launch a “real territorial project” on water sharing.

The protest, organized by the “Bassines non merci” collective, the ecological movement “Soulèvements de la Terre,” and the Confédération Paysanne, is expected to be heavily policed, with 3,200 law enforcement officials mobilized. However, the protest is also expected to draw 1,500 “violent activists,” some of whom have already launched actions, such as attacking police barricades and briefly occupying a TGV line. Weapons were seized before the protest, including petanque balls, slingshots, incendiary products, knives, and axes.

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