A69 motorway project, in Tarn: six people arrested during a banned demonstration

The situation became tense again on Sunday February 18 on the A69 motorway construction site, between Toulouse and Castres

A69 motorway project, in Tarn: six people arrested during a banned demonstration

The situation became tense again on Sunday February 18 on the A69 motorway construction site, between Toulouse and Castres. Six opponents of the project were arrested during a banned demonstration in Saïx, in Tarn. According to the prefecture, "150 people violently attacked the police, targeted by Molotov cocktail jets", which the Voie est libre collective denies, citing "massive use of tear gas" by the gendarmes.

Three gendarmes were injured and six demonstrators arrested, according to the prefecture. According to Bernard Cottaz, member of the Voie est libre, the demonstrators wanted to supply the activists who are camping in the trees to prevent the construction site from continuing, while the police have been surrounding the group since Saturday.

At the same time, two construction machines from a cement factory located several hundred meters from the Zone to Defend (ZAD) created by the opponents were “set on fire by demonstrators”, according to the prefecture. According to Mr. Cottaz, “there was indeed a fire but not at all where the demonstrators were.”

Wood with “strong environmental issues”, according to activists

For the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, "the police have been facing great violence for several days from those seeking to reconstitute a new ZAD on the A69 work site." However, adds the minister on X, “no ZAD will be tolerated. »

Atosca, the concessionaire designated by the State, believes it has the right since February 15 to resume tree cutting on the route. For the Way is free, the wood occupied by the zadists being of “strong environmental importance”, it can only be cleared between September 1 and October 15. Four associations thus filed an “environmental criminal summary” on February 9 with the Toulouse public prosecutor’s office to prohibit the resumption of land clearing.

On Friday, several associations, including Attac and the Human Rights League (LDH), denounced “excesses” by the police around the ZAD, accusing them in particular of depriving activists camping on the trees of any possibility of refueling. Contacted by Agence France-Presse, the prefecture did not wish to comment on this subject.