A69 project: law enforcement operation before a mobilization planned for this weekend

A squadron of mobile gendarmerie intervened, Friday February 9 at the beginning of the afternoon, in the Tarn near a camp of opponents of the future A69 project

A69 project: law enforcement operation before a mobilization planned for this weekend

A squadron of mobile gendarmerie intervened, Friday February 9 at the beginning of the afternoon, in the Tarn near a camp of opponents of the future A69 project.

Opponents of the Toulouse-Castres motorway project were busy preparing two days of mobilization planned for Saturday and Sunday, installing dry toilets and signage on private land, when a squadron of gendarmes deployed near the ZAD ( area to be defended) of Crém'arbre, in the town of Saïx, just outside Castres.

According to the organizers, the police wanted to disrupt “La Cabanade” in advance, the name of this mobilization which includes workshops, round tables and even concerts all weekend. The journalists from Agence France-Presse (AFP), having been able to approach to within twenty meters despite the gendarmerie system, witnessed two arrests as well as tear gas shots.

Around 5 p.m., the city's gendarmes and road services had cleared most of the pallets and other carts blocking the small road which borders the plot where the opponents are installed, close to the route of the motorway which will link Toulouse and Castres.

Prohibition order

“The police operation led by 102 gendarmes made it possible to dismantle the booby-trapped barricades installed, seize the various materials intended for the construction of huts and restore order,” explained the prefecture in a press release at the end of the day. -noon. Asked by AFP whether the gendarmes had accessed the wooded area located on this private plot, the prefecture responded in the negative. Shortly before the intervention of the police, the prefect of Tarn, Michel Vilbois, announced that he had “issued an order prohibiting demonstrations and gatherings” due to “risks of major disturbances to public order”. .

The activists already there, around a hundred according to a spokesperson, are “resisting”, according to messages posted on the Telegram network. An opponent denounced to the AFP a “brutal” intervention “in several waves, with the use of LBDs [bullet throwers] and stun grenades”. On the Telegram loops dedicated to the event, activists continued to call for mobilization this weekend.

A police source contacted by AFP estimates that "one hundred to two hundred people" could participate in the weekend mobilization, while the organizers are expecting between five hundred and a thousand people for this gathering which must be held in a nearby field. to demonstrators by a farmer, near a hay shed and a stable with a few cows.

The environmentalist deputy for Haute-Garonne Christine Arrighi, who had announced her intention to go to the “Cabanade”, told AFP that she was maintaining her planned visit on Sunday, despite the intervention of the gendarmes. Green MEP Caroline Roose could be present, as well as “media personalities” announced by the collective, without further details. The activist against global warming Greta Thunberg will also be present, says La Dépêche.

The A69 motorway project, which aims to open up a rural area according to its defenders, divides the political class and is strongly contested by environmental activists, who have mobilized several times in recent months along the route.