Ten days after their forced evacuation of a wood near Bure (Meuse), hundreds of opponents of the project of burying the nuclear waste met Saturday calmly, in spite of a prohibition of demonstration decided by the authorities.
In the morning, about 300 protesters, according to the police, walked between Bure and Mandres-en-Barrois, commune where the Lejuc wood is evacuated on February 22nd. The police control around these two communes.
In Mandres-en-Barrois, where opponents of all ages held meetings in a barn, the situation remained very calm, noted a journalist from AFP. Some had hoods or face hidden behind masks.
At a nearby window, a red banner said: "Limit of work area, do not cross."
The official program of the event provides for discussions and debates between the different committees of opponents, a march towards the evacuated forest, as well as the construction of a "lookout" on land lent to the edge of the wood. A press conference of the opponents must take place at 13:00.
The prefect of the Meuse Muriel Nguyen in Bar-le-Duc February 22, 2018 (AFP / Archives – JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN)
The prefecture of the Meuse had on Thursday night a decree prohibiting "any demonstration" Saturday and Sunday in the sector, because from the perspective of "serious disturbances to public order"
A ban that decided to override the opponents of this project called Cigeo, who had planned since the beginning of the year a large gathering in Bure this first weekend of March.
The prefect of the Meuse, Muriel Nguyen, said Friday that "more than 700 opponents (were) expected" Saturday and Sunday, of which "a significant number" presents a "extremely worrying profile"
"There is a high risk of clashes with the police stationed on the edge of the woods ", given" the hard-line nature of some of the opponents "and" the motto to reinvest "the area, had argued the prefect. 19659002] – Referred dismissed –
Other prefectural decrees also prohibited traffic and parking at Bure and Mandres-en-Barrois, until Monday included. The nuclear opponents had filed an appeal against this ban, but the administrative court of Nancy rejected Saturday morning, said the Network Out of the Nuclear.
"In view of the military device deployed to impede the holding of these meetings we strongly denounce the strategy of the tension put in place by the authorities and dread the consequences of a repression which seems to be already planned ", reacted the network opposed to the nuclear one.
Gendarmes during the evacuation of the opponents to the project d burying nuclear waste, the commune of Bure, in the Meuse, on February 22, 2018 (AFP / Archives – JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN)
February 22 at dawn, an evacuation operation surp Rally, mobilizing 500 gendarmes and helicopters, had been launched to evacuate fifteen opponents installed in the wood Lejuc. This forest was chosen by the National Agency for the Management of Radioactive Waste (Andra) to carry out exploratory drilling before submitting an application for a formal authorization to create the nuclear waste storage site, a priori in 2019.
The large-scale police operation was launched to prevent opponents from carrying out their plans to install permanent buildings in the wood, which would have turned it into a Zad ("area to defend") ) in the image of Notre-Dame-des-Landes in Loire-Atlantique
Since the evacuation, gendarmes continue to monitor the wood.
The Bure site was chosen in 1998 to accommodate an underground laboratory that is to prepare for the burial 500 meters underground of the most radioactive or long-lived nuclear waste in the French park. But this project is still in its infancy and no radioactive waste is still on the spot.
"I am at the disposal of all the legal opponents to constantly improve the project and the associated consultation tools" , insisted on Friday the Secretary of State for Ecological Transition, Sébastien Lecornu, which separates "legal opponents" and those he calls "delinquents."
Since the launch of the Bure project, the protests opponents have multiplied and legal remedies have been filed to prevent the start of work. In August, clashes had left six injured among the opposition and two among the gendarmes.