Despite the curfew, the participants celebrated exuberantly in Brittany. When the French police broke up the event, violent clashes broke out.
Around 2,500 people celebrated Thursday night at an illegal New Year’s Eve party in western France. The participants came from different regions of France and from abroad, announced the prefecture of the Ille-et-Vilaine département in Brittany on Friday. When the party tried to break up in the city of Lieuron south of Rennes, violent riots broke out on Thursday evening. The public prosecutor’s office started an investigation.
In France, there was also a curfew between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. on New Year’s Eve to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further. However, when the police arrived at the party on Thursday in an empty warehouse, they were faced with “violent hostility,” according to a statement from the officials.
Police car set on fire
Party guests threw stones and bottles at the police; some security guards were slightly injured. One police car was set on fire and three others damaged. On Friday morning, a lot of ravers danced to techno music in the hall, as a journalist from the AFP news agency observed. Security guards distributed disinfectant gel and masks.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had previously announced that 132,000 police officers would be deployed in the country over New Year’s Eve to monitor compliance with the curfew. The number of new infections with the coronavirus within 24 hours was around 20,000 in France on Thursday, according to the French authorities.