Saturday, January 02, 2021
Police evicted by force
2500 ravers are still partying
Illegal parties despite the ban on contact were reported on New Year’s Eve. One event in Brittany, however, overshadows all others. Several thousand ravers celebrate in a warehouse – for days, without masks or distance. The police fail to end the event.
In the west of France, an illegal New Year’s Eve party with around 2500 participants got completely out of hand: Despite Corona requirements and curfew, ravers from different regions of France and from abroad celebrated in a small town in Brittany. When the police wanted to end the party, they were violently attacked – and evicted. The raver party with techno music is still going on. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin called a special meeting about the situation.
When the police wanted to break up the illegal party in an empty warehouse in Lieuron south of Rennes on Thursday evening, they were faced with “violent hostility,” according to the prefecture of the Ille-et-Vilaine department in Brittany. During the riots, a police vehicle was set on fire and three others were damaged. There were bottles and stones thrown, officials were slightly injured.
The police have been posted at intersections near the party since Friday and kept newly arriving partygoers from the driveway. According to the gendarmerie, those who left the premises were “systematically” checked and more than 200 tickets were distributed. A helicopter had also flown over the area during the day.
“Shame on our country”
Many of the techno fans at the party didn’t wear masks and didn’t keep a safe distance. Helpers distributed disinfectant gel and masks to contain the risk of the coronavirus spreading. One raver reported that the party should last until Saturday – others even went from Tuesday. The MP Florian Bachelier from the region spoke of a “shame for our country”.
The public prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into the violent clashes. Interior Minister Darmanin wanted to discuss in Paris on Friday evening at a meeting on how to restore a “normal situation”, as he wrote on the Twitter online service.
An illegal party was also broken up in Marseille on New Year’s Eve – according to the authorities, 300 people had attended the party. The security forces found almost 120 celebrants in an empty hangar in the Seine-et-Marne region east of Paris.
A further massive increase in corona infections is feared in France. On Friday, the number of new infections within 24 hours was again around 20,000. Now the nightly curfew imposed to contain the coronavirus in France, which also applied on New Year’s Eve, is to begin in particularly affected areas from Saturday at 6 p.m. and not at 8 p.m.