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 home and abroad celebrated from Thursday to Saturday in a small town in Brittany. When the police wanted to end the party, they were violently attacked – and initially evicted. Only on Saturday morning did the police have control of the event, the partygoers left the premises.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin wrote on the online service Twitter that the rave party in Lieuron, south of Rennes, was “ended without violence” on Saturday morning thanks to the numerous police officers on site and intensive controls. 1200 tickets were distributed. Generators, loudspeakers and a truck were therefore confiscated; the organizers of the party were sought.
Previously, the booming techno music of the party had been switched off and speakers and equipment dismantled, according to the responsible prefecture. The revelers then began to leave the premises. Shortly after ten o’clock the police brought the area under their control. According to the prefecture, the tickets were distributed for drug possession and violation of the corona rules.
Actually, the police wanted to break up the illegal party in two empty warehouses on Thursday evening, but according to the prefecture they were confronted with “violent hostility”. 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 emergency services withdrew.
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The following day, the police were posted at intersections near the party and kept newly arriving ravers from the driveway, as a photographer from the AFP news agency observed. Those who left the premises were “systematically” checked, according to the gendarmerie. A helicopter also circled over the area.
Many of the techno fans at the party reportedly did not wear masks and did not keep a safe distance. Helpers distributed disinfectant gel and masks to contain the risk of the coronavirus spreading. 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. More police officers arrived on Saturday morning to gradually tighten security. When they arrived at the hangars, they woke up the last sleeping ravers to check them.
Corona rapid test center established for party guests
In the online service Twitter, the responsible prefecture announced on Saturday that a corona rapid test center had been set up in front of the Lieuron sports hall. “You have risked your life, your health; now we have to protect the people around you,” it said.
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. In total, almost 64,800 people have died from or with the virus in France since the pandemic began; more than 2.6 million people have become infected.
In order to contain the corona virus, the nationwide night curfew has been in effect in particularly affected areas since Saturday from 6 p.m., in all other regions nobody is allowed out of the house from 8 p.m. (AFP)