Some groups of protesters forced the perimeter fences of the works on Saturday. In response, the riot police attacked the citizens by launching tear gas, generating events that ended with at least 30 people injured and 6 citizens arrested.
Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau said the dam project is legal, criticized protesters calling them "black blocks", and downplayed the number of people in the demonstrations.
The images posted on social networks, however, show otherwise. The trigger for the protest was the plan to dig a reservoir for irrigation that would be filled during the winter.
The tweet reads, "After a walk of more than an hour through the fields, which was punctuated by some violent clashes, one of the processions managed to enter the basin crater at Sainte Soline."
More specifically, the authorities allowed the construction of 16 reservoirs with a capacity of 650,000 cubic meters each, which would benefit some 400 farmers in the region.
"To protect a hole in the ground, intended to hoard water from a water table for a handful of agribusiness companies, the police were willing to kill," outlet Contre Attaque commented, reporting that dozens of tear gas were thrown at protesters on Saturday.
“The first injuries we had to attend to were contusions to the head from rubber bullets and more or less serious injuries to the legs caused by shrapnel from grenades. We also treated people with baton injuries," a physician told Rebellyon, which also reported that many people had deep wounds that required stitches.