Connect to share and comment
This happened over the weekend and it wasn't in Ukraine, Thailand or Venezuela
Monday, February 24th, 2014

Agence France Presse — Tens of thousands of opponents of an airport project turned out in Nantes on Saturday for a protest which degenerated into violent clashes between several hundred of them and riot police.

Scores of shop windows were smashed by masked black-clad rioters hurling paving stones, bottles and flares while the police responded with volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets.

France's prime minister on Monday moved to heal tensions within the Socialist-Green government coalition which surfaced following the violent weekend protest over the airport he has championed.

The Socialist premier, Jean-Marc Ayrault, had on Sunday accused leaders of the Green EELV party of adopting an ambiguous stance towards clashes which devastated the center of the Atlantic port of Nantes on Saturday evening.

As a former mayor of Nantes, Ayrault has been a leading advocate of the project, which is being fiercely resisted by an army of eco warriors who have occupied parts of a site they regard as a valuable wetland environment and a haven for wildlife.

Nantes france airport protest feb. 22 2014 1
1

Protesters stand near a fire as they clash with French riot police during on Feb. 22, 2014, in Nantes, western France, during a demonstration against a project to build an international airport in the French western city of Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

(JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD - AFP/Getty Images)
Nantes france airport protest feb. 22 2014 2
2

Protesters clash with French riot police on Feb. 22, 2014, in Nantes, western France, after a demonstration against the project to build an international airport in the French western city of Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

(JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD - AFP/Getty Images)
Nantes france airport protest feb. 22 2014 3
3

A protester lays on the ground in front of a member of the French riot police on Feb. 22, 2014, in Nantes, western France, after a demonstration against the project to build an international airport in the French western city of Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

(JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD - AFP/Getty Images)
Nantes france airport protest feb. 22 2014 4
4

Protesters clash with French riot police on Feb. 22, 2014, in Nantes, western France, after a demonstration against the project to build an international airport in the French western city of Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

(JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD - AFP/Getty Images)
Nantes france airport protest feb. 22 2014 5
5

French riot police clash with protesters on Feb. 22, 2014, in Nantes, western France, after a demonstration against the project to build an international airport in the French western city of Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

(FRANK PERRY - AFP/Getty Images)
Nantes france airport protest feb. 22 2014 6
6

Protesters face French riot police on Feb. 22, 2014, in Nantes, western France, during a demonstration against the project to build an international airport in the French western city of Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

(FRANK PERRY - AFP/Getty Images)
Indonesia ramadan 2014 3
It's a lovely thing when shared traditions unite so many different people.
Organizers will now submit their claim for a new record to Guinness World Records, which is expected to rule on it within two months.
Hong kong tiananmen vigil 3
A large number of mainland Chinese also flocked to commemorate the crackdown in the former British territory, where a vigil has been held every year since the massacre.