Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest grassroots environmental organisation, expresses its solidarity with the protestors against the Testet Dam and sends its condolences to the family and friends of Rémi Fraisse, who died during the protests. We demand an immediate investigation into the events leading to Rémi Fraisse’s death.
On Saturday October 25, thousands of opponents of the Testet dam gathered in the Sivens forest, France, to protest against this unnecessary and unwanted infrastructure project. The protesters in Testet were met with a massive police presence that – according to several witnesses – fired into the crowd. It is highly likely that this was the cause of the tragic death of a 21 year old man, Rémi Fraisse.
Friends of the Earth International offers its condolences to the parents and friends of Rémi and demands that this event be thoroughly investigated.
A large number of demonstrators had gathered over the weekend for a legitimate protest against the destruction of the environment. A handful of industrial agriculture companies are acting for the benefit of the few and to the detriment of the wider community – grabbing land and subsidies, depleting and polluting water sources, and imposing over-sized dams at the expense of wetlands. Although they are acting unlawfully by not obeying water protection orders, they are protected by political powers and with the support of the police. We further condemn the worrying and dangerous global trend of militarisation of police forces and their use to prevent and stop civil protests in defence of corporate interests. Police should protect people not kill them.
We demand the Testet dam project, which has already been described as over-sized and damaging by a French Ministry of Environment report, be abandoned once and for all, and that the land which has been harmed be returned to its original state.
The world’s attention will be focused on France as the hosts of the UN climate conference “COP21” at the end of 2015. We offer our support to the groups – including Friends of the Earth France – who are protesting across France to express their grief and solidarity, and to demand that justice is done.