Several hundred people gathered in front of the Niort prefecture in western France to condemn police violence after last weekend’s demonstration against the installation of a water reservoir in Sainte-Soline, which left nearly 200 people injured.
Two protesters are currently in a coma, including a 32-year-old man who was reportedly hit in the head by a tear gas grenade fired by police. His parents have filed a report of attempted murder.
The police have also been accused of preventing ambulances from reaching the injured.
Authorities say police faced unprecedented violence from the protesters, who, they claim, came armed with Molotov cocktails and fireworks.
The demonstration was aimed at preventing the construction of a water reservoir that local authorities say is necessary to ensure farmers can continue to produce crops. Protesters say it amounts to the monopolization of water resources by commercial interests.