France: ‘I have to be optimistic’ – Loire-Atlantique Prefect discusses operation to evict ZAD

Prefect for the Loire-Atlantique region, Nicole Klein, gave an interview on Saturday, in Nantes, following the announced end of the police operation to evice the ZAD (Zone a Defendre).

Speaking about the tense eviction process, which saw squatters clash with gendarmes, Klein stated, “They act violently and the gendarmes respond violently. But I think you really have to be sure of who began. I mean, some people are really living there but I think of lot of them – we think 400 people – just don’t live there and came with the purpose of violence.”

Considering the future of the occupied land, Klein implied that she believed the occupation would have to come to an end, “I have to be optimistic, of how people get into the process. And I don’t think you can live forever this way. And some people say that. Just say who they are, what they want to do and live peacefully. So, I believe in peace more than in war.”

2500 gendarmes were deployed and 29 squats were evacuated and destroyed during a five day operation. Klein stated that some gendarmes will remain on site, warning, “If people don’t enter the process of regularisation, they’ll come back.”

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