Protests in Nantes. After Violent Clashes, Justice hits Hard

Local News
Justice was swift, with the courts in Nantes handing out four prison sentences on Friday

Prison sentences with immediate imprisonment were handed down against four protesters after Thursday’s excesses during the event.

Forty-one people arrested.  Twenty-six others in custody.  Among them, seven men, aged 18 to 45, were immediately tried at an emergency hearing convened late Friday afternoon.  The prosecutor of Nantes wanted to mark the occasion after the excesses of the demonstration against the labour law on Thursday in Nantes. The court agreed with his opinion condemning four people, including three first-time offenders to prison.

“To let off steam”

The first to appear was originally from Algeria and only arrived in early March with members of his family to join his brother at Nantes.  Since then, the 18 year old is bored, unable to find any work or an opportunity to learn French.  On Thursday, not knowing what to do with his day, he joined the protest at around 2pm, well after the end of the parade.  Seeing a disruptive section of protestors at the esplanade of the island of Machinery, throwing projectiles at police, he decided to do the same, “to let off steam” he explains via his translator.  “I have no one to advise me. I did like everyone else.”  The prosecutor requested a month in prison with immediate imprisonment against the accused 18 years old. The court agreed and sentanced him.

“Party in a frenzy”

Two cousins, living in Bouguenais, were also found guilty on Friday.  One is 23 years old, unemployed and the other, who is 18 years old, was about to get a job as a maintenance agent. Both have spent part of their childhood in care and are unknown to the justice department. Thursday, they came to the event after having crossed the street, “by chance”.  At 8pm in the Quartier Bouffay, with a small group of individuals, they attack the police, smash a tram and set fire to a trash can. “I had gone into a frenzy with other people, then I continued, says the elder. Regarding the police, they threw stones from a distance, because we are fed up with the police.”  The court has responded with force and sentenced them both to two months in prison.  They were taken immediately after the judgement to the cells.  Later in the evening, a young man of 26, from Vallet, was given one month imprisonment with two-month suspended sentence and probation.  A 20 year old from the Morbihan region was sentenced to a citizenship course for contempt and rebellion. Two other defendants will be tried later.

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