The Minister of the Interior declared at a press conference “to have a thought for the two men who have their vital prognosis engaged in Sainte-Soline”.
Shortly before, a source familiar with the matter had claimed that a second protester was in a coma, confirming information from BFMTV.
According to a woman presented as the mother of this protester and questioned by the chain in front of the CHU of Poitiers, “Michael, 34 years old”, was in the process of “being operated on the brain”. “He’s not black bloc or anything,” she added.
For Mr. Darmanin, the police faced “an unprecedented surge of violence from armed, violent individuals” who “planned to injure or kill gendarmes”.
The head of La France Insoumise Jean-Luc Mélenchon accused the Minister of the Interior “of organizing the disorder” and affirmed that Emmanuel Macron, in the context of his pension reform, “amplified” the violence.
Mr. Darmanin in return accused Mr. Mélenchon “of pushing chaos”.
The gathering on the site of one of the 16 water reserves planned locally for irrigating farmers with state support attracted 30,000 people according to the organizers, 6,000 according to the authorities.
These works, disputed by their opponents as a “grabbing” of water by agribusiness, embody the growing tensions around the sharing of this resource in the era of climate change.
A first man suffering from a head trauma had been hospitalized on Saturday.
The vital prognosis of this 32-year-old Toulousain “is still engaged”, Niort prosecutor Julien Wattebled said on Monday.
According to him, the two other people admitted on Saturday in absolute emergency, a 19-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man, are “still hospitalized”.
The organizers of the demonstration – the Confédération paysanne, the collective of associations Bassines non merci and the environmental movement Les Uprisings of the Earth – assured them Monday in a press release that one of these three demonstrators, “touched the trachea “, was “again in serious condition with his vital prognosis engaged”.
They reaffirmed that 200 protesters had been injured, at least 40 of them seriously.
The prosecutor, who had counted seven injured demonstrators taken care of on Saturday, indicated that other people had “presented themselves spontaneously in hospitals in other departments”.
Since Saturday, demonstrators and elected officials accuse the police of having delayed the treatment of the injured.
“No, the police did not prevent the emergency services from intervening, it was the gendarmes and the emergency services who were prevented from intervening by certain thugs”, reacted Gérald Darmanin.
The Samu79 assured Monday that it had not “been obstructed” in the exercise of its functions.
The Niort prosecutor’s office reported 47 injured among the 3,200 gendarmes mobilized. Two gendarmes hospitalized on Saturday in absolute emergency “left the hospital”, said Mr. Wattebled.
The gendarmes assured that they had made “proportionate use of force, using massive tear gas”, de-encirclement grenades, as well as LBD fire “in moments of great tension”.
“No weapon of war was used by the police, only intermediate weapons. declared Mr. Darmanin.
However, he acknowledged on Monday evening that orders had “not been fully respected”, in the program C à vous on France 5. “For example, these quads used to send tear gas canisters to repel people. There are had two LBD launchers (defense ball launcher). It is totally prohibited. These gendarmes will be suspended”, he assured.
On Sunday, the League for Human Rights denounced “an immoderate and indiscriminate use of force on all those present”, referring in particular to LBD 40 shots from moving quads.