The Lafarge plant was stormed by up to 200 activists, who caused significant damage to facilities, vehicles and buildings
A cement factory belonging to the Lafarge company in Bouc-Bel-Air, France, has reportedly suffered significant damage after a group of eco activists trashed the facility, citing air pollution concerns. According to French news broadcaster BFM TV, up to 200 people stormed the property late Saturday.
The attackers, who call themselves the ‘Action Lafarge’ group, reportedly used a number of methods to damage the factory, such as sabotaging incinerators, electrical systems and devices, cutting cables, spilling bags of cement, damaging vehicles and construction equipment, breaking windows and spraying graffiti.
“Here in Bouc-Bel-Air, the ovens that have been targeted, long fed by industrial waste and tires, are now a symbol of greenwashing. The air pollution is considerable and has been repeatedly denounced by all the press and local residents. However, the chimneys still spew their venom,” the group wrote in a press release, calling Lafarge one of the largest “polluters and producers of CO2 in the country.” The group vowed to “continue to dismantle” Lafarge’s infrastructure in order to put an end to “colonial eco-capitalism.”
Francois Petry, general manager of the cement manufacturer, has denied the allegations of polluting and instead called the facility a “state-of-the-art factory” in the field of carbon-free materials. He noted that the recent attack not only hindered local operations, but weakened the progressive approach across the entire industry.
The damage may force the company to suspend operations for the next several weeks, the mayor of Bouc-Bel-Air, Richard Mallie, told BFMTV. Meanwhile, the French gendarmerie has been charged with leading the investigation. Some 40 soldiers have been deployed to secure the area, but as of yet no arrests have been made.
The attack comes as eco activists in the West have stepped up their activities this year. A number have been involved in clashes with police, with a mob of some 4,000 people clashing with gendarmes in Sainte-Soline in October. Others have chosen less violent, but equally disruptive measures, such as sit-ins on public roads, and gluing themselves to highways and airport tarmacs. Some groups have chosen to target works of art and have splashed paint on priceless paintings in museums across Europe.
December 13, 2022 at 08:27PM