Clashes in Nantes as French police use tear gas on protesters following silent march

3 Aug, 2019

French police used water cannon and tear gas on a crowd of demonstrators following a silent march in commemoration of a man who was found dead this week after going missing during a police raid on a music festival last month.

Protesters took to the streets for a ‘Justice for Steve’ march in Nantes city center on Saturday following the discovery of Steve Maia Canico’s body on Tuesday. As well as holding a silent vigil, the crowd also chanted slogans denouncing French President Emmanuel Macron.

Tensions escalated during the march and the police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Demonstrators used street furniture to create makeshift barricades and these were later set on fire. The police said that 1,700 people took part in the demonstration and 33 arrests were made.

Canico, a 24-year-old who organized extra-curricular activities for children, went missing when police used violence to break up a late-night, open-air techno concert in June. More than a dozen people fell into the Loire river during the raid. Canico’s body was found by a boatman this week. He was identified by reference to his necklaces and his shoe.

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