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French protesters clash with police over festival death

The death of a young man following police intervention at a live music event in Nantes, France, has sparked public outcry

By Anna Grace on 05 Aug 2019

Protests over French festival death

A Fête de la musique event in Paris

image © CCI - Julien Mouffron-Gardner

Police have clashed with the public in Nantes, France, during demonstrations in protest of the death of a festivalgoer in June.

The clashes erupted during a rally for Steve Maia Caniço on Saturday (3 August). Caniço died after falling into the Loire river when police raided an open-air techno concert.

The event, one of more than 4,000 free concerts making up the nationwide Fête de la Musique, or Music Day in English, was subject to police intervention as music “had exceeded the set time limit”.

Witnesses say officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to break up the live music event. An inquiry into Caniço’s death found no link to the police raid.

Witnesses say officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to break up the live music event

On Saturday, around 500 people gathered in the streets of Nantes to pay tribute to the deceased festivalgoer. A later demonstration, named “for Steve and against police violence”, led to clashes with police officers.

According to Ouest France, 33 people were detained in relation to the protest.

Fête de la Musique is an annual celebration of music encouraging people to put on live music events in public places. Originating in France in 1982, the celebration now takes place in countries all over the world.


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