The anger and doubts fuelling France's oil refinery protests


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“It was 4.30 a.m., there were still a good 200 of us on the picket line, and the mobile [police] units charged without any warning. We were given the full works: tear-gas grenades, Flash-Balls [rubber rounds], water cannons...” says Yann Manneval, the secretary of the local branch of the CGT trade union and also one of the pickets outside the oil refinery at Fos-sur-Mer in the south of France. Manneval was recalling the police intervention on Tuesday May 24th to clear the two barricades erected in front of the refinery and oil depot, all under the watchful eye of police drones and a helicopter. It was “extremely violent” confirms another CGT official, Emmanuel Lépine, the federal secretary of the oil branch of the union.