Sixty ultra-right activists who came Saturday to Saint-Brévin-les-Pins (Loire-Atlantique) "for an action against the holding" of a symposium on the reception of exiles were spotted by the gendarmerie. "Six police custody are currently underway for carrying a weapon by destination and participating in a gathering for an undeclared demonstration," said a source close to the case.
The prefecture of Loire-Atlantique reported at the end of the day seven arrests.
The symposium, organized by four associations, took place Saturday under high surveillance because of the tensions surrounding the relocation of the reception center for asylum seekers (Cada) of the commune.
Throughout the day, gendarmerie cars framed access to the site where this symposium, entitled "Welcoming exiles. What for? How?", and controlled nearby vehicles.
The gendarmerie checked more than 550 vehicles, according to the prefecture.
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On Friday, the town hall had issued a municipal decree prohibiting demonstrations around the site of the conference, the town hall and the future Cada.
The swimming pool and cinema located near the room where the conference was held had been closed for the day, by decision of the prefecture.
It had also authorized the use of surveillance drones for the day.
Far-right demonstrations had followed one another in Saint-Brévin, a quiet seaside resort, since the officialization, at the end of 2021, of the transfer of a reception center for asylum seekers (Cada), which already existed in the commune.
The year it opened, in 2016, the center was shot at with rifles.
The city's former mayor, Yannick Morez, resigned in May after facing threats from the far right.
The attacks culminated last March with the burning of two of the mayor's vehicles in front of his home, whose facade was also hit by flames.