In Rennes, the CRS 8 is instructed to “clear the ground” – Rennes
All weekend, in Rennes, meetings in the prefecture were linked. No question of reliving the same evening as Thursday March 16, when 700 demonstrators, including 300 radicals, swept through the city center of Rennes, provoking violent clashes with the police, attacking businesses, destroying street furniture and attempting to set fire to the door of the town hall. Result: following the outcry, particularly political, the Minister of the Interior dispatched the CRS 8, a unit specializing in urban violence in Rennes. “They had a very clear watchword: that of clearing the ground, explains a trade unionist from FO police. They must protect the historic center and prevent breakage, prevent groups from having time to destroy. »
And on the ground, it shows. Monday evening, while around 500 young activists wandered the streets of Rennes, attacking real estate agencies and street furniture and lighting garbage can fires, the 65 police officers of the CRS 8 were extremely present. They pushed the demonstrators out of the historic center, towards Place Charles-de-Gaulle. For this, they used techniques that had not been observed until now: it was by running and yelling at the demonstrators that the members of the CRS 8 chased away the radical militants.
Monday evening, they also used a trap for 20 minutes, even if the term is refuted by the police. A practice supervised by the Council of State and that Le Télégramme was able to observe. The device was carried out without excessive pressure. The technique made it possible to split the procession. The most radical left by taking a small staircase overlooking the Colombier slab and the rest of the troop, young people who followed, were surrounded for about twenty minutes. Result: the group lost momentum.
Command from the field
Another change, the command of the CRS 8 is from the field. The police do not wait for orders from the command room… It is the leaders who run on the ground with their men and who control the actions, step by step, equipped with a large radio. Not hesitating to shout their orders.
In form too, the CRS 8 is also closer to the demonstrators. The police stand two meters away, without fear. This was the case on Tuesday evening. One downside, however, the Rennes activists present were young and there were few violent elements. How do CRS 8 police officers behave with more radical profiles? That is the question. Because when the attack is given, they do not hesitate to expel the demonstrators manu militari.
Wednesday, a demonstration of fishermen is planned in the Breton capital. Thursday will be the return of protesters against pension reform. “The CRS 8 should stay in Rennes at least for the fishermen’s demonstration, blows a law enforcement specialist. But as it depends directly on the Minister of the Interior, we will not know until the last moment. »
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