Several thousand demonstrators turned out in Larzac, southern France, during the weekend to protest against the expansion of a nearby military base.
GV Demonstrators gathered in field. (2 shots)
SV AND GV Tractors leading demonstration. (6 shots)
GV Demonstrators with banners walking in field. (2 shots)
GV Demonstrators walking across field with banners and flags. (5 shots)
Initials VS 3.15
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Several thousand demonstrators turned out in Larzac, southern France, during the weekend to protest against the expansion of a nearby military base.
SYNOPSIS: The demonstrators came from all over north-western Europe, including Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Belgium.
They came to support a protest by local farmers against French government plans to expand a nearby military base. The area is used for sheep farming and the farmers say they will lose their livelihood if the expansion scheme goes through.
The demonstrators... led by many farmers driving tractors... walked more than two miles from Larzac to the perimeter of the military base. Local officials also took part in the demonstration.
The marked absence of any heavy police contingents prevented violent confrontations which have marked such demonstrations in France recently. The bright and warm weather gave the demonstration an almost festive air and many protesters even took along their own picnic lunches which they ate in the fields in the bright sunshine while listening to various speakers. Many leading European ecologists were amongst the thousands of demonstrators who took part in the march.