Police attempting to shut down an underground, curfew-busting New Year’s Eve party that drew at least 2,500 people in western France were attacked by ravers who torched one police vehicle and injured officers with volleys of bottles and stones.
Hundreds of vehicles started converging on a hangar in Lieuron, Brittany, on Thursday night to party into the new year, the regional government said on Friday. It said police were attacked when they tried to stop ravers from installing their party gear.
On Friday morning, 2,500 ravers from France and abroad were still partying, circled by a reinforced police presence, the regional government said.
Prosecutors were considering an array of possible criminal charges. The party took place despite France’s 8pm to 6am nationwide curfew aimed at dissuading public gatherings during the pandemic.
Party-goers, however, appealed for understanding after months of nightlife-destroying lockdowns and curfews designed to limit coronavirus infections.
A volunteer with an aid group that was distributing masks, anti-virus gel and health advice inside the techno party said ravers needed to let loose. He said ravers were trying to stay safe by not sharing joints or drinks. Their group, Techno+, was advising partygoers to self-isolate for a week and then get tested after attending the rave. The group also said the disused hangar was airy and well ventilated.
France has reported more than 64,000 virus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.