Mobilisation contre les méga-bassines les 25 mars 2023, à Sainte-Soline. Crédit : Bertrand Sinssaine
Mobilisation contre les méga-bassines les 25 mars 2023, à Sainte-Soline. Crédit : Bertrand Sinssaine
Communiqué de presse4 avril 2023

We condemn the repression and use of force against environmental and social movements in France

We, civil society organizations, want to express our support for the people injured during the mobilization against the giant water-reservoir in Sainte-Soline, France, on March 25th. Our thoughts are with all the protestors who mobilized to defend fair access to water and who found themselves caught up in scenes of violence.

Our respective organizations wish to recall that they are firmly opposed to any form of violence in their actions and that they condemn this violence as soon as it is expressed. The results of the violences during this weekend of mobilization are unbearable. Nearly 200 people have been injured, 2 people are in life-threatening conditions, several have been maimed and seriously injured. 4000 GM2 tear gas grenades were fired by the police in the 2 hours of confrontations.

Several of our organizations supported the call for this mobilization as well as previous rallies against the giant water-reservoirs because we believe that the grabbing of water resources is an injustice, which will only cause  division in our society. It is a false solution that is not adapted to the long term agricultural problems we face. It is a typical example of « maladaptation » to climate change. The legality of these megabasins is questionable, as many prefectural authorisations for their building have been canceled by the courts. We call for the respect of legal decisions, and the rule of law.

We condemn the use of violence by the French State in the repression of environmental and social movements, in Sainte-Soline as in the demonstrations against the pension reform. The right to demonstrate is a pillar of democracy, and the construction of an ecological society will not happen without the mobilization of citizens. Our disagreements must not turn into conflicts and we expect the police to calmly enforce the right to demonstrate.

The repression of ecological and social movements in France has been intensifying for several years. The Ligue des droits de l’homme calls for a halt to this repressive escalation, which is « alarming for our democracy ». The UN Rapporteurs on the Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and on the Environmental defenders, the Human rights commissioner from the Council of Europe, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also expressed their concerns. Whistleblowers, associations, and citizens who mobilize non-violently have always been a means of progress in the history of our societies. Their right to mobilize, peacefully, deserves to be respected. We call on French President Emmanuel Macron and his government to engage a democratic and peaceful debate with citizens and civil society.


ActionAid France
Agir pour l’Environnement
Alofa Tuvalu
Alternatiba Paris
Amis de la Terre France
ANV Cop 21
France Nature Environnement
Greenpeace France
La Voix Lycéenne
MAN (Mouvement pour une alternative non violente)
Notre affaire à tous
Oxfam France
Reclaim Finance
Réseau Action Climat
Union syndicale Solidaires
Virage Energie
WECF France
Zero Waste France


AbibiNsroma Foundation (Ghana)
Amigos de la Tierra España
BUNDjugend / Young Friends of the Earth Germany
Climate Action Network Europe (CAN Europe)
CAN International
CAN Latin America (CANLA)
Center for Biological Diversity (USA)
Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos « Segundo Montes Mozo SJ » (CSMM) (Ecuador)
Clean Air Action Group (Hungary)
COECOceiba / Amigos de la Tierra Costa Rica
Diálogo 2000-Jubileo Sur Argentina
Ecologistas en Acción (Espagne)
eco-union (Espagne)
FIAN International
FIAN Switzerland
Food & Water Action Europe
Friends of the Earth Australia
Friends of the Earth Bosnia and Herzegovina/Center for Environment
Friends of the Earth Cyprus
Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Friends of the Earth Europe
Friends of the Earth Georgia
Friends of the Earth International
Friends of the Earth Japan
Friends of the Earth Malta
In Difesa Di, per i diritti umani e chi li difende (Italy)
JA!Justiça Ambiental / Friends of the Earth Mozambique
Jordens Vänner / Friends of the Earth Sweden
Korean Federation of Environmental Movement (KFEM) / Friends of the Earth North Korea
Ligue Haitienne des Droits de l’Homme
MOCASE MNCI CLOC La Via Campesina (Argentina)
Mouvement pour une Agricuture Paysanne et Citoyenne (MAPC) (Switzerland)
NOAH – Friends of the Earth Denmark
Otros Mundos Chiapas/Amigos de la Tierra México
PAPDA (Haïti)
Pro Natura / Friends of the Earth Switzerland
REDES / Amigos de la Tierra Uruguay
SOS Faim (Luxembourg)
Zelena akcija/Friends of the Earth Croatia