French police clash with eco-activists

French police battled Tuesday to evict anti-airport protesters and the creators of an alternative anti-capitalist settlement in western France during a second day of clashes.

Some 2,500 officers raided the decade-old camp at Notre-Dame-des-Landes on Monday, destroying makeshift buildings topped with corrugated iron, a giant tent, a watchtower, and a sheep shed and cheese-making area.

The assault in a wooded area near the city of Nantes has seen dozens of rounds of tear gas fired, as well as stun grenades, while the occupants and demonstrators have responded by throwing petrol bombs and rocks at the security forces.

Activists opposed to the building of an airport began squatting on the farmland in 2008 and have since built up a community they bill as a model of sustainable farming and political debate.

In January, the government scrapped plans for the airport and told the protesters to clear out by spring. (AFP)

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<p>A protester is about to throw a Molotov cocktail at riot forces as clashes erupt on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

A protester is about to throw a Molotov cocktail at riot forces as clashes erupt on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>French gendarmes charge during clashes with protesters during an evacuation operation in the zoned ZAD (Deferred Development Zone) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes, France, April 10, 2018. (Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

French gendarmes charge during clashes with protesters during an evacuation operation in the zoned ZAD (Deferred Development Zone) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes, France, April 10, 2018. (Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters)

<p>Protesters push the wreckage of a car to build barricade as clashes erupt with riot forces on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport. (Photo: Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

Protesters push the wreckage of a car to build barricade as clashes erupt with riot forces on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport. (Photo: Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A protester throws glass bottles at riot gendarme as clashes erupt on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport.<br> (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

A protester throws glass bottles at riot gendarme as clashes erupt on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport.
(Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A French gendarme stands behind a riot shield during a clash with ZAD activists to clear an area known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) of environmental protesters occupying the site of what had been a proposed new airport in Notre dame des Landes on April 9, 2018. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

A French gendarme stands behind a riot shield during a clash with ZAD activists to clear an area known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) of environmental protesters occupying the site of what had been a proposed new airport in Notre dame des Landes on April 9, 2018. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Tear gas floats in the air as protesters retreat and French gendarmes advance with an armoured vehicle during an evacuation operation in the zoned ZAD (Deferred Development Zone) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes, France, April 10, 2018. (Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

Tear gas floats in the air as protesters retreat and French gendarmes advance with an armoured vehicle during an evacuation operation in the zoned ZAD (Deferred Development Zone) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes, France, April 10, 2018. (Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters)

<p>Protesters gather on a road as French gendarmes advance with an armoured vehicle during clashes during an evacuation operation in the zoned ZAD (Deferred Development Zone) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes, France, April 10, 2018. (Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

Protesters gather on a road as French gendarmes advance with an armoured vehicle during clashes during an evacuation operation in the zoned ZAD (Deferred Development Zone) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes, France, April 10, 2018. (Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters)

<p>A protester stands in the rubble destroyed houses on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

A protester stands in the rubble destroyed houses on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An injured riot gendarme is helped by comrades when clashes erupt with protesters on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

An injured riot gendarme is helped by comrades when clashes erupt with protesters on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A protester collects canisters during clashes with French gendarmes as part of an evacuation operation in the zoned ZAD (Deferred Development Zone) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes, France, April 10, 2018. (Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

A protester collects canisters during clashes with French gendarmes as part of an evacuation operation in the zoned ZAD (Deferred Development Zone) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes, France, April 10, 2018. (Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters)

<p>A protester lies in the mud as French gendarmes form a barrier during an evacuation operation in the zoned ZAD (Deferred Development Zone) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes, France, April 9, 2018. (Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

A protester lies in the mud as French gendarmes form a barrier during an evacuation operation in the zoned ZAD (Deferred Development Zone) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near Nantes, France, April 9, 2018. (Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters)

<p>A protester hurls stone toward riot forces on April 10, 2018 on the second day of a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

A protester hurls stone toward riot forces on April 10, 2018 on the second day of a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A man pours water on a fellow protester’s face as riot forces use tear gas when clashes erupt on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport. (Photo: Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

A man pours water on a fellow protester’s face as riot forces use tear gas when clashes erupt on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport. (Photo: Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>French gendarmes clash with ZAD activists as they clear an area known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) of environmental protesters occupying the site of what had been a proposed new airport in Notre dame des Landes on April 9, 2018. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

French gendarmes clash with ZAD activists as they clear an area known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) of environmental protesters occupying the site of what had been a proposed new airport in Notre dame des Landes on April 9, 2018. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>French riot police officers stand guard during the eviction of environmental protesters from the site, known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) of what had been a proposed new airport in Notre dame des Landes on April 9, 2018. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

French riot police officers stand guard during the eviction of environmental protesters from the site, known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) of what had been a proposed new airport in Notre dame des Landes on April 9, 2018. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters clash with French anti-riot gendarmes during an operation to clear an area known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) of environmental protesters occupying the site of what had been a proposed new airport in Notre dame des Landes on April 10, 2018. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

Protesters clash with French anti-riot gendarmes during an operation to clear an area known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) of environmental protesters occupying the site of what had been a proposed new airport in Notre dame des Landes on April 10, 2018. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Riot gendarmes charge protesters when clashes erupt on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport.<br> (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

Riot gendarmes charge protesters when clashes erupt on April 10, 2018 during a police operation to raze the decade-old camp known as ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, near the western city of Nantes, and evict the last of the protesters who had refused to leave despite the government agreeing to ditch a proposed airport.
(Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Riot police officers stand guard as they protect the place named “Le Lama Fache” in the ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, western France. (Photo: Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

Riot police officers stand guard as they protect the place named “Le Lama Fache” in the ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, western France. (Photo: Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An aerial picture taken on April 6, 2018 shows the RN281 road crossing the ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, western France. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
French police clash with eco-activists

An aerial picture taken on April 6, 2018 shows the RN281 road crossing the ZAD (Zone a Defendre – Zone to defend) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, western France. (Photo: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

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