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Tens of Thousands in France Say No New Airport!

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Saturday's protest against the airport in Nantes. (Photo via Twitter: Stéphane Vernay ‏@StephaneVernay)Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in the western France city of Nantes on Saturday, fighting a new airport they say will cause environmental destruction and fly in the face of President Hollande's promises of a "green transition."

The new airport, described as a pet project of Prime Minister and ex-mayor of Nantes Jean-Marc Ayrault, has been contested for decades.

Among those present at Saturday's protest were farmers, including hundreds of tractors, environmentalists, trade union members, and those described as being "radicals." That fringe group was blamed for acts of violence during the protest, and was hit with water cannons and tear gas by police.

Construction is expected to start this year.

This tractor was ready for the protest with the placard, 'Vegetables not bitumen.' (Photo via Twitter: Mathieu Courgeau ‏@MathieuCourgea)