French police shut down rave party defying COVID-19 restrictions

PARIS: Several hundred French police on Saturday shut down an illegal rave party in northwestern France that had been underway since New Year’s Eve in defiance of a curfew and coronavirus restrictions on large gatherings, officials said.

About 2,500 revellers from across France and abroad attended the rave in a disused warehouse in Lieuron, near Rennes, and some clashed with police soon after the party kicked off on Thursday evening.

The clashes prompted police to wait for reinforcements to be deployed before moving in to put an end to the party, Emmanuel Berthier, head of the Ille-et-Vilaine prefecture, told reporters.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter that more than 1,200 party-goers were issued with penalty notices as they left the site, adding that the event’s organisers were being identified and would be prosecuted.

About 800 of the revellers were sanctioned for attending an illegal party, breaking curfew and not wearing masks, and the rest were mostly issued notices for using illegal drugs, Berthier said. - Reuters