France: Tear gas, tension as Hollande opens museum

AP News
Posted: May 30, 2014 9:16 AM

PARIS (AP) — French police have lobbed tear gas to break up a demonstration of angry farmers who stole the show from President Francois Hollande as he opened an art museum in southern France.

The protest Friday by the militant Confederation Paysanne was a reaction to the arrest two days earlier of five of its members in northern France for dismantling part of a huge dairy farm under construction there. The group opposes the farm, saying it will hurt small farmers.

The group claimed that they detained Hollande's agriculture aide, Philippe Vincent, for several hours during the inauguration of the museum in southern France's Rodez. Hollande's office said Vincent met with farmers but was "absolutely not held" against his will.

There were no arrests and no comment from Hollande Friday.