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France: Fish found dead after environmental activists dyed river for protest

A member of Extinction Rebellion poured large amounts of fluorescein to give the river a green color in the city of Colmar. The mayor assured that dozens of fish have appeared dead on the banks of the Lauch.

Un pez muerto.


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A new controversy in France was caused by environmental activists. The city of Colmar in the Alsace region accused the radical environmental group Extinction Rebellion of killing fish in the Lauch River after activists dyed the river as part of a protest.

Extinction Rebellion shared the images on social media and explained that the act of vandalism was done to protest against the French government’s plan to store about 42,000 tons of toxic waste in the region. In an attempt to attract public attention, a man affiliated with the group poured several barrels of green dye into the Lauch River. He has since been arrested.

After this, the river gradually turned green, eventually becoming completely opaque. According to Colmar Mayor Eric Straumann, the dye took more than two days to wear off and left consequences throughout the city, and not just a "visual pollution," according to the mayor. The wildlife in the river also suffered from this protest.

According to Straumann, several neighbors told him that after the dye was spilled, a good number of fish appeared floating dead in the Lauch River. The mayor himself shared a message on social media in disapproval of the event and showing one of the dead fish floating in green waters.

The activist group has assured that the dye used, fluorescein, is harmless to the environment. However, according to statements by the mayor of Colmar collected by Le Figaro, the city is considering bringing the activist group and the arrested man to court.

According to the same source, this dye has already been used in other protests in France: in 2016 in Annecy, Rennes and Alès; as well as last March in the Var.