Police mobilize against protesters in French airport dispute

Police are deploying extra forces to western France as the government prepares to decide whether to build an airport that has mobilized nearly a decade of sometimes violent protests.

Anarchists, farmers and environmental activists have occupied a vast area around Notre-Dame-des-Landes, outside the city of Nantes, to resist the proposed airport. Protesters from other regions have reportedly arrived in recent days.

A police official said Wednesday that extra gendarmes and riot police are being sent this week to the area, because police plan to try to clear out the protesters once the government makes a decision.

President Emmanuel Macron's Cabinet is scheduled to discuss the airport at a meeting Wednesday.

Proponents argue the region needs a larger airport to boost its economic prospects. Opponents say the airport is unnecessary and a symbol of exploitative globalization.