FRANCE: Friends of the Earth activists arrested for organising peaceful climate march in Nancy

(Translated from Friends of the Earth France) Florent Compain, President of Friends of the Earth France, and Denys Crolotte, a member of the Movement for a Non-violent Alternative, have just been released after 21 hours in police custody. The accusation is that they organized a peaceful climate march that brought together 1500 people.

Although announced several months ago, the organisation of the climate march in Nancy was the subject of a fierce battle with the Prefecture of Meurthe-et-Moselle in the last few days. On 7 December, the Prefect issued a decree prohibiting the organisation of this march under the pretext that it was likely to create a disturbance of public order because “it supports the carbon taxes that yellow jackets contest”. He threatened to sue the organisers.

In response, 74 people declared themselves co-organizers. The march was carried out anyway, bringing together 1,500 people who, in a decisive but peaceful way, called on the government to address the climate emergency. As in many cities in France, a dialogue has begun with the yellow jackets on the need to link social justice with the fight against climate change.

The reality is that today, citizens who are mobilizing for the climate and the yellow jackets are in the process of forming new bridges and agree on the same observation: no social or climate justice without a significant reduction of inequalities. By locking up the activists who try to build these bridges, the state isolates itself, fuels anger and delays a political solution commensurate with what is at stake.

Florent Compain and Denys Crolotte are sentenced to 6 months in prison and a fine of €7,500.

Friends of the Earth and MAN denounce a security drift of the State and the deprivation of the constitutional right to demonstrate, which is also non-violent and for a cause of general interest: the fight against climate change.