8 pro­test­ers face trial for tak­ing por­traits of pres­i­dent

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Eight pro­test­ers go on trial in Paris on Wed­nes­day for steal­ing of­fi­cial por­traits of French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron from pub­lic build­ings as part of a protest over cli­mate change.

The ac­tivists, aged 23 to 36, have been charged with theft af­ter tak­ing down the pic­tures from lo­cal gov­ern­ment of­fices around the cap­i­tal in Fe­bru­ary.

The acts of civil dis­obe­di­ence were part of a move­ment called “Take Down Macron” which was in­tended to high­light alleged in­ac­tion by the French gov­ern­ment over global warm­ing.

The group be­hind it, Non­vi­o­lent Ac­tion COP21 (ANVCOP21), claims that 128 por­traits have been stolen across France, while 57 peo­ple face “group theft” charges which carry a maximum five-year jail term.

Sev­eral hun­dred pro­test­ers held up the por­traits dur­ing a protest in south­west­ern France at the end of Au­gust near Biar­ritz where Macron was host­ing a G7 sum­mit of world lead­ers.

The head of campaign group Ox­fam in France, Ce­cile Du­flot, also backed the pro­test­ers, writ­ing, “It’s a sym­bolic ac­tion and not a group theft.”

All pub­lic schools and gov­ern­ment of­fices dis­play the pres­i­dent’s por­trait, with Macron’s show­ing him perched on the edge of his desk with two mo­bile phones and the mem­oirs of French re­sis­tance hero and post-war pres­i­dent Charles de Gaulle be­hind him.

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