environmentalists perched in front of the ECHR in Strasbourg

environmentalists perched in front of the ECHR in Strasbourg

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Three environmental activists occupy trees located in front of the European Court of Human Rights on Monday (ECHR) in Strasbourg to protest against the future A69 Castres-Toulouse motorway.

This action aims to “put a spotlight on the A69 project and on the violence suffered by environmental protection activists,” said the three men, who presented themselves under the pseudonyms “ Raoul”, “Petit-Jean” and “Kiwi”.

“Stop state violence”

They explained that they arrived on Sunday from Tarn and settled in these trees, in which they placed hammocks, tarpaulins and a banner proclaiming “Justice for the defenders of the living.” Stop state violence.”

At the beginning of March, the ECHR rejected an appeal filed against the French state by opponents of the A69, who were protesting against the methods used by the police to dislodge them from trees in the Tarn. On Sunday, three opponents of the project voluntarily came down from the trees where they camped for nearly 40 days, on the route of the future highway. These three activists, the last to have been perched for 39 days in the “Zone to be defended” (ZAD) of Saïx (Tarn), claimed to have obtained guarantees on the preservation of these trees.

The OFB mobilized

For the collective of opponents, the Way is Free, these trees cannot be felled before September, after the recent arrival on the site of officials from the French Biodiversity Office (OFB). “The OFB confirmed that the fellings and clearings were illegal,” welcomed the activists present before the ECHR. However, they regretted that we were “forced to mobilize and put ourselves in danger by climbing trees to defend an area classified as having a high environmental stake”.

Opponents of the A69 are campaigning for a suspension of work while waiting for an appeal on the merits against the project to be examined by administrative justice. Two environmental activists also occupied a tree on March 18 near the European Parliament in Brussels to ask the EU to “ensure the rights” of opponents of the A69 motorway project.

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