A69 motorway: environmentalists perched in trees in front of the European Court of Human Rights

Three environmental activists occupied trees in front of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg on Monday 25 March to protest against the future A69 Castres-Toulouse motorway. This action aims “put the focus on the A69 project and the violence suffered by environmental protection activists”said the three men, who introduced themselves to Agence France-Presse (AFP) under the pseudonyms “Raoul,” “Petit-Jean” and “Kiwi.”

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

At the beginning of March, the ECHR rejected an appeal brought against the French State by opponents of the A69, who were protesting against the methods used by the police to evict them from the trees in the Tarn. On Sunday, three opponents of the project voluntarily came down from the trees where they camped for almost forty days, on the route of the future highway.

Read also | Article reserved for our subscribers. A69: Opponents of the motorway project get a reprieve for the Crémade forests

“The felling and clearing were illegal”

These three activists, the last to be perched for thirty-nine days in the “area to defend” (ZAD) of Saïx (Tarn), claimed to have obtained guarantees regarding the conservation of these trees. For the group opposed to La Voie est libre, these trees will not be able to be cut down before September, following the recent arrival at the site of officials from the French Biodiversity Office (OFB).

“The OFB confirmed that the felling and clearing were illegal”, welcomed the activists present before the ECHR. However, they regretted that we were “forced to mobilize and put themselves in danger by climbing trees to defend an area classified as high environmental risk”.

Opponents of the A69 are campaigning for the works to be suspended pending administrative justice examining the substance of the project. Two environmental activists also occupied a tree near the European Parliament in Brussels on March 18 to call on the European Union to “enforce rights” opponents of the A69 motorway project.

Read also | Article reserved for our subscribers. A69 Highway: the war of attrition between opponents and the government continues

The world with AFP

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