Two worlds collide as climate activists who removed Macron's portrait go on trial

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Six people went on trial on Tuesday May 28th for taking down an official photo portrait of President Emmanuel Macron from a mayor's office in a small town in south-east France. The hearing put two contrasting world views on display. The defendants said that they felt compelled to act because of the climate emergency and the need to get a concrete response from the French state to the crisis. The prosecutor, meanwhile, simply saw them as criminals who wanted to impose their own ideas on other people. Christophe Gueugneau reports.

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“No photo, delete that photo for me, it's not allowed here, just as it's not allowed to eat in here.” The president of the criminal court had not even entered the courtroom but already the prosecutor was laying down the law. A lawyer went and told the defendants' many supporters who had turned up: “The prosecutors is strict so no food or mobiles during the entire hearing.” At the back, standing against a wall, another prosecutor, not dressed in her usual courtroom attire, turned to the person next to her: “We really are unpopular.”