The police hunt for climate activists taking portraits of Macron from town halls

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Since February this year the climate change campaign group ANV-COP21 has organised a series of symbolical 'seizures' or removals of the official portraits of the French president which hang in mayors' offices and town halls in the country. Their aim is to highlight what they see as a lack of government action against climate change. However, the authorities have shown considerable zeal in tracking down and investigating those involved and around 20 activists will be appearing in court. Christophe Gueugneau reports.

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“You can theoretically make the case that, in a democratic monarchy, the portrait of the head of state is a Republican symbol but, if that is the case, you have to say so, yet no one is saying it.” The speaker is Alexandre Faro, lawyer for the climate action group Action Non violente-COP21 (ANV-COP21), which is campaigning for climate justice. As far as the lawyer is concerned there are more questions that answers when it comes to the way his clients are being placed in custody and sent for trial in significant numbers.