Across France, activists have been taking down official portraits of President Emmanuel Macron to protest what they consider his “inaction” against climate change.
Now they face up to 10 years in prison.
The first of several trials targeting the activists opens Tuesday in the eastern town of Bourg-en-Bresse. Some 300 activists showed up to support the six defendants, chanting “We’re all portrait-removers!”
The six are accused of “group theft by deceit” and face potential prison terms and up to 150,000 euros in fines for taking down Macron’s official presidential portrait from town halls around the country. Few expect the activists to receive tough sentences, however.
Internationally, Macron is a vocal champion of fighting climate change, but domestically activists accuse him of lagging on promises to wean France from fossil fuels.