Civil disobedience only way to protest climate change, say French activists

© Dernière Rénovation

While some climate activists have been throwing food at famous paintings, a French group has been shutting down roads. Their acts of civil disobedience have drawn anger and criticism, but they say it is the only way to get people to pay attention to what they see as an existential threat.

Every few days, a handful of activists walk onto a highway or busy street somewhere in France and sit down, blocking traffic, facing insults from the angry drivers being held up.

Videos show drivers yelling and gesturing aggressively, sometimes physically picking up some of the activists and dragging them, while police try to clear the roads.

“The only way that we everyday people have left to put pressure on the government is to literally go and sit on the road,” says Victor, 25, who participated in his first act of civil disobedience at the end of June, when he and six other people, wearing orange reflector vests, blocked traffic on the A13 highway outside of Paris for about an hour.

Blocking roads is the most effective way to put pressure on the government and also have a platform.”

Listen to an interview with Victor on the Spotlight on France podcast:

Their mode of action is civil disobedience to draw attention to very specific issues having to do with climate change. For Dernière Rénovation, the issue is building renovations.

He joined Dernière Rénovation because he found other parts of the climate movement inefficient.


Read more on RFI English

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