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Educational workshops, vegan canteen, denunciation of patriarchy ... Extinction Rebellion invests a bridge over the Seine


REPORT - The international civil disobedience movement took possession, for a weekend, of a footbridge overlooking the Seine. Objective: to make the population aware of “the challenges of the climate emergency”. But not only.

At the twelfth of noon, around a hundred of them gathered on the Debilly footbridge in Paris, which spans the Seine at the level of the Eiffel Tower.

Under the sun veiled by thick clouds, three men, dressed in long black dresses and white wigs, perched on chairs or money boxes, harangue a motley crowd seated at their feet.

False lawyer, false judge and false magistrate, they are putting the 5G on trial, to the cheers of the audience.


We condemn the State, the city of Paris and telecommunications companies to abandon 5G technology

", proclaims one of them, denouncing in passing "

the superfluous, the overabundance and overconsumption of connected objects


Activists offer onlookers a sketch on 5G HM / Le Figaro

To read also: Corinne Lepage: "Let's open the windows of political ecology"

These three actors are Extinction Rebellion activists.

The movement "

apolitical and apartisan of civil disobedience

", as its members describe it, settled there for a weekend, for an action which "wants to be instructive, festive and regenerating".

Called “Canopy”, this event was thought of as “



Translation: the militants have invested the bridge without making it impassable.

Onlookers can therefore circulate there and are even invited to stop there, to discuss and "become

aware of the challenges of the ecological emergency

", as Sarah explains to Le



Animations and didactic workshops

This Saturday, the activist's mission is to welcome and guide walkers at one end of the catwalk. The young mother, who came with her children, explains to them the motivations of Extinction Rebellion. With the stated objective of making as many people as possible adhere to the cause of the movement. “

The idea is to be very inclusive, to try to have as many people as possible with us, to mobilize,

” she confides. "

We want to achieve a critical mass to build the solutions of tomorrow together


All along the bridge, the curious are challenged by playful and colorful activities.

On the right, a beehive covered with dead bees to denounce the use of neonicotinoid insecticides stands alongside a cemetery of Total cans, against the major energy suppliers.

On the left, a skeleton is stranded in a red armchair, in front of a television displaying images of burning forests.

Further on, a teddy bear is swinging at the end of a rope hanging from a gallows, to raise awareness of the melting ice floes.

  • 1/4 - Bees, gas cans, skeletons, polar bears have found their place on the deck.

    HM / Le Figaro

  • 2/4 - Bees, gas cans, skeletons, polar bears have found their place on the deck.

    HM / Le Figaro

  • 3/4 - Bees, gasoline cans, skeletons, polar bears have found their place on the deck.

    HM / Le Figaro

  • 4/4 - Bees, gas cans, skeleton, polar bear have found their place on the deck.

    HM / Le Figaro

To read also: Stéphane Bern: "Madame Pompili, wind turbines are a negation of ecology!"

Extinction activists also offer their ephemeral guests to live new experiences.

As with this cage in which they are invited to enter to “

experience the life of an animal in factory farming


Or these stands that teach them how to make seed bombs “

to revegetate near their home

” and to learn about permaculture, explains Emelpi, a young activist from Extinction Rebellion.

Passers-by can enter a cage to “feel” what an animal is going through in factory farming.

HM / Le Figaro

Many educational panels, "

really based on scientific work

", assures Sarah, are also displayed everywhere, on themes as diverse as they are varied: the proliferation of plastic in the oceans, the disappearance of species, overfishing, but also “

climatic migrations

” or even - and even if we are far from the climate issue - the “

vulnerability of women

” in the face of “



A “

100% vegan and 80% recycled


The concept of "


" seems in any case to delight onlookers. "

It is a good initiative to make people aware

" of this kind of subject, believes Antonin, a student passing through Paris intrigued by the place. “

The images are both powerful and playful, with artistic installations

,” says her friend Céline. The 23-year-old admits that "

the activist milieu can be an intimidating place

" but that she "

feels good here

". “

It looks like they've taken over the place so that we can stay there, make us feel at ease. It makes you want to learn more, to go and see their events,

”she adds. This student was particularly charmed by the welcome of the activists.A cafetaria "

100% vegan and 80% recycled

”, with free donation, has in fact been installed in the middle of the footbridge.

The drinks are alcohol-free, but activists and walkers can sit on straw bales arranged as a seat, to exchange around a plate of mixed salad or fruit.

All punctuated by the regular announcements of a cheerful activist, whose loudspeaker is powered by a dynamo attached to a bicycle.

The Extinction Rebellion canteen.

HM / Le Figaro

The energy necessary for the sound system is provided by onlookers and activists.

HM / Le Figaro

A good-natured atmosphere, but above all political

If the atmosphere remains good-natured on the bridge, it is however decidedly more political on the lower level. Under the arches of the Debilly footbridge, round tables, training sessions and activist workshops are on the program. At the beginning of the afternoon, men and women seated in a circle testify to their relationship to "


", during a workshop to "

raise awareness of male domination in an activist environment

". Later, volunteers can be trained in "

the strategy of Extinction Rebellion

" or "

in climate justice for adolescents.


But the highlight of the show was held at the end of the morning, with the conference of Geoffroy de Lagasnerie.

In front of a crowd won over to his cause, the young far-left sociologist unfolds his militant argument, denouncing pell-mell the "

diabolical logic of contemporary politics

", "

the destructive climate action of the government

", or the benefits of "

direct action

”which is, for him,“

impactful and creative of political time


Sociologist Geoffroy de Lagasnerie is questioned by activists before answering questions from the crowd.

HM / Le Figaro

Read also: When the left wants to delimit the perimeter of thought

Tasty moment: the philosopher even paid the luxury of lecturing Extinction Rebellion, judging "

too soft

" "

civil disobedience

" and "


" which his activists claim. Before concluding, the day before the first round of regional elections, by calling to vote for the LFI candidate in Paris Clémentine Autain. “

All the others are collaborators,

” he explained with a smile. A "

publicity stunt

" that will not fail to appreciate the deputy LFI of the North Ugo Bernalicis, guest of "


" Sunday at the beginning of the afternoon, alongside the director of Greenpeace France Jean-François Julliard.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-06-24

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