Court suspends government order to disband climate group for sabotage

France’s top administrative court suspended the dissolution of climate activist group Les Soulevements de la Terre (SLT) on Friday, saying that it was not clear that the group had provoked violence. 

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SLT was shut down in June by a government decree which accused it of encouraging sabotage and material damage. The decree referred to protests that resulted in clashes with police, including those against a farm reservoir in western France in March and a rail link in the Alps in June.

The move was immediately criticized by the leftist opposition and NGOs and SLT appealed the decree.

“The judges consider that there is serious doubt over the qualification of provocation of violent acts against persons and property, as defined by the dissolution decree,” France’s Council of State said in a statement.

SLT had contested the accusations of violence at a court hearing on Tuesday, calling for the decree to be suspended so that activists could regain their freedom of speech and assembly while they await the appeals trial.

Read moreJuly was hottest month ever recorded says EU climate observatory

“There is also a more global emergency,” a spokesperson for SLT, Basile Dutertre, told the court. “We’ve lived the hottest month of our history, and water resources are at a lowest.”

Pascale Leglise, the legal representative for the interior ministry, said the group’s methods of direct action that encourage the destruction of private goods were grounds enough for the state to shut down the group.


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