Paris arms fair: 50 arrests

IssueAugust - September 2019
News by David Polden

On 22 June, anti-arms trade die-ins and other nonviolent actions at Le Bourget airport resulted in 50 arrests. The activists were held for about four hours, then released after their identities had been checked and recorded (as were those of other demonstrators taking part in the actions).

The Paris Air Show serves as a showcase for arms dealers from around the world.

French arms dealers exhibiting at the show are responsible for many Yemeni civilian deaths: Nexter (Leclerc tanks and Caesar cannons), Thalès (Damocles targeting pods for fighter aircraft), Airbus (A330 MRTT in-flight refuelling aircraft and Cougar combat rescue helicopters) and Dassault (Mirage 2000 jet fighters).

The protests were organised by the Collective of the Disobedient (Collectif des Désobéissants), a nonviolent direct action and training group based in Paris.

Back in 2017, PN reported on the case of Rémi Filliau, a member of the Collective of the Disobedient. He was arrested in Paris at the headquarters of En Marche (‘Forward!’), the political party of president Emmanuel Macron, during an action by the collective.

Rémi was one of 15 ‘backwards clowns’ who staged an occupation to congratulate ‘the president of the clowns’ on his opposition to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. (PN 2610–2611)

Rémi's case was delayed until the next year. On 6 July 2018, because of convincing video evidence, Rémi was found not guilty of assaulting a police officer during the occupation. He had been facing up to €15,000 in fines and a year in prison.

Topics: Arms trade