Victory for L214. On Tuesday, February 1, the association for the defense of animals obtained the partial dissolution of the gendarmerie cell Demeter, intended to fight crime in the agricultural world. She had lodged an administrative appeal against it, accusing her in particular of carrying “violation of the right to freedom of expression”. The Interior Ministry has two months to put an end to the prevention of “acts of an ideological nature”, part of the cell activities.
60 days. This is the time that Place Bauveau has at its disposal to stop part of the activities of the Demeter gendarmerie cell, on pain of a fine of 10,000 euros per day, reports news reporter. This unit was born under an agreement signed in 2019 with the majority agricultural union FNSEA and its branch of Young Farmers (JA). It focused in particular on the theft of equipment on the farms, but also on the acts “of an ideological nature”, by “simple symbolic actions” Has “harsh actions with material or physical consequences”, the press release said. On Tuesday, February 1, the Administrative Court of Paris ruled that these latter activities were not based on: “no legal basis”.
Harassment and “excessive resources”
Three environmental associations – Future Generations, Pollinis and L214 have seized administrative law. “serious violations of freedom of expression”. Rejected during a first urgent appeal, this time they attacked the agreement on the merits. “The Demeter cell attacks the ability to express opinions, the right to defend positions that are not those of the majority unions”, Corinne Lepage, lawyer for Pollinis and Future Generations, had stated at the hearing, quoted by Franceinfo. Only the appeal of L214 was successful.
During the hearing, the Public Rapporteur recalled: “several cases of intimidation of environmental or animal activists by the gendarmerie” and regretted it “disproportionate use of resources”or “repeated hearings, access to phone data, phone lock… “, says L214 in a press release. For Brigitte Gothière, co-founder of L214, the decision of the courts is:“a real breath of fresh air”. “The purpose of this device was to increase the surveillance and repression of people who dare to criticize our agricultural and food model”she wrote in the press release.
The government, for its part, says: “take action”, of the decision of Tuesday 1 February. In a press release, Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior, and Julien Denormandie, Minister of Agriculture and Food, announced that the mission of the Demeter cell will be “specified and framed in a new internal organizational text”.