The Motorized Violent Action Repression Brigade (Brav-M) landed soon after a group fire of paper planes, carefully folded scientific articles sent into the air by the twenty researchers, members of Scientists in Rebellion, which occurred on Thursday, around 1pm: 00. , in a white coat, in front of the Dassault Air Force headquarters in Paris. Less than thirty minutes after the start of the action, several dozen policemen in black, with motorcycle helmets on their heads, lined up at a run against the high gates of the aeronautical factory, located on the Champs-Elysées, before ordering them to evacuate through the nearest subway station.
The action, organized simultaneously in a dozen countries, targeted private jets, a luxurious and ultra-polluting means of transport, a symbol of climate injustice. “A four-hour flight generates as many emissions as an average European for a year”, exposes behind a speaker Elie Oriol, PhD student in physics, who recalls that kerosene is not taxed in France, unlike petrol. Behind him, three yellow banners display the three demands: “ban private jets”, “charge the ultra-rich” and “tax big thieves”. “The richest 1% are responsible for nearly 50% of aviation greenhouse gas emissions”anticipates Milan Bouchet-Valat, sociologist. “Even if in absolute terms private aviation represents less than 1% of total emissions, this poses a cohesion problem with respect to the sobriety effort required of the population”Adds.
The sequel after the announcement
“We ask people to put anti-pollution stickers… What about private jets? »
On the doorstep of Dassault, a manufacturer of private jets, researchers have recorded scientific work on CO2 emissions2 of the aeronautical sector. On the sidewalk opposite, a policewoman stoops to pick up and go through the contents of a paper plane that has missed its target. “It’s Climate Action”informs one of his colleagues to a tourist.
“Climate justice is for me the disease of the planet and global warming, a symptom”, observes holding up a banner Katherine, 32, an engineer at the Ecole des Mines de Paris, where she works on solar energy. ” We would like to stay in our laboratories, we have work to do, but we have been trying to send a message for years and we are not being listened to. »
In France, Scientists in Rebellion joined forces in early 2020 with the publication of a forum. Noting the inaction of governments in the face of the ecological and climate emergency, the 1,000 signatories called for civil disobedience actions. “Once we realize impotence, we have no other means than rebellion”develops Elie Oriol in front of Dassault Aviation.
Among the white coats present this Thursday, some were arrested in early November in Germany after getting their hands on a BMW at a brand exhibition space in Munich. “Civil disobedience allows us to enter a balance of power with those with financial and political interests to reject the profound changes implied by the climate crisis”observes Jérôme Guilet, astrophysicist, who spent four days in prison on the other side of the Rhine. If he came out of his laboratory again on Thursday, it was because the action presented, on paper, “low legal risk”. “If we talk softly, it might seem like we have a lot of time. The fact that we are ready to risk prison also demonstrates the seriousness and urgency of the situation. »
Scientists in revolt: ‘Civil disobedience is justified by this catastrophic trajectory’
Kaïna Privet, an ecology researcher in Rennes, where she studies the evolution of spiders, joined Scientifiques en Rébellion this year. “I expose myself to the risk of having a criminal record, therefore not being able to become a civil servant, and also to repression by the institution. But I’m so sick of my research work that I can’t help but take action. We are in such a level of urgency…” exhibits at the end of the action. The researcher is surprised by the police deployment: “46 policemen for 25 scientists is disproportionate, but it is not unrelated to the position of the Minister of the Interior who speaks of eco-terrorism. Personally, this doesn’t scare me. »