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“symbolic” penalties for the sacking of the Arc de Triomphe

After the excitement, the return to “reason”. Eight members of the “yellow vests” were sentenced for their modest role in the highly publicized rampage of the Arc de Triomphe during a demonstration in 2018. All were found guilty of breaking into the historic monument, taken assault by protesters during act 3 of their movement. Those primarily responsible for the “doomsday scenes” described by the court during the hearing have never been identified.

70 hours of TIG

Rather than a fine, “symbolically” and “in relation to what happened”, “the community service seemed good to us,” President Sonia Lumbroso told the defendants standing in front of her. At the start of the hearing on Monday, she had shown the photos and described at length the Arc de Triomphe covered with tags on December 1, 2018, the interior “totally ransacked” and looted. The damage was estimated at 1 million euros. Those who committed degradations received suspended prison sentences – the heaviest of eight months suspended for the young man, 18 at the time, filmed trying to smash a door with a fire extinguisher.

Those who have stolen postcards, Eiffel Towers or miniature Arc de Triomphe from the monument will have to pay a fine of 100 euros. All will have to do 70 hours of community service. During the three days of hearing, with patience and pedagogy, the president – a former judge for children – had tried to make the defendants understand that the Arc de Triomphe was “not just any local”. A “historic”, “symbolic”, “national” monument. “Everywhere in the world we know that it is Paris”, she had said to these young people for the most part without history and coming from all over France.

“Sanctions adapted to the facts”

The court “resisted the temptation to condemn simply because we do not hold the real responsible”, rejoiced Me Sajjad Hasnaoui-Dufrenne, whose client was released for the partial destruction of a cast of “La Marseillaise “. The presence of his DNA did not establish “anything other than his presence” on the scene, said the president. “The sanctions are adapted to the facts, we are no longer in excess” but “in reason”, was also satisfied Me Noémie Saidi-Cottier, whose client, without a criminal record, had been in detention for two months provisional for fire extinguisher shots.

At the hearing, several defendants said they had no choice but to “take refuge” in the Arc de Triomphe out of “panic” or “survival instinct,” when it was “hysteria.” , “total anarchy” out. The court was not convinced. “There were other ways to escape the tear gas,” President Lumbroso told them. Some admitted to entering and climbing to the top of the monument “out of curiosity,” to “visit.” It may not have been the right time, “conceded 19-year-old Tony E. of Orleans.

“A huge masquerade”

The court released a former soldier linked to the ultra-right who was prosecuted for having tagged his nickname “Boar” on a pillar. “I give you my word as a former legionary, it is not me,” he said before the court retired to deliberate. He then declaimed “article 1 of the Legionnaire’s code of honor”: “Legionnaire, you are a volunteer, serving France with honor and fidelity”. Several “yellow vests” were on the benches of the public. One of them, Stéphane Espic, had even become a civil party – it was refused – to “denounce the enormous masquerade” that he said was this trial resulting from a desire to “discredit” the movement. “yellow vests”, and where one judges “poor kids” rather than the real “thugs”.

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A “masquerade”, judged Jérôme Rodrigues, figure of the movement and dazed during a demonstration, also present. “378 police custody” announced after the sacking of the Arc de Triomphe to achieve “that”, he mocked.

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