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Summary of arrests from the demo of February 22nd in Nantes

Thursday 27 February 2014

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Summary of arrests from the demo of February 22nd in Nantes

According to the prefecture, there were 14 people arrested, two of whom were released without charge. Of the 12 people charged, 5 had immediate trials monday afternoon, and the 7 others have trials in a couple of months. The 5 people that had immediate trials were all convicted, most of them to prison sentences, but no one was immediately incarcerated, they will be called later to serve their sentences. They will have a meeting with the sentencing judge, and will be able to negotiate their sentences (house arrest, semi-freedom, and all sorts of fucked-up things which allow to lock up and isolate people more without overcrowding the prisons). 4 of them were charged with “violence on someone invested with public authority” (basically for throwing things at the cops), and “participating in an armed group” (basically, participating in a demo or a gathering where they consider that whatever is being thrown becomes a weapon)

Details of the immediate trials:

*The person arrested at 3:15 was condemmned to 5 months of prison+ 1 month of suspended sentence if they don’t “behave”. *The second, who was “stop and frisked” in the street, was condemmned for “carrying weapons” (a box cutter!) has to do 100 hours of community service. * The three others, arrested together by the civil cops around 8pm, were condemmned to 5 months suspended sentence, 5 months prison, and 1 year of prison+ giving 500 euros for the BAC (violent civil cops) who say they were hurt while arresting them (another trial will happen june 13th at 2pm to figure out how much more money they will have to give to the police.)

They got the book thrown at them, because they were arrested during the riots. However, we’re happy to learn that no one was charged for property damage, they would have had even harder sentences and would have probably gone immediately to prison. Also the prosecutor kept repeating how is was such a shame that the “real guilty ones” of “intolerable destruction” were not arrested that day. The investigations about property damage are underway, so be on your guard and expect raids in the days or weeks to come (in Nantes but also in other cities).

Around 50 people came to the trial to support the people being judged. The press was also there, with their ears tuned to any little detail. They were also the first in the room with all their big cameras, and took up all the room. Strangely, the doors of the courthouse were not covered in riot police as normally happens during big trials with lots of press or anti-airport trials (maybe the riot cops got that day off to rest...) However, the police inside the courthouse were just as annoying as usual and stopped people from going into the courtroom, which was pretty full, but there were still open seats. The best joke was outside of the courtroom, where the lawyer defending the “wounded” police dramatically brandished a paving stone in front of the TV cameras. At the same time, someone that lost their eye to a rubber bullet 5 years ago in Nantes, asked the journalists if they were also going to talk about the people wounded by the police, and showed a rubber bullet found in the street saturday to the cameras. Then the police gathered around him and took him away from the group, accusing him of carrying a weapon... We remind people that several dozen people were wounded Satuday, and some of them very serious, including losing an eye, and losing a part of a finger. In a couple of days we will have a much better guess of the number and seriousness of people injured.