As world leaders gather in Biarritz for the annual G7 summit, a few kilometeres away in Bayonne, French citizens are marching through the streets, proudly carrying photos of their country’s leader.
Photos that were stolen from official buildings during protests earlies in the year in France.
It began in February, when activists from two groups, ANV-COP 21 and Bizi, marched into town halls in Paris, Lyon, Ustaritz and Biarritz, and walked out again carrying the official portrait of the French president that hangs on walls in public buildings across the country.
- Protesters holding official portraits of French President Emmanuel Macron allegedly taken off the walls of French city halls parade during an anti-G7 demonstration in Bayonne, near Biarritz, France, 25 August 2019, on the second day of the G7 summit. . EPA-EFE/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO
The movement, under the banner Décrochons Macron! (Take Down Macron!), soon spread. The activists called for the theft for at least 125 official portraits from town halls before the start of the G7 summit – to match “the 125 days it took France to overtake its annual carbon footprint this year”.
To date, at least 128 portraits of Macron have been removed from French town halls. Quickly passed on to other activists for safe keeping, these portraits are now ready to be retrieved from their secret hiding places to go on display in Bayonne on Sunday.
The protest in Bayonne are the culmination of a months-long civil disobedience movement led by green campaigners and designed to highlight what they say are the gap between Macron’s promises on tackling climate change, and the disappointing reality of his government’s policies.
Via France 24