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ENVIRONMENT

Second day of occupation by climate change activists in centre of Paris

Since Monday afternoon, the activists have been occupying Place du Châtelet and the Pont au Change in the heart of Paris. They have now announced they intend to stay there until Wednesday.

Second day of occupation by climate change activists in centre of Paris
Activists take part in a demonstration called by climate change activist group Extinction Rebellion Photo: AFP:

On Tuesday morning, a few hundred activists and supporters of the environmental movement Extinction Rebellion continued to occupy the Place du Châtelet and the Pont au Change, which leads to the Île de la Cité in the centre of Paris, to demand more action against global warming.

This is part of a week-long international mobilisation happening all week in 60 major cities around the world including London, Berlin and Dublin.

It kicked off in Paris at the weekend and other events planned in the French capital include a mass bike blockade on Friday, to encourage people away from their cars, and, on Saturday, they will build their own archipelago in the city. 

These Parisian activists have been occupying this central position, a few hundred metres from the Paris police prefecture, where a ceremony was organized on Tuesday in honour of the victims of last week's massacre, in the presence of Emmanuel Macron. 

READ ALSO: Paris climate activists kick off worldwide Extinction Rebellion protests

In a friendly atmosphere, in the rain, they held a citizen's assembly in the middle of Tuesday morning to discuss the day's activities and the logistical organization of the camp. On the agenda: a workshop on non-violent communication, a concert in the afternoon or a “collective meditation before bedtime” in the evening.

No police intervention

Under the supervision of a light police system, militants spent their first night in the rain in tents or improvised bivouacs under tarpaulins. Dry toilets have been installed.

Some activists, organized around six blocking points, expressed their relief that the police had not intervened, such as Errico, 20 years old, a student used to university blockades but not a member of Extinction Rebellion, who came “curiously to see how popular this movement is”.

In June, during an action to block another bridge in Paris, Extinction Rebellion members were moved on by the police using tear gas at close range. An investigation had been opened.

 

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ENVIRONMENT

Massive hornet-trapping campaign begins in south west France

Across south west France trapping campaigns have begun in an attempt to control the numbers of dangerous Asian hornets.

Massive hornet-trapping campaign begins in south west France

Trapping campaigns are organised annually at this time of year, as the weather begins to get warmer and queens begin to emerge from hibernation.

And the Charente-Maritime town of Royan Atlantique, on France’s west coast, is leading the way, as the below video shows.

Experts say that now is the time to begin using the traps, as catching queen hornets in the process of building their nests will lead to far fewer insects later in the year. 

Some 2,000 traps are installed in and around Royan this year, including 300 that were distributed to householders in the week of Valentine’s Day. 

Once installed, the traps can capture several dozen insects at a time.

In order to capture a maximum of hornet queens, traps should be installed between mid-February and mid-May. Especially since during this period, these predators end up coming out of their hibernation.

It is believed Asian hornets arrived in France around 2004. They have now spread nationwide.

Although their venom is not more powerful than that of normal bees or wasps, they are known to be more aggressive towards humans, and their stings can cause anaphylactic shock in allergic people.

The hornets also damage beehives and kill bees, damaging honey stocks and destroying the native ecosystem.

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