Soulèvements de la Terre: a dissolution against the current

Soulèvements de la Terre: a dissolution against the current

Jun 22, 2023, 12:00:00 PM UTC
The government's dissolution of Soulèvements de la Terre restricts civil liberties and raises concerns about the challenges of climate change.
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Paris, June 22nd 2023Volt France expresses its disagreement with the dissolution of Soulèvements de la Terre and reaffirms its commitment to civil liberties. Climate activism, including civil disobedience, is a legitimate means of highlighting the urgency of environmental issues and promoting strong laws and investment in green technologies to address the consequences of climate change.

Faced with the tensions and challenges of our time, foremost among which is climate change, can freedom take a back seat? On Wednesday, the French Minister of the Interior announced the dissolution of the Soulèvements de la Terre movement. In taking this decision, the government is seeking to send out a double signal: one of reassurance to a section of farmers, and one of firmness with regard to a section of environmental movements, some of whose activists are engaged in radical actions of civil disobedience. In short, our government wants to manage tensions, and its response involves repression and the restriction of civil liberties. This is obviously not good news, and it's worrying for our future in France and Europe. Across the European continent, social tensions and conflicts over the use of resources, particularly water, are multiplying as a result of the worsening consequences of climate change and growing public awareness. The contrast between these opposing forces is evident throughout Europe.

Volt does not agree with all the actions and demands of Soulèvements de la Terre, for example with regard to the Lyon-Turin line or the damage to agricultural or industrial property, but we reaffirm our attachment to public freedoms and our belief in the need to protect them. Freedom of association is a fundamental principle recognized by the laws of the Republic, and civil disobedience should never in itself be grounds for dissolution.

Contrary to Mr. Darmanin's assertion, this movement is not "endangering public safety", it is seeking to focus public attention on water management in the context of climate upheaval. The activists of Les Soulèvements, like those of Dernière Rénovation or Letzte Generation, want to remind us that we can't forever sweep the dust under the carpet.

Civil disobedience is a legitimate means of action in a democracy. Those who practice it claim to be non-violent and are generally aware of the possible consequences. Remember the GMO mowing demonstrations or, more recently, the "unhooking" of Emmanuel Macron's portraits. While clashes followed the recent demonstrations in Sainte-Soline, many witnesses reported the peaceful presence of a majority of participants. And the question of the policing strategy has been raised. We condemn the recent damage to private and public property, which can and must first be brought to justice. Without being naïve, the answer is neither dissolution nor anti-terrorist action.

At a time when the Secretary General of the United Nations is calling for a "revolution" for the Climate, and just a few days before the Paris Summit devoted to a "New Global Financial Pact" to achieve sustainable development goals and meet the commitments of the Paris Agreement, Mr. Darmanin is going against the grain. Darmanin, going against the grain, organizes the arrest of environmental activists by the anti-terrorist sub-directorate and proposes the dissolution of Soulèvements de la Terre on the basis of the grounds for dissolution added to the internal security code in his law against "separatism", in August 2021. Climate activism won't solve everything. We need strong laws that protect our planet as well as investment in green technologies for the future. But without activism, including civil disobedience, we need to recognize that change won't come fast enough to cope with rising sea levels and soaring temperatures.


  • Domani - Radicali o moderati? Per il clima serve una rivoluzione generale, Janvier 2023 (lien)
  • TFI - Pourquoi dissoudre les Soulèvements de la Terre n'est pas si simple?, Juin 2023 (lien)
  • Volt Europa - Fil de discussion Twitter, Juin 2023 (lien)
  • Radio France - Transition climatique : “Il faut une révolution” souligne António Guterres, invité spécial de France Inter, Juin 2023 (lien)
  • Le Monde - Les questions juridiques que pose la dissolution des Soulèvements de la Terre, Avril 2023 (lien)
  • Volt Europa - Les manifestations fonctionnent : L'activisme climatique en est la clé, Avril 2023 (lien)

About Volt

As the first truly pan-European party, Volt is committed to reforming the European Union and responding to today's challenges in a coordinated way at European level. Volt's vision: a progressive Europe with an inclusive society, a climate-friendly economy, an adaptable education system and self-determined digitalisation.

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Ulysse Gounelle - Co-Responsable Communication
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Updated June 22nd, 2023. Photo de le DL/Thierry Guillot