Toulouse: the trial of the activists who had blocked the airport and the station turns into an indictment against the State, the SNCF and the airlines
Judged on appeal, these 15 activists seized this opportunity to fire red balls at the State, the SNCF and the airlines on their supposed inaction in terms of the inclusion of people with disabilities.
The second trial of the activists, who had blocked Blagnac airport and Matabiau train station in Toulouse on December 14, 2018, takes the presidency when Ahmed, a witness called by the defense, speaks at the bar of the court of appeal of Toulouse, this June 30 at the beginning of the afternoon. His life assistant transcribes the words of this young quadriplegic man whose ability to speak is very impaired.
He tells the judges about his endless quest for autonomy, the multiple refusals he had suffered before obtaining his own accommodation. To do this, he had to leave Paris, his family and his relatives and settle in Toulouse. At the end of his story, he launches to the magistrates: “All stations and airports in France should be blocked so that people with disabilities are finally respected. “, justifying the actions of the 15 defendants sentenced to suspended prison terms and fines at first instance on March 23, 2021.
to pinch the SNCF
Amaury Martin, 32 years old nailed to his electric wheelchair, another witness called by the defense then speaks. This resident of Vaucluse explains how he bent the SNCF, which refused to provide him with assistance in order to access the rail network. After using all legal means and alerting all local elected officials, he had to start a hunger strike to get the rail carrier to pay for his taxi fares from his home to the nearest station accessible to disabled people, that of its commune not being equipped. He explains to the magistrates that “he does not understand why the public prosecutor attacks disabled people who seek justice and do not prosecute large companies illegally with regard to the management of the handicap. »
“I’m ashamed of my country, I’m ashamed of my justice”
This intervention did not arouse any reaction from Marie-Charlotte Trébuchet, the general counsel, who was entirely focused on the facts and the questions of law inherent in this case. It is the turn of the defendants to speak. Their speech upsets the courtroom, often already won over to their cause. Kévin Firmine, 31, a third-year law student, recounts his nightmarish train journeys “I happened to urinate on myself for lack of sufficient accessibility in the carriages. I’m ashamed of my country, I’m ashamed of my justiceice ! »
Jail sentence required for militant leader
The lawyers for the civil parties (Airbus, Air France and SNCF) remain in the background, are sober in the pleadings to prevent to do by their argument bad publicity for their customers. The Advocate General is also restrained while remaining inflexible on the principles: “We cannot use criminal offenses to communicate on a social fight, however legitimate it may be.” It requires a suspended prison sentence and fines against Odile Maurin, the leader of the group and elected opposition mayor of Toulouse and suspended fines for the other defendants. The defense seeks release, highlighting the fundamental principle of “freedom of expression” and the obligation to act of these activists in extremely precarious situations. The judgment is expected on October 27, 2022 at 2 p.m.