Extinction Rebellion occupies Italie 2 shopping centre in Paris
Last weekend, several hundred peaceful protesters, the majority of them members of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) environmentalist movement, occupied the Italie 2 shopping centre, home to 130 stores and restaurants and located to the south-east of Paris, stopping customers from entering.
The protesters said they wanted to occupy a “symbol of capitalism,” as a prelude to a week of international demonstrations organised by XR.
According to an AFP reporter, the demonstrators arrived in small groups from about 10 am CET on Saturday, just after Italie 2 opened, and soon overwhelmed the security guards, who let them through unopposed. The demonstrators then blocked access to the shopping centre and draped a banner on its entrance’s large skylight, with the slogan: “Let’s destroy the palaces of power. Let's build homes for the people.”
The protesters also chanted anti-consumerism, anti-capitalism and pro-environment slogans to a pounding drumbeat.
“I’m with XR to tell this crazy system to stop, before it destroys everything,” a young woman of about 20, who claimed she was called 'Lucie' and declined to state her real age, told AFP.
Besides XR, several other pro-environment collectives attended the demo, such as Youth For Climate, Cerveau Non Disponible, Radio Action, Comité Autonomie Queer and some ‘yellow vest’ protesters, according to an XR representative who chose to remain anonymous. Jérôme Rodrigues, one of the leaders of the ‘yellow vest’ movement, was notably present.
“The occupation was organised in unison with other movements and associations, in a venue that is an emblem of the consumerism, which is destroying life on the planet,” said XR in a press release, claiming that “about 1,000 people” joined the demo.
The occupation lasted no less than 17 hours. The last protesters left Italie 2 in the night between Saturday and Sunday, at about 4 am.
The demo was labelled ‘the last occupation before the end of the world’, and took place as XR is also planning protests in 60 cities worldwide from Monday October 7, expecting to mobilise thousands of people, with demonstrations in London forecast to last for over two weeks.
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