The Thousand Cow Trial: heavy sanctions imposed on members of the Confédération Paysanne

The thousand cow factory-farm: unfair sanctions for actions in the public interest!

The six Confédération Paysanne activists, including the union’s national spokesperson, Laurent Pinatel, who were prosecuted for their protests against the 1000 cow factory-farm in Drucat (Somme), which took place in September 2013 and May 2014, have just been ordered by a civil court to pay 120,000 euros in “damages” to the holders of the factory-farm.

The court did, however, indicate partial agreement with their position, since the initial claim was for the much larger amount of 200,000 euros.

Nevertheless, this is a large and unfair financial penalty for agricultural union activists who had engaged in collective nonviolent action in defence of the public interest against a symbol of the industrialisation of agriculture. During their criminal trial in 2015, these same activists had been described as “whistle blowers” by the Amiens Appeal Court.

Although this civil judgement does not bode well for trade union freedom of action, it does not in any way diminish the Confédération Paysanne’s resolve to fulfil its responsibility to struggle, wherever necessary, against the industrialisation that is affecting all sectors of agriculture and destroying peasant livelihoods.

Laurent Pinatel, Spokesperson: 0033 6 80 58 97 22
Nicolas Girod, National Secretary: 0033 6 07 55 29 09
Caroline Nugues, Communications: 0033 6 95 29 80 78

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