The judge investigating the Aubonne Bridge case has concluded that any mistakes made by the police on the bridge were "understandable" because of the stress of the G8 summit taking place nearby, and that the activists shouldn't have put themselves in such a dangerous situation. The report states that it was the activists' fault that the police cut the rope from which two climbers were suspended, whilst blockading a delegation on their way to the G8 summit in Evian in May 2003. Despite being warned by activists on the blockade that there were people hanging from it, a policeman took a knife and cut the rope causing a 20 meter fall of Martin Shaw. Fortunately he survived, but was left with very severe injuries to his back, pelvis and foot. Gesine Wenzel on the other end of the rope was saved at the last moment as activists grabbed the other end of the rope. The judge's declaration, which took 18 months to produce, seems to have been written to give "carte blanche to the police to do whatever they want without fear for any legal consequences", the activist's Swiss lawyer said. [Report]
In response to the judge's decission, the climbers of the Aubonne Bridge Action entered the Chateau in Lausanne on Friday 12th November - the seat of the government of Vaud (Switzerland) - with a banner saying "Your cops are your responsibility!". The two activists, together with supporters and the press, asked the Conseil d'Etat to accept responsibility for the actions of their police force. [Report and Pic]
Martin Shaw and Gesine Wenzel still maintain their demands:
* Charges to be brought against both the policeman who cut the rope and his senior officer.
* Compensation for injuries and loss of earnings
alice / maqui