cut the rope from which two climbers were suspended, whilst blockading a delegation on their way to the G8 summit in Evian May last year. 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 the 20 m 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 backwards, from the conclusion to the justification in order to secure police impunity. As the activist’s Swiss lawyer said this decision gives a carte blanche to the police to do whatever they want without fear any legal consequences. The activists who are in Switzerland now said they were not surprised by the decision given the history of police impunity in Switzerland and the general rise of repression of political dissent. They wonder however: "How can we be found guilty for having endangered the lives of the car drivers and the police who nearly killed us are let off without even a trail? How can people still believe they live in a democratic, neutral country when double standards are so obviously applied?". The activists will appeal. The Swiss state has not accepted any responsibility for this incident, either in form of an apology, or any form of medical care or compensation. As well as receiving suspended prison sentences for endangering the lives of the drivers, the activists will be affected by the policemen’s action on the bridge for the rest of their lives with severe physical and emotional scars.
The Aubonne Support Group maintains its demands:
*Charges to be brought against both the policeman who cut the rope and his senior officer.
*Compensation for injuries and loss of earnings
http://www.aubonnebridge.net with has action and legal background and an 8 minute video of the action (subtitled in en, fr, de, it, es)
A pdf version of the judge's declaration (in french) and the appeal is
available on the website or email us at email@example.com
Extra note: The Aubonne Bridge Support group have been involved in the
formation of an European Anti Repression Network and working on the
emotional consequences of police repression. If you are interested sign up to the list: