Paris metro anti-ad graffiti gang fined

29th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 28 (AFP) - Nine French activists who helped wage an anti-advertisement graffiti campaign were handed down fines Wednesday ranging from EUR 400 to EUR 2,000 (USD 475 to USD 2,370) for defacing posters in the metro.

PARIS, April 28 (AFP) - Nine French activists who helped wage an anti-advertisement graffiti campaign were handed down fines Wednesday ranging from EUR 400 to EUR 2,000 (USD 475 to USD 2,370) for defacing posters in the metro.

The underground train system was ordered, however, to pay EUR 400 to one of the 60 anti-consumerism activists on trial who was physically accosted by a metro security guard during his arrest.

The trial was the first time the metro, run by the RATP transport authority, has taken graffiti artists to court and follows months of a widespread campaign of defacement of paid advertisements in the underground train stations.

But of 60 defendants, most of whom admitted to their political scribblings, only nine were given fines totalling EUR 2,000 although the RATP had requested EUR 922,000 in damages.

A lawyer for the defendants praised the court's judgment, calling the outcome "an indisputable victory".

The activists said they would not be put off by the outcome and their fines, which also included EUR 500 each in legal fees.

"That won't dissuade me from carrying out anti-ad actions. I don't regret a thing," said Neomie Baroux, who now owes the RATP EUR 2,000. "And in any case, I can't pay, since I'm unemployed and on welfare."

In tandem with rising anti-globalization activism, graffiti artists have sprouted up across the French capital, defacing posters and urging Parisians to fight the power of multinational corporate advertisers.


© AFP

                                               Subject: French news

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