300 French advocates stage courthouse coup
Hundreds of French lawyers have staged a protest outside a Lille courthouse, preventing judges, defendants and witnesses entering the building.
The lawyers, who are protesting against legal aid cuts, gathered around the various entrances to the court from around seven this morning, creating a human wall that prevents anyone gaining access.
Extraordinary images — courtesy of French news site La Voix Du Nord — show riot police arriving at the scene and wrestling with the robed lawyers in an attempt to regain control of the building.
With police managing to move some of the lawyers from the entrances of the building this afternoon, French advocates changed tactics and staged a mini-occupy movement.
Footage circulating on social media in the past few hours (embedded below) shows lawyers chanting, ringing bells and blowing trumpets from inside the courthouse, while police look on helplessly.
Ayé on est à l'intérieur et l'extérieur pic.twitter.com/uws1qIowDY
— Tinkerbell (@Tinkerbell_ring) October 20, 2015
So far, though, there has been no repeat of the wall made of legal practitioner’s texts (pictured below) that French lawyers built last year to block access to a court in the city of Nantes.
Hopefully the French lawyers will provide inspiration to their English counterparts. Occupy the Old Bailey anyone?