BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 19 June, 2002, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
Bove goes to jail by tractor
Jose Bove en route for prison
French elections led to a postponement of Bove's sentence
Radical French farmer Jose Bove has finally begun a jail sentence imposed for his 1999 destruction of McDonalds restaurant.

He arrived at the prison outside the city of Montpellier at the head of a convoy of tractors, escorted by police outriders and journalists.


It is not a person who is in prison, but a movement

Jose Bove
Bove, who heads the Confederation Paysanne farmers' union, and is France's most prominent opponent of globalisation, has already served 19 days of his term and should be freed in 40 days.

He left his home village at dawn in a tractor draped in slogans protesting at his imprisonment.

"It is not a person who is in prison, but a movement," said Bove as he climbed aboard the vehicle.

"It is the whole Confederation Paysanne and civic movement which is in prison".

Last glass of wine

Bove was sentenced for three months for destroying a half-built McDonalds in Millau in a protest against US trade protectionism.

He launched a series of appeals, but finally ran out of room for manoeuvre in February when he lost the last round of his legal battle.

However, the order for him to serve his sentence was delayed until after the French presidential and parliamentary elections.

Along the route he was greeted by supportive car horn blasts and applause, and some 400 sympathisers had joined the convoy by the time it approached the prison in Villeneuve-les-Maguelone.

As he stepped down from the wheel of the tractor, he had a final glass of local Languedoc wine, clinking glasses with his lawyers.

Crop appeals

He threatened to hold a hunger strike in protest at the economic policies of the new government of Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

Bove's final appeal in the McDonalds case was rejected by the highest court in the land, the Cour de Cassation, in February.

He has not yet exhausted all his appeals in another case, in which he is accused of destroying genetically modified crops.

Bove does not deny that he carried out the attacks, but says they constitute a legitimate form of political protest.

See also:

16 Apr 02 | Europe
02 Apr 02 | Middle East
30 Jun 00 | Europe
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes