Thank you for the large mobilization!
On Monday 12 December, at the opening of the LuxLeaks appeal trial, we were about 300 citizens from more than 20 different countries to mobilize in Luxembourg in support of Antoine Deltour, Raphaël Halet, and Édouard Perrin… A huge thank you to all of you!
This mobilization was a real success; it symbolized the citizens' solidarity with the whistleblowers and journalist who decided general interest and the duty to inform should take precendence over their personal interest.
A support evening
The mobilization started on Sunday evening, with a large support meeting organized by the Luxembourger Solidarity Committee at the youth hostel in Luxembourg.
During the meeting –which progressively filled up to finally reach over a hundred people–, several speakers delivered high quality talks. We would like to thank (in order of speaking):
- Justin Turpel – for the Luxembourger Solidarity Committee with the LuxLeaks Defendants
- Lucie Watrinet – CCFD Terre-Solidaire and Plateforme Paradis Fiscaux et Judiciaires
- Alain Deneault – PhD in Philosophy and Professor of Political Sciences at the University of Montreal, author of “Une escroquerie légalisée: Précis sur les ‘paradis fiscaux’”
- Fernand Muller – Vice-President of the Union of Finance civil servants in Europe, UFE
- Francis Weyzig – researcher for OXFAM NOVIB
- Tove Maria Ryding – Eurodad / Tax Justice Europe
- David Wagner – Member of the Parliament of Luxembourg, Déi Lenk
- Cannelle Lavite – lawyer at Blueprint for Free Speech
- Romain Deltour – Spokesperson for Antoine Deltour's Support Committee
- Jonathan Sugarman – whistleblower, UniCredit Irelande
We would also like to thank the MEPs who sent video message of support:
- Fabio de Masi – MEP GUE/NGL (Die Linke)
- Matt Carthy – MEP GUE/NGL (Sinn Fein),
Tax tour in Luxembourg
On Monday morning, activists already present met at 9am at the Rotondes for a short briefing on the day to come. Then, a French-speaking bus and an English-speaking bus left for a “Tax tour” jointly organized by Tax Justice Europe and Plateforme Paradis Fiscaux et Judiciaires. The tour included the seeing of the tax evasion landmarks in the city of Luxembourg, following the trail of subsidiaries or mailboxes for Engie, McDonald's, Société Générale, Amazon, etc.
Speeches in front of the Court
The militants then gathered in the precincts of the Court of Luxembourg, joined by members of the Support Committee for Antoine Deltour (who came by bus from Lorraine) and of the HelpRaph group (who came by car-sharing). All of them listened –from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm– to the speeches of about twenty representatives of civil society, trade unions, MEPs and members of the support committees. Their (well-timed!) speeches largely focused on the citizen’s demand for tax justice, and the need for better protection for whistleblowers, guarantors of the right to information.
We would like to thank the speakers who sometimes came from afar to express their support (in order of appearance):
- Magali Paulus, Tax Justice Luxembourg, Luxembourg
- Stelios Kouloglou, MEP GUE/NGL (Syriza), Greece
- Benedek Javor, MEP (Green), Hungary
- Virginie Rozière, MEP S&D, France
- Tove Maria Ryding, Eurodad / Tax Justice Europe
- Alain Deneault, Échec aux paradis fiscaux, Canada
- David Wagner, MP (Déi Lénk), Luxembourg
- Lison Rehbinder, ActionAid Peuples Solidaires, France
- Fernand Muller, Vice-President Union of Finance Staff in Europe, Luxembourg
- Françoise Dumont, LDH - Ligue des Droits de l’Homme, France
- Dominique Plihon, ATTAC, France
- Sophie Binet, UGICT-CGT, France
- Jonathan Sugarman, Unicredit whistleblower, Ireland
- Cannelle Lavite, Blueprint for free speech, Germany
- Luc Caregari, SJL - Union of Journalists, Luxembourg
- Ricardo Gutiérrez, FEJ - European Federation of Journalists, Spain
- Dominique Pradalié, FIJ - International Federation of Journalists, France
- Roger Infalt, ALJ - Luxembourger Association of Journalists, Luxembourg
- Claude Turmes, MEP Green (déi Gréng), Luxembourg
- Henri Sterdyniak, Économistes atterrés, France
- François Thiery, Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour, France
- Lucie Watrinet, CCFD / Plateforme Paradis Fiscaux et Judiciaires, France
Speeches where coordinated by Justing Turpel on behalf of the support committees and Lison Rehbinder on behalf of Plateforme Paradis Fiscaux et Judiciaires
All the participants in the mobilization then regrouped behind a large banner saying “Protect whistleblowers, not tax dodgers” for an aerial group photo.
The moving arrival of the defendants
Juste before the start of the hearing at 3 pm, the crowd formed a thirty-meter guard of honour in front of the Court's entrance, in order to welcome the defendants. They arrived one by one: Raphael Halet, then Édouard Perrin, and finally Antoine Deltour. All three were loudly applauded and praised by the militant’s song: “Thank you Antoine, Thank you Raphael, Thank you Édouard, Thank you!”. This was a very warm and moving welcome and we hope it was able to encourage the defendants before the beginning of the trial.
Let’s remain alert!
This terrific mobilization has allowed us to send a very clear message: citizens are resolutely concerned with tax justice and the right for information, and we are all ready to support the defendants as long as they will need it!
Finally, thanks and congratulations to the organizers:
- La Plateforme Paradis Fiscaux et Judiciaires (including among others ActionAid France - Peuples Solidaires, ATTAC France, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, …)
- Le Comité de solidarité luxembourgeois avec les inculpés du procès dit LuxLeaks
- Le Comité de soutien à Antoine Deltour
- Le Comité HelpRaph
- Tax Justice Europe