Intrigued, impassive or encouraging, passers-by parade this Tuesday, April 20 under the eyes of Howey Ou. The day before, the 18-year-old Chinese activist went on a three-day hunger strike to denounce the sentences faced by climate activists. Arrested on March 31 during the evacuation of the ZAD – or area to be defended – from the Mormont hill, a land illegally occupied for more than five months to fight against its exploitation by the cement company LafargeHolcim, she was sentenced to a fine of 1200 francs and 60 days in prison. Forty Zadists were sentenced to day fines or 60 or 90 days in prison for supporting this action. “We are being punished while industrial groups can freely continue to destroy ecology,” she said indignantly.
A growing commitment
But what drove a Chinese activist to a piece of the sidewalk in Place de la Palud, in Lausanne? Howey Ou considers that his activism transpires in each of his actions. So when a man brings her juices and cups for support, she gently pushes him back, because these products are made of plastic. “When I was in police custody, there were no vegan meals, so I refused to eat,” she says. This moment sowed the seed of her current protest, which she says, she says, as an experience.