Apple files lawsuit against the activists that occupied its Paris store

Last month, members and supporters of French activist group Attac (the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and Aid to Citizens) peacefully occupied Apple's flagship store in Paris in order to protest alleged tax evasion committed by the company. Now, according to French publication The Local, Apple is reportedly suing Attac for €3,000 (which is approximately $3,600 USD). In addition, Apple is asking for a court order barring the activist group from staging any more protests within Apple stores.

The Local's piece goes on to say that while Apple supports the freedom to protest, the company felt the protest was a safety hazard in this particular situation as the group "blocked the store for several hours" on a busy shopping day, only leaving after they were guaranteed a meeting with company management:

An Apple spokesman told AFP on Thursday that while it respected the group's right to expression, its recent actions had "put the security of our customers and employees at risk." ... "Even if we don't share their opinion, we fully recognise their right to express it," the Apple spokesman said.

However, Dominique Plihon, a representative of Attac France, believes that the lawsuit is nothing but an attempt to obscure the truth, claiming that the company is trying to "gag Attac and prevent us from holding new citizen actions to condemn tax evasion by multinationals." He also said that Apple wrongfully accused Attac of vandalism, though the group's protests are "symbolic, nonviolent, staged openly and with no material damage."

According to a claim made by the EU in August 2016, Apple has accrued an overall debt of €13 billion ($14.5 billion US) in dodged taxes by taking its earnings and processing them through multiple different nations. Apple, however, still maintains that it has followed the laws of each country in which it operates, and is in the process of appealing the ruling.


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Tory Foulk

Tory Foulk is a writer at Mobile Nations. She lives at the intersection of technology and sorcery and enjoys radio, bees, and houses in small towns. When she isn't working on articles, you'll likely find her listening to her favorite podcasts in a carefully curated blanket nest. You can follow her on Twitter at @tsfoulk.