Almost three years after the commercial launch of 5G, opponents of the fifth-generation mobile phone standard are continuing their actions. Throughout the territory, collectives are multiplying legal procedures, petitions and demonstrations to challenge the installation of a relay antenna in their environment.
On July 21, the inhabitants of Sarreguemines were invited to gather on the forecourt of the mayor of this Lorraine town. The object of their anger: the installation of an 18-meter-high pylon of the operator Free, rue du Parc, near a residential area and a high school welcoming some thousand students.
Emanating from the Citizen Coordination antenna relay Rhône Alpes (CCARRA), the collective Prevention Environment 57 requires that the antenna be installed more than 500 meters from the first homes. “Health impacts, visual pollution, devaluation of heritage …” The arguments seem to fly. His petition has already gathered nearly 15,500 signatures according to the Lorraine Republican.
Another collective, Environnement Choisié 57, was formed, a few “cables away”, in the neighboring town of Woustviller. It is also a question of opposing the project of building a relay antenna, emanating from SFR this time. In both cases, the inhabitants complain that they have not been informed and consulted.
Bouygues Telecom and SFR give up in the Gard
The Grand Est is not the only anti-5G front. In December, the inhabitants of the Kerfichant district in Lorient discovered the upcoming installation of Free Mobile antennas on the roof of a social housing in their neighborhood. Here again, they are mobilizing against the danger they represent, the depreciation of the real estate value of their housing not to mention the unsightly side of the antennas investing their daily lives. According to Ouest France, the Breton collective has been rejected by the justice system.
Sometimes success is waiting for you. After nine months of procedures and actions of all kinds, Bouygues Telecom and SFR had to abandon the installation of a pylon, which was supposed to house six antennas, in Sumène, in the Cévennes valley (Gard). The town hall, which was carrying out the project with the two telecom operators, says it is disappointed. “For her, it was above all a tool for economic development, an opportunity to open up this rural municipality digitally by switching from 4G to 5G,” reports France 3.
Local elected officials between the hammer and the anvil
The opposite is true in Labastide-Saint-Georges (Tarn), a town of 2,000 inhabitants also located in Occitania. It is “death in the soul” that the mayor had to sign an order authorizing the installation of a tower by SFR despite the opposition of some of his constituents. “I am disappointed, even stunned,” he explains to France 3. Our landscape and our living environment could be altered. »
To protest, opponents of the project came gagged during the signing of this decree in order to signal their dissatisfaction. Gathered within the Collective Onde Bastidienne, residents had also, some time earlier, hoisted red balloons at an altitude of 42 meters to give an idea of the height of the future pylon.
Placed between the hammer and the anvil, local elected officials actually have little room for maneuver. However, they can invoke the Bee law of February 9, 2015, relating to sobriety, transparency, information and consultation on exposure to electromagnetic waves. A legal vehicle that should, normally, promote negotiations between an operator, a local authority and residents.
Published in February 2022, an updated opinion from the National Health Security Agency (Anses) concluded that the new generation of mobile networks did not represent new health risks in the current state of knowledge.