Postcard from... Aachen
The call themselves “dump divers” and last January they were caught raiding a rubbish container outside a branch of Germany’s Rewe supermarket chain in the town of Aachen.
Rowena, aged 21, and Raoul, 28, were scavenging for food items that had been ditched by the supermarket because they had passed their sell-by date. It was part of a growing political protest against the “throw-away” society. But a neighbour spotted them, the police were alerted and Rewe brought charges of theft against the pair.
Judges found them guilty and fined them €1,000 with the option of 100 days in jail if they couldn’t find the cash. It was the toughest sentence imposed on rubbish scavengers in post-war German history.
Raoul and Rowena suddenly found themselves basking in the kind of publicity that they had previously only dreamt of. They lodged an appeal against the sentence and arranged for an agitprop stand to be set up outside the appeal court displaying still-eatable items consigned to the dustbin by consumer society. Even the judge came by to inform himself. But the rowdy crowd of dump-diver sympathisers at the hearing were so noisy that they stopped the case going ahead.
All was set for a dramatic showdown. That was until the supermarket dropped the charges, prompting the judge to throw the case out of court.
The court insisted that the judge was not setting a legal precedent. But not many more German courts will be fining people €1,000 for scavenging for thrown-away food.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...