France: Out on a Limb For the Trees

Out on a Limb For the Trees

Simonne Caillot, a writer and former schoolteacher in the Normandy town of St.-Lo, has refused to eat for more than three weeks, and she shows no signs of ending her hunger strike. Caillot, 45, is protesting to ensure that the strip of trees on a 9,000-sq.-yd. plot of land she once owned will not be felled by its new owner.

Caillot is a victim of remembrement, an obscure French rural code that allows community governments to redistribute land in the name of more productive farming. Her "save the trees" strike has brought to light simmering popular resentment against the policy, which...