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Callout for agricultural occupation of the ZAD

Wednesday 25 December 2013

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SOW YOUR ZAD

Following more than forty years of struggle against the airport and three years of land occupation we, the farmers in struggle, resisting local inhabitants and rebel friends from all over the planet have saved this land from blind pillage and barren urbanisation.

Several generations of farmers have shaped the history and the wooded landscape surrounding Notre Dame des Landes. From the past fights of farm workers unions to the present struggle against the airport, the spirit of resistance has crossed generations. However under the pressure of the state some inhabitants and farmers have been forced to give up their lands to Vinci (the multinational construction company commissioned to build the airport). To date this has left over 600 acres of land free.

Together we will reclaim this land and continue to cultivate it collectively! There are many of us already organised in various forms of collectives, but there is room for more projects. We are inviting farmers and peasants without land from every horizon to join us on the ZAD. So that crops can begin to grow this spring, we suggest that you already begin to think about installing long term projects. Whilst respecting this welcoming land, come and set up here with your desires, tools and “garden sheds,” this really is one of the most efficient ways to struggle.

Here are a few suggestions of types of agricultural projects that could be set up here : Reforestation, arboriculture, market gardening, agro-ecology, permaculture, production of cereals and pulses, Bakers, Brewers, flower and medicinal herb growing, compassionate livestock farming, beekeeping, horse drawn agriculture, rearing rare breeds. This autonomous zone also needs crafts(wo)men skills: wood workers, blacksmiths, potters, weavers and those with know how in renewable energies.

To collectively prepare your installation, you can get more information from the web site : zad.nadir.org/semetazad or email us at : semetazad@riseup.net.

Here we are fighting a polluting airport project but more widely we struggle against the pillage of the earth and the privatisation of all that lives. Through our ways of life and our actions, we are also concretely struggling against productivist agriculture that has become the toxic dependency of Europe, a practice that force feeds humans and animals with GMO’s, fertilizers, pesticides and chemicals. We fight against the contamination of our soils, our water, our living world and its atmosphere. We are against climate chaos. We refuse the destruction of subsistence agriculture everywhere, which weakens humanity and brings famine in its wake. We are against the processed food lobbys which lead peasants and farmers into debt, forcing them into ‘normalised’ production for profit and making us all dependent on fossil fuels to feed ourselves. Resistance to the cataclysm of capitalism includes becoming locally independent in our production of food. We are many defending this land so that it will not be devastated and we will continue to defend it from becoming a toxic market commodity. We want water, land, healthy food and a home to be within reach of all for free. We invite those fighting these struggles to create cooperative autonomous agricultural collectives on la ZAD, so that together we can progressively develop, our autonomous subsistence and cultural diversity. It is the multitude of cultures, backgrounds and struggles that forms the richness of la ZAD. Let’s show the political parasites that resistance is fertile here. So that this vital energy blossoms we will continue to grow roots here and pollinate the rest of the earth. On the 13th of April 2013, linked with the International day of peasant struggles, we are calling on all those who support our movement to take part in a mass action to sow the lands of La ZAD.

From the Peasants Assembly Sow Your ZAD

Background to the Callout

"When the government violates the rights of the people, insurrection is for the people and for each portion of the people the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties" Declaration of the Rights of Man and woman of 24 June 1793 - Article 35

We did not chose to rebel for pleasure, nor hatred, but because humanity has no choice but to change their behavior to ensure its survival. We are at a turning point in the history of life on Earth. In less than two centuries human hyperactivity has jeopardized 3.5 million years of evolution of life. We are right now responsible for the sixth mass extinction of species. This is why, on the ZAD and elsewhere, we prepare the ground so that 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 ... billion human beings can land, and live free, equal and in harmony with the rest of life. It is urgent and we invite those who hear us to organize locally so human activity can have a beneficial rather than negative impact the environment.

There was a time when the human rights of women and the rights of people to self-determination, were claims made by current politics called socialism ... It is time that those who claim that ideology wonder about the reasons for their history of approriation and consequences of their actions on humanity and the planet. We have long observed the world around us, whether politically, socially, economically, environmentally ... the development model imposed on us every day demonstrates that it is in distress. We do not expect anything that promises archaic hegemonic power. We refuse to feed and enrich the exploiters, bosses, bosses, banks, police who protect the interests of political and financial powers that put us in danger by our activities and consumption ... We want the abolition of hierarchical control that they rule at all levels. The ideals they are trying to sell us are corrupt. We no longer believe the words from those who do not put their hands in the earth, and only know political campaigns or advertising. We do not want their misinformation, their parody of progress, their technolobotomy. In good conscience we want to use technical and scientific knowledge, only to live more gently, more soberly and to end this destructive system. We prefer to cultivate our living energies rather than to give in to fossil fuels.

Living on the ZAD we want to fight against all forms of alienation. We started taking our lives into our own hands and experimenting with other ways of life. We want to know our neighbors and create links with the surrounding towns and the struggles it leads to. We want to take the time to do things together, without interposed screens. We love to eat and share good food without a label, which is the result of our convictions. We also want work to become a shared and diversified joy. We want to reach our full potential and not be confined to a role thirty five hours a week. We do not expect to have qualifications and authorizations to act. And if we still have to arrive at a compromise with the sacred illusion of ownership, we can agree that land and natural resources are valuable assets that belong to everyone and especially that it is our responsibility to take care of. We denounce commercial imperialism regulates our lives and devastates the planet, irresponsible international competition and the exploitation of nationalism. Here we create a foundation for real international exchange, to jump borders. We want the ZAD to continue to be a experimental multicultural area, free, open based on the sharing of opinions, knowledge and know-how. We have dreams and we will strive to cultivate them here and everywhere.

For all these reasons and to achieve our goals, we demand the legitimate return of the lands that the STATE / VINCI have appropriated from humanity and the living world.

Since the beginning of the occupation of the ZAD five years ago, abandoned houses have thrived, cabins have flourished, gardens and community gardens have proliferated. No austerity plan here, despite our distrust of money, life has thrived on the ZAD. In spring 2011, at the callout of Reclaim the Fields [1] thousands of us protested, tools in hand, to clear land and install the Sabot collective. The vegetables have fueled our struggle for a year and a half. To encourage us the Government sent its helmeted and armed dialogue commission. The garden was repeatedly filled with tear gas and the collective hut destroyed. Almost all the places where we lived our lives have been razed to ground, military repression raged and gave us even more rage; yet another exemplary demonstration of state violence. Operation "Caesar" is a success, we are staying! We stay because we have on our side life, creation, empowerment and responsibility for the future. Thanks to the support of world we are more determined than ever to continue. They can not stop us all.

In November 2012 tens of thousands of us protested and rebuilt to save the lands of the ZAD and express our determination against the powers that be, who would like to, as usual, "democratically" stifle our opinions.

Today we are happy to announce that saboteurs have already sprouted many shoots! In spring 2013, although the powers that be still hope to trample our lives no matter what, this widely spread struggle, is flourishing ever more. In the spring we callout to all "volunteer seeders" to come with your shovel, your seeds, your plants and your joy to seed the ZAD.

Echoing the solidarity that we encountered, we want to be able to feed people, hold popular kitchens, and share the taste of hope with other struggles.

From the Peasants Assembly Sow Your ZAD