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Story of an Accordion in La ZAD

Friday 18 January 2013

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Last March, my uncle passed on after a long sickness; “c’était un chic type”; before he died, he expressed his desire to pass on to me his accordion, which had accompanied him for a long time, and his wish that I play the day of his funeral a waltz that he would especially appreciate.

Some months later, I made the important encounter of four zadistes, one of whom, G, was an accordionist. On the 17th November, the evening of the demonstration that brought together 40,000 people, I was walking along the Chemin de Suez, and decided to offer him the instrument (not without first considering at length the meaning of such a gift, questioning myself about the fact of being separated from an object with a big emotional value for me, my cousin (Michel’s daughter), and in fact a whole part of the family); that said, I didn’t manage to find my friend that evening.

Suddenly, in the middle of the night, a lad arrived out of nowhere, and took the accordion out of my arms to immediately start playing the famous waltz that I had interpreted sometime before at the funeral. I saw in that a beautiful, coherent coincidence that immediately put an end to my internal questioning: Michel, from some corner of the universe where he was, seemed to want to contribute to the struggle!

I had to wait until the next day to find G. and give him this beautiful gift.

Thus, he and others were able to bring this accordion back to life in the cabins, on the barricades in the forest, at the lake; to make people dance, sing, etc...

Only for a short time, unfortunately: during a confrontation at a barricade last week, the friend that was playing it at that moment had to abandon the instrument in order to flee as quickly as possible the violence of the police. After the attack, the gendarmes retreated, leaving behind them a cloud of teargas; the accordion had disappeared.

How to explain this?

A gendarme mobile (militarised policeman), as a good father, wished to be able to offer it to his kid for Christmas?

Or perhaps this highly dangerous object of three kilos is considered a potential projectile?

Does music not, perhaps, scare them? It is true that the message and the joy that it contains motivates, livens up and warms the zadistes; it makes us dance as well, and carries the human image of the struggle. Saturday, 24 November the cops gassed, shot rubber bullets, and hurled concussion grenades at a group of dancers. Would they, from now on, attempt to punish us by stealing our musical instruments?

It is vital that creativity is expressed on La ZAD, in Notre-Dame-des-Landes: it is a precious force, and power fears it. The bosses and their underlings have already lost but do not yet realize it, so for the pleasure of showing them, I, you, they, we will continue to mobilise, as well as to play, to write, to sing, to build, dance, paint..

Because Art is Life. And Life is not this airport.