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Proposal for a day of action against the military occupation of territory

Thursday 23 May 2013

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

After the first time the cops left the La Saulce junction, ZAD residents found it important to talk about and act on the military occupation. The idea to propose a day of action on this issue to the committees had been discussed during the meeting of the committees 14 April. During the two assemblies that had taken place on the crossroads the idea of doing a call-out to the committees to work on actions to occupy roads, boulevards or junctions had been brought up several times. A group of inhabitants of the ZAD-es, and people from different local committees had met after these meetings to discuss it. The proposed text, written after these discussions, was presented during the inter-committee meeting on 14 May.

The committees present were interested in the idea, the members of the group from Paris suggested 14 July. The idea will serve as a base to discuss the initiative during the meeting of the local committees. After these discussions, the interested committees can write us on the follow address: antioccupmilit [at] We are waiting for a response from them with more information about militarisation of territory in their region. After that a call-out about this day of action and the date will be written:

Proposal for a day of action against the military occupation of territory

After 23rd November and after two days of confrontation to defend La Chataigne, Le Rosier and the Rohanne Forest, the authorities put in place a double strategy: on one hand, the creation of the so-called “dialogue” commission and on the other hand, a permanent military occupation of some of the intersections on the zone. Policing the area and looking for partners amongst the opposing parties are part of a single strategy implemented by the State and Vinci to try to stifle our struggle.

During these last five months, we have lived what you can call a military occupation: moving checkpoint of accesses of the zone, permanently on Ardillieres and the La Saulce junction with a presence of a variable number of riot vans who turned the centre of the ZAD in a real checkpoint.

Despite prefectural orders and vehicle searches, people bringing construction materials and fuel could not be stopped. This is in any case not the objective of a military occupation of territory. This grid method, already proven in other conflict situations, aims to keep more control over our comings and goings, to file us, to intimidate us with flashlights, identity controls, to separate the fields from the houses, the bar from our beds, distance friends and to prevent information to pass easily from one side to the other.

Blocking this junction is forcing us to trample the surrounding fields, wading through the mud, as an attempt to isolate places, to cut the area, to slow down our capacity to organize, to divide us. Military occupying a junction surely is a way, on the ZAD just like anywhere else, to occupy our lives. During these months, we have lived, in a more permanent and visible way what military occupation of territory means everywhere else. What divides poorer neighbourhoods in city centres, what makes most of the so-called “public” places unliveable, which requires lowering the head on the streets of all cities.

Military occupation of territory is the fundamental function of police and army in our society. It is not a coincidence that the control of roads, crossroads, streets is the main activity of police forces in democracies. This logic of permanent occupation is not limited to the ZAD, but can be seen daily in the streets and railway stations in the dormitory suburbs as in the inner city museums.

Friday 12th April 2013, the day before the demonstration “Seme ta ZAD” the cops left the junction in a rain of projectiles of all sorts. During the weekend that followed we danced, drank and ate on this finally liberated place, build half-barricades in an attempt to stop their troops coming back, while allowing free movement for our neighbours and the milk truck.

The following Monday, the comeback of the riot police was marked by clashes, spontaneous and legitimate expression of anger against the cops who, here as elsewhere, don’t care about us, hurt us and lock us up.

During the night of 19th April, the cops left again, for longer this time (better to come back later?). Since this day, we cross the zone again in all directions, a weight lifted of the centre, delighted that our homes, east to west, north to south, became closer again and that we can visit them freely on bikes or on foot.

We know that active resistance to a military occupation (ambushes, confrontations, psychological harassment) is not the only reason that made the police leave. The cops’ leaving is due to their inability to maintain the occupation while continuing to monitor the entire French territory. Enjoying taking back the area now the cops have gone, we do realise that they are still as present everywhere else.

Because we are not only fighting against an airport, but against the world that produces it.

Because the strategy of decay and division, following the end of the dialogue commission and the occupation of the junctions on the zone should not make us less carefull, quite the contrary.

Because we are against the development of land and against its control by whatever armed forces.

We would like to invite the local committees:
- to reflect and discuss locally what forms of military occupation of territory is present
- to organise to act in a coordinated way in order to rebuild roads and intersections space of freedom, celebration and struggle.

It is more than in solidarity that we call-out to reclaim crossroads everywhere. Cut their cash in order to hinder their control. So that for once, it’s them that have to turn around. That we are able to stop, to meet on places that got taken from us, wherever it is, we are allowed to sit back from their control.

A temporary occupation of a road can take many forms: false Vinci tollbooths, clownarmy, street parties reinforced by samba bands and fences, barricades, trenches and half barricades to shout: “ZAD everywhere!”, installing temporary gardens on the asphalt of cities, human chains on big boulevards, reusing waist to dress up like cops doing humorous road checks and anything that might come up from the subversive imagination of local committees ...

This idea was discussed with the different local committees during the meetings of 12th May, and 14th July was proposed as the day of action against the military occupation of territory, proposal of the date that needs to be discussed more by the collectives. An email address has been made for the different committees to comment on the proposal and participate in the development of this call-out.

Antioccupmilit [at]