Zone A Défendre
Tritons crété-e-s contre béton armé

Home > Texts > Analysis > Speech of inhabitants during the Forum against useless projects

Speech of inhabitants during the Forum against useless projects

Wednesday 7 August 2013

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

Friends from here, friends from elsewhere-

Everyone knows that a territory is defended with its inhabitants, and that a territory emptied of it’s population is easy to conquer. It’s anyways for this reason that a callout was made public on mayday 2008 for occupying the land injustly appropriated by the promoters of this project. The strategy paid off. The bulldozer of progress doesn’t pass as easily as planned. It’s now 2012 and the works have been heavily delayed.

Our common enemies (Aeroport Grand Ouest [aeroport conglomerate], Vinci [contractor], and the State) know well that if they manage to make us leave, us who live in this zone... they will have won! We won’t let them realize their project of death by destroying our places of living, even if they will do anything to get us out. Harassment by telephone, sending baliffs, militarizing the zone, visits by Vinci employees who try to teach us that we need to be “reasonable”... accept to leave our houses... to give up our land... to leave this territory that we love under threat of losing everything and being convicted by the court system.

In this just combat that we live, nothing of us is a property investment:

- Last September, blind police violence beats on the opponents of the project who came to occupy Mercoeur Square and its trees for that hurried passerby would raise their eyes to the sky and read on the banners why we didn’t want this airport and the world that comes with it (urbanization, loss of agricultural land, cheap commodified transport, nuclear power, police, the state etc...). 32 arrests in one day, with a comrade electrocuted by a tazer 30 feet high by the SWAT team.

- On June 21, the opponents occupied the town hall of Notre-Dame-des-Landes to express their categorical refusal of the project. The protesters were beaten with clubs and tear gassed. The riot police broke the windshields of some of the tractors with crowbars and arrested a farmer. His tractor which he needs to work his farm was confiscated, and he has a court case the 28th of August, for “voluntary violence with a deadly weapon against someone invested with public authority”

- The Herbin family has a trial next wednesday in St. Nazaire for, in the legal language of the baliffs that makes you want to vomit, “to clean out the place of their presence”. These are the first legal inhabitants of Notre-Dame-des-Landes who find themselves in front of a judge for the simple fact to living in the zone of the airport project. AGO/ Vinci assert in their communiques that this family “has no right or legal title (to live there)” to be able to reserve them the same fate as the occupiers: a quick eviction. Since July 3rd, other renters are evictable and have also received a supoena to appear at trial. We know that the way the legal machine advances, all who want to stay and resist at some point will have “no right or legal title”

These are but three examples amoung so many others of the repression of opponents to the project. And to say that the stabbing in the back by our most dear elected political officials, we remember the discours of Ms. Duflot (National Housing Minister) during summer courses sponsored by the Green Party, she bragged, “I say it, looking in your eyes, the deal with the Socialist Party, if the don’t drop the Notre-Dame-des-Landes project, it will be a no.” These pitiful lies show that between the social and ecological convictions on which the politicians embroidered at length the discourse and the unhealthy attraction of gold of power, they chose the latter. We are not people who will let ourselves be fleeced by electoral promises and their campaigns of tricks. We are not those who by their naivete become a doormat on which they wipe their feet negligently to gain the cozy comfort of a minister’s chambers. Confronted with police batons, intimidation, and political betrayals we could lower our arms, we could give up. The uncertainty of tomorrow, the passivity of one part of the local inhabitants, are often difficult to live. But we will say it again, the fight goes on, and we can’t lose. Not because we are the strongest, but because it’s us who are right. The eviction trial brought against the Herbin family is a test for all the opponents. To not react with force is to give up in front of Vinci, AGO, and the State.

No! We will not let them steal our houses, steal our land, destroy our lives!

For the trial of the Herblain family we will gather in front of the courtroom in St. Nazaire to show to them that we’re not going anywhere!

In the weeks and months to come: we’ll block the public inquiry, the preparatory work, and every step of the project!

We will reinforce the occupation of la ZAD and the movement of struggle against the airport!

It’s together that we can jam their machine and stop the project!