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Statement from the demonstration organizers against the Nantes airport on February 22

Monday 3 March 2014

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The mobilisation for today’s demonstration was unrivalled.

There were 520 tractors from all neighbouring districts, twice as much as the demonstration on March 24 2012 in Nantes. This marks the massive farmers’ involvement who with their tractors are ready to intervene and support zad.

Around 63 buses arrived from all the regions of France, twice as much as the the last protest, the one with the human chain around zad. This is a sign of the mobilisation from all around France and the connection of Notre Dame des Landes with other struggles against useless and imposed projects.

There were around 50 to 60 thousands protesters. They were more than the participants in the protest of zad’s re-occupation on 17 November 2012 which was the largest mobilisation of the movement.

The march was festive, creative and determined, with with batucadas, salamanders and newts floats, animal masks showing the opposition against the destruction of preserved species and of the so called compensation measures. Talks and animations [T/N: music, theatre, juggling] took place until 18:00 at Daviais square.

The prefecture had chosen to set Nantes under siege and to prevent us from making our presence visible in the city. It is the first time that they are preventing a march to pass from the avenue of 50 Hostages. One part of the march passed from the island of Beaulieu. Another tried to go through the originally planned route and they came across a violent police repression with flashballs, gas and stun grenades. This did not stop the demonstrators from massively remaining in the streets of Nantes until the end.

There are many ways of expression in this movement. The government is turning its back on the protests against the airport and it really isn’t surprising seeing anger expressed in actions. What could happen should the police intervene again in zad? This day was a success and the different components of the struggle are united. The resistance is growing more and more for 30 years. The government doesn’t have a choice but to abandon the project of the airport!