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

Home > Comrades in struggle > Luttes contre le monde qui veut cet aéroport > And now, what can we do?

And now, what can we do?

Sunday 2 November 2014

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

Saturday night, at the construction site of the dam project in Sivens, at around 2am, Remi died. For those that were there over the last 6 months at Testet, for those who were in the battles of at the ZAD at Notre Dame Des Landes, for those who at one time or another have found themselves face to face with a line of cops, one thing is obvious, this was neither an error nor a suspicious death, here we are talking about an assassination.

Saturday night Remi died after a long day of confrontations. The day before the opponents of the project made the guards leave the site and managed regain ground by destroying what still remained on the site by setting it on fire. The next day the anti riot unit of the gendarmerie returned to the site to protect what is now an empty parking lot. At 2am that night the death of Remi was announced by medics. Despite this the police continued to shoot at the protestors until the early morning. Contrary to what the press have said, many of those wounded were treated by the ZAD’s own medics. Throughout the weekend the police did not hesitate to aim for the head with rubber bullets and to fire rounds of tear gas and sound grenades directly at the opponents. For the duration of the military operation in Testet, the police have consistently scattered the opponents to the project, increasing their use of dirty tactics. Sunday evening in Gailliac, a town nearby, during the first rally, after the announcement of the death of Remi, everyone thought the police would be mild, but in fact the same gendarmes charged and dispersed the people gathered with brute force.

And so it seems that what happened to Rémi could have happened to anyone of us, here or elsewhere; to anyone who had a bit of determination to take action that day based on their convictions. A young man is dead, it makes little difference whether he was a ’pacifist’ or a ’radical’. Saturday night he was on this hill against the military zone, trying to help push back the police and their machinery.

Sunday evening we heard announcements that Rémi was a pacifist, and that those who participated in the confrontations were anarchists. These statements are truly unacceptable. To say that is to sustain old divisions and to play into the hands of the status quo. The strength of movements and struggles like­ No-Tav in Italy, the Zad in Notre Dame or others is in knowing how to truly regroup their own practices, which rather than conflict, complement each other and work together towards tangible and material victories. The intelligence of the struggle is in its ability to transform that which too often appears like rigid divisions and differences. Questioning and requestioning them allows us to grow together and gives us strong grasp on the diversity of our tactics.

The idea of a Zone to Defend grew out of things that have happened elsewhere, which explains stupid phrases like ’but you are not from here?’ or ’we have never seen you before.’ Without the massive external support, the ZAD of NDDL would never have been able to confront the cops and their machines. The ZAD of Testet, like the others, is not only a local issue, it is a struggle against governance, against the forced reclamation of territory, and even against the existence of the police.

When Alexis was killed by the police in 2008, the whole country was set ablaze. When Ziyad and Bouna were killed following a cop chase in 2005, there were weeks of sustained riots. Inaction would be a defeat. We must above all, not let the fear installed in us reduce us to impotence. It is the future of our lives and our struggles that are on the line. Even if the project was stopped, or suspended provisionally, there would not be a victory today.

We hear those who say ’ beware don’t give into your anger, .’..’ ’ remain reasonable ’The project will soon be abandoned.’etc. This way of seeing the struggle is unacceptable. One should should not forget that a life is worth more than the dropping of a dam building project. The rage that invades us today can not be contained in the name of operational costs and the fear of chaos...... We shall not repress the rebellion that this death has aroused in us because of strategic media concerns. Anyone can take part or not take part in a struggle against a dam. The reaction which must follow will travel a lot further than the Siven. Already there have been gatherings all over France and this can only grow. Whatever the autopsy says. Whatever the media says. We already know the truth, no need to wait for theirs. The cops killed Rémi.

We don’t want to create a martyr but to insure that this death prevents our struggle from going backwards. By regaining collective control of the situation we give ourselves a means of victory. . Primarily by bringing to life that which brought Rémi and thousands of others to these fences But also by proving our everlasting capacity to make movement.

Now, everywhere, we organise.

To life.

To Rémi.