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Direct Flash Infos 11th to 17th of january

Tuesday 12 January 2016

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Ouest-France article.

Three tractor drivers were arrested monday around 6pm at Saint-Etienne-de-Montluc. They were participating in a “snail operation” against the airport project. Port-Saint-Père, Aigrefeuile, between Joué-sur-Erdre and Nort-sur-Erdre, Blain, Savenay: five blockages and “snail operations” were organized this monday in the region. The collective of airport opponents COPAIN 44 intended to keep the pressure on after the big demonstration which gathered 20,000 people Saturday in Nantes. The fixed and moving roadblocks began at 2pm, and continued until 6pm. They were lifted calmly and without incident, except for the roadblock at the roundabout near Savenay. The police escorted ten-something tractors on the road back to the farm, starting in Cordemais. To prevent the block from splitting in half, at Saint-Étienne-de-Montluc, they tried to intercept them. According to the police, the tractors didn’t comply. They went around the police cars by driving up on the sidewalk. A lamp-post was damaged. One kilometer further, a specialized police unit from Nantes tried to stop them. The tractors did not stop. Two soldiers who had gotten out of their car were lightly wounded. One of them was hit by a tractor wheel. The three tractor drivers, two men and a woman, were arrested and are being held in custody for refusal to comply with orders, putting others lives in danger and willful violence with a weapon. Their tractors have been confiscated.

Monday Flash Info All day monday, roadblocks were held on several roads in Loire-Atlantique by farmers opposed to the airport project. A “snail operation” is planned for Nantes on Tuesday morning. Monday January 11th, 21h30 “Do we have to paralyze the region to be heard?” This is the question COPAIN is asking the government tonight (Collective of Agricultural Professionals Indignant about the airport project in NDDL. All day, the farmers organized “snail operations” and roadblocks across the region. Almost a hundred tractors, supported by 300-400 people, participated in these roadblocks, according to the coordinators of the mobilization interviewed by Reporterre. This operation asks for the end of the eviction trial process begun against the “legal” farmers and landowners of the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. A crucial moment will happen Wednesday in front of the exceptional courthouse in Nantes. VINCI (contractor) at the request of the State, has asked for an immediate eviction of inhabitants of the zone where the airport construction is planned. The farmers demand a “guarantee, clear and with no ambiguity, which conforms to his (Hollande, the president’s) prior engagements, that there will be no eviction of the ZAD before all of the legal appeals process is completely over. Five blockades or “snail operations” happened this Monday, in various towns and villages to the west, south, north, and north-west of Nantes.

“We are only asking to be heard and to have a response”, explains Vincent Delabouglise, the spokesperson for Copain 44. “In particular about the foundation of the project, we want that it be started over again. But we’ve had no response at all, it’s incomprehensible!” The Socialist president of the Loire-Atlantique Departmental Council, asked the police chief to take measures to guarantee the free circulation of the citizens. “It’s a fundamental right. The inhabitants of Loire-Atlantique need to be able to move about freely”, he declared to France 3 Pays de Loire. “When we see these declarations from the departmental president, and those of Prime Minister Manuel Valls which confirm the construction (of the airport), it’s something to worry about”, retorts Vincent Delabouglise. “The anger is rising. The goal is not to go to the point of physical confrontation, but if we don’t have a response, we will step up our tactics. The calm will only return when we get a response from Hollande (the president).” This Monday night, the tractors have gone home for the night. But they have planned to get back out on the road from Tuesday morning. A “snail operation” is planned on the ring road of Nantes starting at 7:30 am, as well as other actions, elsewhere in the department.

Interview Reporterre/Copain January 9th.

Vincent Delabouglise- “We have made our request to Mr. Hollande very clear, and at this hour (4pm) we still haven’t gotten a response. The farmer’s determination is total, there is a huge anger, we are staying here and we will wait for a response from Mr. Hollande. It’s in his interest to respond to us quickly, because the longer he waits, the angrier we get. It’s time that he realizes the amplitude of what could happen. Reporterre- Has he clearly received the message? VD- There have been a certain number of communications, and there was an emergency meeting this morning at the Elysée, so I imagine that he’s gotten the news. R- When do you expect a response? VD- Whenever they feel like it. As soon as we’ve gotten what we’ve asked for, we’ll pack up camp. R- And if there is no response? VD- Then they’ll see. But they take a big risk. It’s time to stop playing around, to take us for idiots and to run us around. We’re not talking about silly questions today, we’re talking about the roots of the problem, what’s at stake for the sociey, which are questions that concern everybody. Us, we’re not gonna give up. We’ve been asking for a meeting for seven years, to talk about the foundation of this project, and see how we can get ourselves out of it, and we’ve never had a response. The only responses are trials and police forces. R- If they send the police to move the tractors, it will probably be in violent way. Are the members of Copain 44 prepared to face that? VD- We won’t stand up to bulldozers. But they will need to take responsibility for the image that it will give. We have 400 tractors here today, and it’s only a small part of those that would be ready to come. If they were to evict us forcefully, many would be ready to come help us. We’re here on a bridge. I feel comfortable saying that we can mobilize large numbers with the farmer union networks. Because here, this is a farmer’s action, and it’s really the farmers who are blockading.