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About the reoccupation demo

Tuesday 23 October 2012

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

The precise date of the reoccupation demo is confirmed : 17th of November ( flyer and posters here )

===On the evictions and current resistance===

The ZAD was invaded, and three-eighths occupied by hundreds of police of all kinds last Tuesday morning (16/10/2012). Little by little, they attacked the occupied houses and huts, destroying them, and scrupulously removing all of the debris from the zone in order that nothing that might serve the resistance or reconstruction be left behind.

The sites and fields still occupied are regularly harassed, sprayed with tear gas, and trampled. The police are trying to prevent any meeting or demonstration. Since Tuesday, the occupiers and those who have come to support them have countered with barricades, roadblocks on the roads used by the cops, by reoccupations, projectiles, fires, insults and sarcasm... It has now been 4 days, in constant rain, that a few hundred people have now held the zone, at all costs, against the police, and they have every intention of staying. Demonstrations and actions have taken place every evening in Nantes and other cities, and it is not over yet.

Seven houses have already been evicted, as well as some huts, but there are several others that remain, scattered throughout the woods and fields, and in the trees. Apart from the occupiers, the tenants, owners and farmers continue to be threatened. They are also being forced to leave the ZAD. In other words, this supersized eviction attempt is now well under way. We cannot at this moment predict how the evictions are going to go. They may or may not be continuous, affecting the other huts and inhabitants in the next few days. But it seems certain that the military occupation of the zone and the demolition of the houses that have been evicted will continue next week. "Le Sabot" (the cultivable land occupied following the demo of the 7 May 2010) has resisted all the police harassment of the last week, but it is possible that the Prefecture will seek to force them to leave in the next week. At "Fosses noires" a house that was evicted on Friday evening, then reoccupied a few hours later, is threatened within the next 48 hours. The tree huts and other aerial installations remain occupied and may increase in number.

It is highly likely however that a second grand offensive will take place after the 28 October, because 3 houses will be newly evictable, including "les Rosiers," the first occupied building in the ZAD, which has now been occupied for 5 years. Be that as it may, we need reinforcement and relief and creativity in the coming days and weeks, both here, to reconstruct and continue the occupation, as well as action elsewhere to keep up the pressure.

As the struggle intensifies, and especially if there are arrests, everything possible must be done to ensure that the occupiers do not find themselves isolated. (follow to get ideas for action, meeting points, up-to-date info on the situation on the ground, and advice about what to bring)

Kudos and profound thanks to everyone who has already taken action in solidarity, demonstrated, whether that be 3 people or 2000, sent messages of support, brought food and supplies, socks, and other things required for the struggle... It warms our hearts, and feet, and bolsters morale, on these rainy days of resistance, to know that others are targeting the Socialist Party, Vinci, and their cronies, builders of the airport, and destroyers of our lives.

=== Reoccupation demo ===

With respect to the reoccupation demo, already planned should evictions take place (see the announcement), we still see the necessity for an event with wide, constructive and aggressive mobilisation following this first round of evictions. It is is still worth saying that we, the occupiers, locals and incomers, farmers and activists, have yet to lose anything in this struggle: we will always return, and we will not allow this airport to be built. Together we must construct an open place to organise the struggle for the threatened land. Our actions increasingly call this project into question, keep it in everyone’s minds.

The reoccupation demo will therefore be well received!

We had announced that it would take place on the fourth Saturday following the first significant evictions from the zone. However, though this first wave of evictions has well and truly started in the last four days, it has not seen any respite and we have had hardly had a chance to draw breath. Because of this, we have decided that it will be necessary for us to take a step back from the situation before confirming a date.

We therefore call for a meeting to organise this reoccupation demonstration of on Friday 26 October at 1900h at B17, 17 rue Paul Bellamy in Nantes. All groups, associations and individuals who wish to take part are welcome. The date of the demonstration will be confirmed following this meeting. We invite you to to pass the message as widely and rapidly as possible, so that everyone is able to arrange to come. We call on all of the collectives who support the reoccupation to begin to mobilise and to organise on the issue. As we wait we are already looking for communal kitchens, marquees, musicians, batukudas, hut kits, materials, tools, tractors... with a view to reoccupying.

All enquiries to:

Back to beginning of the idea of the reoccupation demo

On 7 May 2011, we were a thousand people on an action, pitchforks in hand, to clear and put to use an abandoned plot of agricultural land. This was to create a space to grow food to feed the struggle against the airport - and it’s been thriving since the action! We’ll be back to strive to protect this farm and other occupied places on the ZAD (Zone d’Amenagement Differé), or in other words, Zone About to be Destroyed).

On 24 June, Vinci started eviction procedures against eight squats, including Les Planchettes, our collective space of organising and hospitality.

On 10 July, during a gathering a few thousand people made a human banner saying "Vinci d égage!" (Vinci get out!)

On 23 August, the president of the region Pays de la Loire, Jacques Auxiette, asked the local authorities to clean out the radical occupiers of the ZAD. It was an unambiguous brutal call for repression, but this will not prevent us from resisting, re-occupying and re-growing.

To follow up on May 7, occupiers from the ZAD and Reclaim the Fields, a network of young activist peasants, are inviting you to be a part of a huge demonstration to re-occupy in case of an eviction, and urge all groups and collectives to support this action. If the police force does arrive to clean us out, we want to be back by the thousands to give shape to the cry "Vinci get out!" and to continue to occupy the zone and to stop construction works in their tracks.

For forty years, decision makers and construction managers have been pushing a new airport next to Nantes, at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, to make their dreams of massive economic expansion and a metropolis. The ZAD: it’s 2000 hectares of cultivated and inhabited land that they want to annihilate under concrete. The resistance against this project is at the crossroads of many challenges on which to unite, to address issues of common strategies and thinking.

Through this struggle we are fighting industrial society and agriculture, its economic development policies, its climate change and its control of the land, the megalopolis and the normalisation of ways of life, the privatisation of the commons, the myth of endless growth and the illusion of democratic participation ...

The decision-makers are constantly trying to sell their project and to give the impression that going backwards is unthinkable at this stage. So after forty years struggling, the preliminary construction work of the airport and its highway have started: drilling for soil analysis, environmental assessments, archaeological excavations and clearing works... all prerequisites for pouring concrete all over the area.

But its opponents are far from giving up and the actions intensify: blocking drillings, disturbing the environmental assessment work of Biotope*, distributing newspapers, occupying offices, construction sites, opening up Vinci’s tollways, and much more..

In addition, for more than two and a half years, instead of the ZAD gradually emptying to the rhythm of blackmail and destruction, life and activity has been flourishing.

Many of the houses left abandoned were refurbished and occupied, new houses were constructed on the ground and in the trees, collectives occupied land to make vegetable gardens. Meeting spaces, guest accomodation, a bakery and a library were opened for one and all. There are more than a hundred people permanently occupying the ZAD, supported by many others, local and elsewhere, who meet and organise. The occupations are part of a movement that has many different forms. Among other things, they have a allowed rapid reactions to the first steps taken by Vinci towards construction work.

In June 2011, Vinci began eviction procedures in order to have the legal means to remove the occupiers of the ZAD who have "no right or title". Now they want to stop the growth of the movement and make a clean sweep to start the work: as well as evicting the occupiers, they are thinking about the tenants, owners and farmers. At the same time, those names who are pro-airport do everything they can: running a campaign to isolate the occupiers, attempting to divide the movement and break up solidarity, reinforce the daily police presence and repression of collective action.

Despite this context, we’re keeping the memory of past victories in France against megalomanic projects, from nuclear to military, like at Carnet, Plogoff or Larzac, and we know that this airport can still be stopped. We look to the other side of the Alps, where opposition to the construction of the Lyon-Turin high-speed train line across a valley, where tens of thousands of people prevent work. We are preparing the same here: any attempt to concrete the place will cost them dearly.

This call for action signifies that evictions do not mean in any way the end of the struggle; it allows us to launch collective attacks after the potential evictions as well. It affirms that they cannot militarise or sterilise this place at all times and that whatever their efforts they won’t stop us reoccupying it. It shows the common will to keep the occupations going to prevent the airport project. This event will allow, as necessary, the reconstruction of collective spaces for organising, housing, or again for growing food.

Although we don’t know when the troops will be sent in, we are launching this call-out now to be able to create a massive rapid reaction. We propose to meet again on the fourth Saturday after the first eviction - bring your pitchforks, tools and beams - to reclaim the land and rebuild together.

In addition to this call for reoccupation, other initiatives are clearly welcome: solidarity actions wherever you are, presence at eviction time to hinder the police ... And until then, efforts continue to prevent the airport, and life on the ZAD as well!

Practical Info:

- Check regularly, especially in case of an eviction. The date and exact meeting location will be specified at the time.

- It will be possible to arrive on the eve of the event, for the final preparations and bringing everyone up to speed. Come prepared to camp.

- We invite you to stay here after the action to protect the re-occupied spaces and continue the construction.

*Extra explanation: Vinci is the biggest construction company in the world and is responsible for building the airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. It is also engaged in building prisons, highways, nuclear power stations, detention centers for illegal immigrants, exploiting the uranium mines in Niger and destroying the forest of Khimki near Moscow. Biotope: An entity responsible for ensuring, through environmental expert on the flora and fauna, the ecological sustainability of the airport ... the new frontiers of green capitalism!

A call-out from occupiers of the ZAD and Reclaim the Fields

Contact : **

[signed] The occupiers of the ZAD and supporting collectives, who cede nothing