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A call for all tree lovers and rebel climbers to defend the zad

Tuesday 4 October 2016

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

(and a meet up on the 9th of October)

During operation Cesar in 2012, (the first attempted eviction of the zad, a rural zone that is occupied against a new airport project in Western France), the tree houses were a form of resistance that was a nightmare for the police and one of our most useful tactics. It was the struggle on the forest floor and high up in the branches that on the 23rd-24th November 2012 marked the end of weeks of attacks and destruction. As the sun set, the police were forced to retreat, chased out by a huge collective scream that echoed from tree top to tree top.

Four years on, the government are preparing to return to destroy all the homes, fields, hedgerows and forests on the 4000 acres of liberated territory of the zad, against an airport and its world. In order to complement the other forms of resistance on the terrain, we are calling on everyone who wishes to use their creativity to defend the trees of the zad – from the Rohanne forest to the other woodlands and individual species.

We are calling on those who via their professions or passions are versed in the protection of forests. On climbers, tree surgeons, rope access workers and acro-branchers who adore heights, love dancing on branches and building tree houses.

We are looking for all those who have already taken part in this kind of resistance, who have experiences to share, who know techniques to keep us safe yet difficult to catch when high up, who can tie trees together to make them harder to cut and who can jam the machines that attempt to chop the trees down.

Faced with the urgent threat, we would like this call-out to be spread via the networks of those involved in such practices and who are concerned by such issues and who could come and help. We are looking for people who are prepared to come from now and prepare platforms and structures in the trees, to bring equipment and share their skills, as well as people who could come on site in the event of an attack. Knowing that putting up structures in the trees on the zad will require having discussions with those living nearby and a certain awareness of all the other forms of resistance that are already planned.

We are also calling on forest workers, lumberjacks, loggers, tree surgeons and others from forests in solidarity to make public statements of support and to send us any information that might come their way on companies that might be collaborating with the destruction of the zad, and to make it known within their profession that they are against the project.

The first meeting and discussion for all those interested will take place on Sunday 9th October at the zad, the day after the mass demonstration of the 8th.

9th October – 2pm – Saulce Crossroads. If you are interested in coming or simply wish to have more information contact us

Here is an initial list of equipment that we are looking for:

- 14mm Polyprop rope
- Nets, fishing nets etc..
- Static/semi static and dynamic ropes
- Climbing harnesses, carabiner, 6-8mm cord, discender, webbing
- Ascent devices
- Metal cables
- Climbers of the bocage (the name of the particular wooded landscape of the zad)

For more info on the zad see the site: and this little book – Defending the zad.