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IMPORTANT DATE CHANGE: Invitation to an intergalactic week in the ZAD - Notre-Dame-des-Landes – August 17th to 24th

Wednesday 14 June 2017

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WATCH OUT! Dates change for the Intergalactic Week on the zad: now 17th to 24th August

Hello! We had announced a week of gathering with collectives and struggles from other countries on the zad from 12th to 20th August.

However, the resistance against the nuclear dump in Bure (North East of France) and those occupying the Lejuc Woods have been facing massive police pressure and evictions threats lately. Comrades over there are organising a festival "Bure’lesques" (http://www.burefestival.org/) over the week end of the 12th and 13th August and a big demo against Andra on the 15th. We have therefore decided to move the Intergalactic Week to make it easier for those who would like to go to both events and avoid the overlap.

All additional infos about Bure can be found there : http://vmc.camp Really sorry to those who had already made plans. Please forward this to your friends who had planned to come on the zad from the 12th, and see you in Bure beforehand!

Below, you’ll find the invitation of the Intergalactic Week.

- The programme for the week is here (subject to changes)

An autonomous zone against an airport project and its world

For over 50 years, farmers and locals have resisted the building of a new airport for the French city of Nantes (which by the way already has one). Now in these rich fields, forests and wetlands, which multinational Vinci wants to cover in concrete, an experiment in reinventing everyday life in struggle is blossoming. Radicals from around the world, local farmers and villagers, citizen groups, trade unionists and naturalists, refugees and runaways, squatters and climate justice activists and many others, are organising to protect the 4000 acres of land against the airport and its world. Government officials have coined this place “a territory lost to the republic”. Its occupants have named it: la zad (zone a défendre) zone to defend. In the winter of 2012, more than a thousand of riot police attempted to evict the zone, but they faced a determined and diverse resistance. This culminated in a 40,000 people strong demonstration to rebuild some of what had been destroyed by the French State. Less than a week later, the police was forced to stop what they called “Operation Cesar”. Since then, la zad has been progressively freeing itself from the state and consumerist society and has been connecting with other struggles, regionally and beyond. The movement is alive with the possibility of victories.

For the past 8 years (since a Climate Action Camp reinforced the occupation of the land), this zone has been an extraordinary laboratory of new ways of living, rooted in collaborations between all those who make up the diversity of this movement. Despite this heterogeneity, a shared framework to radically rethink how to organise, inhabit and work the land without an airport, has been agreed upon, based on the creation of commons, the notion of usage rather than property and the demand that those who fought for the land are those who decide its use.

## Zad’s future still has to be fought for

In the last few years, the movement has had to constantly organize mass mobilisations and direct actions to prevent any new attempt from the government to start the construction of the aiport. Last fall, the entire zone was due again for expulsions. On October 8th 2016, tens of thousands of people gathered on the zad to demonstrate the determination of the movement. Honouring farmers struggles from the past, they came with wooden walking sticks and staffs and planted them in the ground, making a collective pledge to come back and pick them up again to defend the zad if necessary. After months of tension and preparation for resistance the government gave up on its eviction plans. The newly elected government has chosen to save time via a 6 month-long “mediation” about the airport. It might finally abandon the project or reaffirm its necessity. But in any case, it will certainly try to find a new way to put the zad under attack.

##August 17th – 24th: A summer invitation in the zad

We’re inhabitants of the zad who wish to strenghten connections and networks with groups and people from other countries. In this spirit, we invite you to an Intergalactic week* in the zad from the 17th to the 24th of August. The week will include various activities, workshops, discussions :

Participation to the construction of the Intergalactic cabin : During the whole summer, a intergalactic cabin will be built in the zad. It will be a place to welcome groups and projects from all over the world, a space with possibilities for trainings, meetings, presentations, parties, and much more. It will be possible to join the construction work during the whole week as well as discuss how you might want to use the space when operational.

“Defend the zad” trainings : We will organise practical trainings about the zad’s defense. It will be an opportunity to share techniques and ideas for resisting a massive police attack on the ground. This trainings were tried last year with hundreds of people of various ages, desires and physical capacities. It will also be an opportuntity to discuss the possibilities for off site actions and blocades for those who won’t be able to come to the zad in case of evictions.

Sharing the history of zad : We’ll propose walks and times slots to share the history of the zad.

Reinforcing connections with other struggles and solidarities : We want to discuss possibilities to stop capitalist projects, to take part in revolutionary situations, to build autonomous zones on a long term and large scale in a strong network, and ideally strengthen the no border network. We want to exchange about your experience. There will be times slots open during the week for various presentations and discussions.

Logistic and participation : The intergalactic week will use the structure of a “mobile camp” that was put together last year in case of evictions (however participants need to bring their own tents, mats, sleeping bags, headtorch). Food and logistics will be organized and will require everybody’s involvement.

Let us know if you are coming! : We need to know in advance the number of participants in order to organize the programme and logistics (ideally we would like people to come and stay for the whole week to develop a process in common). Please tell us before by July 31st how many of you will come and for how long. Let us know as which language(s) you speak so as to organize translation.

We look forward to welcoming you in the zad! Contact : exclaimthezad@riseup.net

This Intergalactic Gathering is a tribute to the Zapatista’s incentive to go beyond borders and a contribution to their recent call « The Walls Above, The Cracks Below (and to the Left) » http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/02/14/los-muros-arriba-las-grietas-abajo-y-a-la-izquierda/