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

Home > Texts > Communiqués et appels du mouvement anti aéroport > Call for solidarity action, from the ZAD, Notre Dame des Landes, against (...)

Call for solidarity action, from the ZAD, Notre Dame des Landes, against the militarised violence of the French state

Monday 16 April 2018

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

CALL FOR SOLIDARITY ACTION, from the ZAD, Notre Dame des Landes

Against the militarised violence of the French state

Saturday 14 April 2018

Here, at the ZAD Notre-Dame des Landes, since the start of its so-called "law enforcement" operation, the French government has deployed massive and hugely costly means against civilians who are defending their lives and their life-projects, and against all those persons who have come to support them. The government has had no hesitation in using military means such as drones, helicopters, hummers, armoured vehicles, personnel wagons and ’famas’ assault rifles. Furthermore, it has been using techniques destined to endanger the lives of the people present on the ZAD of Notre-Dames des Landes.

On Monday 9 April, at 2:30 am, the riot police attacked in the middle of the night, blinding people with powerful spotlights, while sending wave after wave of tear gas grenades and GIF4 bombs (composed of gas and metal). [Note 1] During this attack, a resident was caught by the riot police, and held by immobilization techniques on freezing ground for more than two hours, until the point that he lost consciousness. He was taken by firefighters, who refused to throw him in Vigneux-de-Bretagne as the gendarmes wanted. They took him to the emergency outpatients of the University Hospital of Vannes. Upon arrival, the doctors found that his body temperature had dropped to 35°. He had come very close to death.

The government has the nerve to say that it is using only non-lethal weapons, but to us it is clear that the use of these weapons is likely to achieve the same result as the use of lethal weapons. Indeed - usually aiming at people’s heads - the military have no hesitation in hesitate in shooting flashballs without warning, and firing tear gas grenades and GIF4.

Also, during eviction operations, they they are hitting people on the rooftops of the living places that the state is seeking to destroy. To date, medical teams in the ZAD report that more than 110 people have been injured, including a significant number of injuries to the face and the eyes. These wounds are deliberate and premeditated. In order to disperse the people, the gendarmes launch massive clouds of tear gas to prevent people from seeing, and once there is no more visibility, they attack them with GIF4 grenades, resulting in the wounding of many people. Night attacks are becoming more frequent and at these times there is no doubt that the risk of injury and killing increases. We should add that the government is plunging entire neighbourhoods of the ZAD into darkness by cutting electricity (and, as of today, threatening to cut off the water).

We do not know how long we can avoid people being killed as a result of the violence of the riot police, and that will just add to the very long list of people murdered [in France] during military and police operations in working-class neighbourhoods, and at the borders, and in the zones à défendre [areas to defend].

This state violence is not new! We all recall the use of helicopters night and day under the 2005 State of Emergency established to suppress the revolts of lower-income neighbourhoods following the murders of Zyed and Bouna. And the presence of weapons of war in the hands of riot police during the uprisings of Beaumont-sur-Oise after the assassination of Adama Traore. And the setting up of snipers during the resistance movements of Aulnay-sous-Bois following the death of Yacine in the cellar of a local building.

We are mindful of the fact that, although the government has declared an end to the State of Emergency, police officers are constantly carrying submachine guns, and that night attacks are taking place against the poor populations who are the targets of state racism. We thank those friends, women and men alike, who have demonstrated in front of the armament factories of the gendarmerie. And we issue a call for demonstrations, blockading actions, and every kind of solidarity action, to curb the rise of military violence not only here but also in the working-class neighbourhoods, the city centres, and the countryside, of mainland France, of its overseas territories, and also at its borders.

We reaffirm our solidarity with the family of Amine BENTOUNSI, and with Todor BOKANOVIC, Hocine BOURAS, Taoufik EL-AMRI, Rémy FRAISSE, Angelo GARAND, Babacar GUEYE, Chian LIU, Shaoyo LIU, Adama TRAORE, Ali ZIRI, and all the other families who have lost a loved one because of attacks by the police, the gendarmerie and the army.

Signed: The general assembly of the resistance movement of the ZAD of NDDL, Friday 13 April 2018

Translator’s Note: For a full account of the police weaponry used in the ZAD, see the list at:

For instance the so-called "grenades de désencerclement" which produce loud explosions and project rubber pellets and metallic residues which can cut deeply into the skin and cause serious, and perhaps irreversible, wounding (cutting ligaments, nerves etc). As regards the GIF4 grenades, no further information available from the Internet.