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The collective always rises again – Raising of a market / assembly hall at Le Gourbi in the ZAD on Sunday

Monday 16 April 2018

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

Saturday 14 April 2018

The collective always rises again – Raising of a market / assembly hall at Le Gourbi in the ZAD on Sunday. This Sunday a wooden market building, sawn and joined by carpenters in the middle of the resistance to police/army attacks, will be set up at the locale called Le Gourbi. We invite you all to come on Sunday to support the raising of this new Le Gourbi and provide protection in the future. On Wednesday, Gourbi 4 was destroyed by backhoes following another offensive by gendarmes. It is one of the numerous places in the ZAD that were attacked last week. Like the other places, the locale had a fine and singular history.

Gourbi was one of the most shared places in the Zad. It is not an individual habitat but a space dedicated to the commons. It is there that the “non-market” is held every Friday, as well as many meetings of ZAD residents.The geodesic dome made of earth, straw, and metal was one of many examples of the architectural creativity that has emerged here. This latest version of Le Gourbi had been built at a decisive moment for the movement, during a major construction effort on 30 June 2016. The building was our response at the time to the manipulation through which the government was attempting to impose the airport project under cover of democracy, via a public referendum. Our response is a space dedicated to our own way of organizing: From the base, with the persons concerned, in assemblies and via concrete implementations. The destruction of Le Gourbi is one of the ways in which the government showed its phobia and its contempt of collective action last week. Their destruction of this place of organization, like the living and working spaces they also destroyed, asserts their negation of the possibility of any broad experiment that takes other paths than that of liberal individualism in conformity with the Macronist vision of the world.

But in this bocage, the collective always rises again, and Le Gourbi no doubt tells that story better than any other place in the ZAD. Mr. and Mrs. Gourbi’s home had disappeared under the onslaught of the backhoes in autumn 2012. It had been occupied at the request of its former tenants, barricaded, and then evicted a few days later. On the ruins of the house a new place was built, named Le Gourbi in tribute, during the period that followed Operation César. It answered the need for a shared space in the center of the ZAD. It was almost entirely renovated in 2015 and turned into a stylish, wood-panelled meeting room. But one evening in autumn 2015, when many of us had left the ZAD to go to Paris for the COP 21 meetings, Gourbi 3 was attacked by arsonists. Gourbi 4 was rebuilt a few months later, before again suddenly disappearing on Wednesday 11 April.

The beams of the Gourbi 5 meeting / market hall will be raised on Sunday, having been sawn and joined over the past three days at the Bellevue farm by carpenters working under emergency conditions, from the ZAD and from other places, who once again came in support. This is the first construction to have been built under the Hangar de l’Avenir, itself built at the time of the sticks demonstration on 8 October 2016 and meant become the ZAD’s carpentry-cabinet shop. The timber used is from the woodcutting campaign conducted by the Abracadabois collective in the Rohanne Forest this winter. Gourbi 5 will be able to serve as a space for meetings, organization, and free redistribution of produce from the ZAD. It is one of the initiatives through which we will demonstrate the ZAD’s ability to regenerate and our still-intact desire for collective living and working after a week of incredible resistance. The carpenters invite you to join them for the raising of the new edifice, at the stroke of noon on the Gourbi site – between La Saulce and Les Fosses Noires – during the big assembly on Sunday 15 April 2018.

Long live Gourbi 5, long live the ZAD!

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