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The Movement is Dead, Long Live... Reform!

Monday 14 May 2018

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The Movement is Dead, Long Live... Reform!

This text was written during fall 2017 on the ZAD of Notre-Dame- des-Landes, France. Since then, the situation drastically changed when the government announced on January 17 th , 2018 that they are abandoning the airport project. It may seem obsolete to pub- lish this after the “victory”. But, despite the importance this strug- gle has for me, I didn’t celebrate this victory. I am probably too suspicious and critical about what’s at stake and what’s hiding behind the decision.
In this difficult period for social struggles, the fight against the air- port has become a kind of symbol against the capitalist onslaught, as the struggle to not lose in an ocean of defeats. So, trying a crit- ical approach means often being confronted by a defensive reflex to protect an idealized vision. Oh well, here goes...
This text is addressed to those who want to question “victory”, and dig a little deeper into what is at play here.
On one hand, because the end of the struggle against the airport leaves the “movement” an orphan – or even dead – and thus fac- ing a new situation. Yet even if it is new, it will remain the leg- acy of these long mixed-up years of conflicts between different political tendencies, with their different objectives and means in struggle.
On the other hand, because the recent months leading up to this “historic victory” have much to tell and to contribute to a culture of struggle in general. And because we can already imagine the glorious and eternal radiance that many will give to this victory.

This text talks about internal political tensions in the occupation movement, alliances with liberal organizations and political parties, relationship to the media, reformism, revolutionary romanticism, and the situation after the airport was abandoned.

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