Since early Monday morning, I’ve been watching with disgust as the police evicted activists from the ZAD (Zone to Defend) at Notre-Dames-des Landes in the west of France. This is a brutal demonstration of force against individuals who have stood up and protected this land from a climate-wrecking project.
Last night 80+ solidarity gatherings took place in towns and cities throughout France, and there are more to come.
Since 3am Monday April 9, more than 2,500 armed police were sent to the ZAD, where they started a wave of destruction targeting self-made houses and agricultural buildings. The police also banned journalists from entering the area, which means that the media will have to make do with images sent by the police headquarters.
This behaviour by the government, who originally said they’d manage the situation peacefully, is unjustifiable. It’s in direct contradiction with the logic of dialogue, which the government originally supported in a collective plan for ZAD inhabitants and their projects. On February 10, 2018, more than 30,000 people came together at the ZAD to anchor this hope and continue to support this space for experimentation, which shelters one of the largest wetlands in France.
For almost 50 years, tens of thousands of people fought against the airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes and its proponents, and in January this year the French climate and environmental movement experienced a historic victory when the government announced that the project to build this new airport would be abandoned.
1st day of destruction in #ZAD #NDDL: Police has demolished 9 significant structures, among them the place called “100 names”, known for it’s large and productive garden as well as it’s warm and tender hosts. Here is before and after the cop’s disgraceful actions: pic.twitter.com/18taIs1Xtw
— Ｍᥑᥣtᥱ Ｍᥑ𐌢 (@MalteBlom) April 9, 2018
The ZAD occupants influenced our political movements, created links with other struggles over other proposed infrastructure and inspired us with tactics to help us win. Let’s remember that the struggles to defend the ZAD, public transport, universities, and dignified policies for housing and migrants form part of the same movement – one for a more just and sustainable world.
If you weren’t able to join one of the support meetings last night, consider joining one in the coming days, or be present at NDDL, and don’t hesitate to support the ZAD on social media or in your circles with the hashtags #ZAD and #NDDL.