Here is the translation of an article published on vmc.camp on the 8th February.
For several weeks now, Andra has been putting more and more pressure on the nuclear waste disposal opponents. Two weeks ago on January 23rd an opponent was hit in the face by a private security guard during their first attempt to re-enter the forest. A lawsuit was filed for the injuries. Last week on Monday January 31st, Emmanuel Hance, Andra’s PR person, threw gasoline on a barricade onto which opponents had attached themselves.
While Andra is boasting of its respect for legal procedures, it attempted yet another demonstration of strength on February 8th in the morning, while Sven’s eviction trial was taking place in Bar le Duc. Andra and the prefecture has chosen this time a diversion tactic: cop cars were sent to the forest’s entrances to take out tires blocking the south entrance. This enabled them to attract attention to the forest, while operating on their real target, which was actually the fields barricades near the Station protecting the squatted, planted wheat field there. Thanks to the diversion, they were able to destroy the barricades without attracting too much support.
Testimony from 2 people who tried to block the machines
– It was 9.25am, we heard some noise, we thought they were friends then we heard metal noises, and saw the digger grabbing tires so we started running and calling people for help. We got close to the tires and noticed there were two cops inside the Station so we went to them and walked them out of the property and they didn’t argue cause they knew they had no right to be there! There were two workers with a wagon and four cop cars at the beginning.
– That I really liked, telling them to “fuck off” and watching them obey.
– We said “fuck off” and they turned around and left… Then we went back to the barricade and held onto the tires. They continued working next to us, like 5cm away from us, the pliers from the digger was brushing us when it took tires and bits of wall. It went above our heads holding bits of wall.
– At some point when the pliers went up I grabbed one of its teeth but the worker didn’t care a bit, didn’t even slow down, it took me up in the air 1.5 – 2 meters high in the air and he kept destroying the barricade then I feel next to the tires in the field. There the cops tried to get me but I held onto the remnants of the barricade.
– We got inside the tire and they were almost on top of us dragging us, trying to get us off the barricade but it wasn’t really working…
– One of the cops said several times “oh I know them, they’re gonna have a sit-in!” in a really spiteful way.
– We weren’t moving from the tires so they moved the truck to get tires a little bit further, so we ran from our tires to were they were working. That’s when they jumped on us and assaulted us. I don’t even know what happened, I was curled in a ball with my hood on and I was all compressed, I couldn’t breathe anymore, I didn’t know what was going on, I screamed “stop it, stop it” but it was hard to even talk. It last at least 10 whole seconds, then at some point they let go of us and the workers went on grabbing tires, bits of walls, shrubs and even the scareAndras (scarecrows to scare Andra*) that we had planted…
– It’s nuts, we’re fucking farmers and they come to assault us with tear gases! They said “it’s only tires!”, we answered “no, it’s a ton of people who came with their kids in November, hundreds of them, to plant trees, to sow the land, to build barricades and resist this shit world!”. At some point a cop asked us “what have you planted here?” and we answered “get off your uniform if you really want an answer!”.
– They told us “this is a private land, get the fuck away from here, the owner asked us to do this!”. The owner, it’s the Lorraine SAFER (Société d’Aménagement Foncier et d’Etablissement Rural: organization for the real estate layout and rural establishment, in charge of dispatching land to farmers in the name of the government), who is keeping the land for Andra’s future projects. But we don’t even know if the SAFER really filed a lawsuit about this [while somebody has already been summoned to court, as a suspect in the occupation of the land and barricades installment].
– They finished around 10.20am and left after a dozen more cops came to reinforce the troupes.
– We decided to rebuild the barricades and banners. We’re not giving up in the slightest!
What to make of all this?
It is obvious that Andra is trying to put some psychological pressure on us. They know that our attention is mainly focused on the forest and that the legal barricades are still holding there. So it attacks the Station and the squatted fields, where the future railway ought to be (construction supposed to start in 2019). What they don’t realize is that they are only making the rage stronger for all those who live and fight in Bure as well as nearby locals, who are growing tired of police omnipresence. Andra hopes to cut our roots, but they only strengthen our determination.
Will the SAFER and ANDRA decide to completely destroy the 2 hectares of occupied wheat fields? Will the threats get closer once more to the forest?
What is certain is that starting on February 14th we need as many people as possible for our action week, for the massive demo on the 18th, and in the following months to live and fight the nuclear waste disposal project.
The barricade may have fallen, but the squatted fields are still standing! We have rebuilt and are waiting for y’all!