It’s official: the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project is abandoned. There are few words to describe the mixture of emotion that we feel, a deep sense of joy, dignity, fairness and strength. Today, for many people in France and beyond, is a historic day: one of those, still too rare, where a stubborn collective force makes the powerful bend.
It is not so often in a life that you can feel such joy, such strength. It had been since 2006 and the CPE that a large and determined popular movement had not won a victory. Today it is not only an airport project (among hundreds of others under construction in the world) that is abandoned, it is a possible sense of victory that is born again and inspires us in all the struggles that we are waging everywhere, in all the worlds that we are trying to build.
Neither the systematic rejection of opponents’ legal recourses, nor the parodies of democratic consultation, nor the use of military force as in 2012, have been able to bring this project to a successful conclusion. Nevertheless, we must beware of triumphalism. The abandonment of the airport is the end of a first phase of struggle, which lasted more than 50 years. Now it will be necessary to prevent, in the coming days and months, all attempts to evacuate the ZAD – even “partially”, even at a minimum. It will be necessary to break the bubble of warmonger communication and show it for what it really is: a staging of the State so as not to totally lose face. Above all, any attempt to dissociate legal and illegal occupants, farmers and squatters, good or bad anti-airports must be defeated. The future of the ZAD and all the dreams it has created are at stake.
What governments and technocrats, who only think with numbers, will never understand is that we are ready to fight for attachments that exceed us. We reaffirm our call for a united defence of the ZAD. We call for a moratorium on all evictions, and for the transfer of 1650 hectares of land to the entire movement for collective management, based on the 6 points of the anti-airport movement. We call to come massively on February 10th for the celebration of victory, which promises to be unforgettable, on the ZAD.
The airport is not built: capitalism stumbles for a time, but it continues its destructive advance elsewhere. Some media could now announce the “departure of the Zadists” in the first place towards Bure. This is to better legitimize a future police intervention within a few months on the Bois Lejus occupied since June 2016.
But in Bure, we have always said that we reject the ZAD label to better invent the singular richness of our struggle in the Meuse. The myth of the “radical zadist horde”, frequently agitated for its sensational scent, won’t work any more today than it did a year and a half ago, when the Bois Lejus began to be defended.
The abandonment of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport is no more a victory for the “Zadists” than for “farmers”, “associations” or “committees”: it is the victory of an entire multifaceted movement, going far beyond the local context, which has managed to turn its diversity into a force, despite all the frictions, and not to camp on positions of identity. Tomorrow, we hope that the same will happen in the fight against the Bure nuclear waste disposal project. We call to continue to build and strengthen committees everywhere and join all those that have been created for months.
No to evictions! Let the ZAD and its worlds live!
Press release signed by: The Chouettes Hiboux (during their weekly meeting), Bure Stop, CEDRA