18/02 demo : the Andra’s fences overturned by 20 years of restrained anger !

“If we had done that 25 years ago, it would not have go this way”

A former farmer from Mandres, passing by car to greet the march arriving at the Andra’s fences.

The 18th february was supposed to be a day of mobilisation against the possible eviction of the occupied forest, in the end it was more a great moment of humiliation for the Andra.

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It’s under a fresh and shy sun, at 11am, that a long joyful and colorful crowd of almost 600 people walks between Bure and the Bois Lejuc. From the point of view at the highest point of the Chaufour, one could see the imposing Andra’s laboratory and the future site for the works linked to the project of the nuclear dump. The march followed symbolically the path of the previous demos for the reoccupation of the forest during summer 2016, before going in, to share a meal prepared by the kitchen and discover the several houses. A warm atmosphere, while 700 yellow ribbons were distributed to decorate the branches, to symbolize the resistance of the forest to the nuclear desert.

Around 3pm, everyone with his own piece of the wall destroyed last august, a march of almost 700 people is on the road again to go to the laboratory through the village of Bure. There, an important presence of the police, hidden behind a barbed wire fence and anti-riot railings, kept the stronghold. A striking image, like the one of a 1km-long wall surrounding a forest : the one of the nuclear industry cornered, entrenched behind its high wall, kept by the police.

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The crowd walked rhythmically at the sound of the batucada, the metallic pounding of the stones on the crash barrier and the howls of owls and wolves, and kept going with determination in an electric atmosphere. From the road, it deployed along the “ecothèque” building and a large part of the march, going back and forth to the fences, finally succeeded in overturn a large part of those who resisted to the previous night visit, under teargas. Out of reach from the fire, the rest of the demonstration encouraged, enthousiastic, yelling and with music, painting on the road and setting fire to the geat colorful phoenix build for the occasion, symbol of a popular struggle rising again for a few years. An atmosphere really different from what was described by the prefecture, who’d like to diminish a legitimate popular anger, long restrained, to the single act of “50 hooded people”. But the same old media-police discourse of the minority of ultra-violent rioting demonstrators has no meaning in front of reality : a strong and joyful solidarity of the whole demonstration to a direct attack of the laboratory, on its field, for the first time in 25 years. If the world we are being promised is the one the Andra is promoting by imposing itself to a resigned and despised population, then yes, we are all breakers of this world.

Facing those who overturned the fences, the police charged with sting-ball and stun grenades, hurting in a few minutes around 20 people, two of them were evacuated to an hospital, while others suffered from several wounds due to splinters. In spite of the violence of this answer, happening when demonstrators were slowly going back, everybody returned calm to Bure.

On the evening, it was hundred of people who, after a lunch at the house of resistance, joined a big concert on a farmer’s field at our disposal, under a circus tent. There, a bar, informations, collective tents and first-aid space were ready to welcome everyone ! The crazy and joyful atmosphere lasted all night. A lot of people confessed that it was an historical day which will stay in our memories, one of those moments when you see the possibility of another world, a catch to reverse the way things go.

After the fall of the wall last summer, it was the laboratory’s fences that fell on this 18th february in Bure. In a few months, the stronghold, who thought itself untouchable, fissured : after 25 years of struggle, tens of thousands of inhabitants demonstrating, petitioning, organizing camps, then slowly resigning and getting tired, hope is rising again today. We allow ourselves to believe in another future for this land than an atomic and militarized bowel.

Info Thread February 2017

This article was published on on the 14th february. All calls, quotes and support messages were originally received in french, we apologize if we fail to perfectly convey the original messages of the authors.

February 16th, a nod to Hambach and a little party at the lab!

  • Tonight nifty Bure owls have struck again: fences protecting the “ecotheque”, a lab building, have fallen, windows have exploded, and we got short account of that crazy nocturnal expedition:

On the third day of our action week against CIGEO and to protect the Lejuc forest, after our Valentine torches march, we decided to pay a visit to the beloved ANDRA ecomuseum, just next to the lab. We had quite unfairly neglected this charming concrete building for a couple days. We wanted to pay a very personal homage to that monument to ecotechnocracy and its “mission to raise awareness” about local biodiversity. Armed with the best of intents, we arrived with one very simple question: is it by any chance for survivors of the centuries to come that you exhibit the vitrified reminder of what you intend to destroy?.

Unfortunately at a late hour, we found the door closed. Since nobody was answering the intercom, we hammered our discontent a few times. Because politely asking apparently wasn’t sufficient, we eventually bent the fences under the weight of our questions. Led by sheer curiosity, we decided to explore the museum’s temporary collections, and, in an impetus of momentary enthusiasm, resolved to add to it a few samples of local geological heritage.

Sympathizing greatly with the windows families, the police rushed to their rescue. After protecting our withdrawal with a fired up barricade, we progressively turned our backs on the amplifying fog. ANDRA, your deceits won’t smoke us out!

The nifty Bure owls.

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  • Another busy day: all with welcoming new comers, organizing the logistics for the rest of the week, continuing the constructions and starting to set up the camp on the concert site, it was with tired bodies but minds always as determined that we too made the forest echo with solidarity with the Hambach struggle!

  •  It’s moving elsewhere in the East: not only in Bure do people build tree houses; around Strasboug, occupation tree houses are being built on the perimeter of the GCO to be (Grand Contournement Ouest: Massive Western Bypassing, a highway around the city) by the new collective ZADGCO. We support our Alsacian friends from Bure! (@HamsterGrand on twitter)

February 5th, new actions to support Bure from afar!

While in Bure we’re still welcoming newcomers and preparing for the week end, in many other places actions are launched to support us!

In response to our call for support, new actions away from Bure:

  • On February 18th Sortir du Nucléaire Trégor ngo organized an action at 11am in Lannion

  • In Valence they organized an action against EDF (French Electricity companity) and sent us this email:

In Valence just like in Bure, the nuclear power isn’t feeling at ease…
The dirty used oil met the dirty hands of EDF
A few preparation discussions, some determined day dreaming…and here is to a new attack point on the map!

On the EDF downtown store, entre la nouvelle peinture écologique de vidange (je ne comprends pas la phrae en français..) everyone can now read:

We attack EDF

Because they are one of the key actors of nuclear industry

Because they actively support the nuclear waste disposal project in Bure, Meuse.

Because this project is an environmental disaster, and that it is developed by public and private mafias and a completely anti-democratic way.
Becaude EDF nucleocrates are part of these tie-wearing con artists
Because we support active and legitimate resistance against this project in Bure, which is undergoing various forms of repressions.

Because to be political and act against such lethal prospects, is simply to exist in this society.

Because at this very moment thousands are assembling in Bure to protest.

Because the anti industrial struggle has always existed in the streets just like in books.

Because on a daily basis the race for progress devastates the depth of our lives while cocooning us in comfort.

Energy is our future (*EDF motto)? You bet!

Energy is their future, lets disobey!

Let it be said:

Here just like in Bure

Walls can be washed, not hands.

  • On February 15th in Montpellier and Valence the DREAL (Direction Regionale de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagement et du Logement: regional direction for environment, layout and housing) was occupied


    • On February 13th friends organized a burial action in downtown Grenoble as a response to our call for action

    • On February 12th support Bure meeting in  Neuvy-Bouin with a reminder about the nuclear waste struggle in the 90s in the Deux Sevres region, where a similar lab project was canceled thanks to massive mobilization that suceeded in beating ANDRA off.

  • Also a call for action against uranium transportation meeting in Treves on February 18th and 19th:

Franco-German « train » action against nuclear trains on February 18th and 19th 2017

In solidarity with the struggle against nuclear waste disposal in Bure, Lorraine.

By our action, we want to protest and inform people about the many Yellow Cake (uranium) transports between Germany and France. Regularly, boats from Russia and Namibia stop in Hambourg Harbor and deliver Yellow Cake. It is the necessary raw material to create fuel for nuclear plants or atomic bombs everywhere on Earth. It is brought by train from Hambourg to the AREVA factory in Narbonne Malvési, south of France, going through Koln, Treves, Woippy and Montpellier.

Activists will leave on February 18th from Kiel (where the nuclear boats go through) and Hambourg to go to Treves, bringing with them a symbol representing Yellow Cake. They will follow the same path as the regular nuclear trains. In Treves, they will get objects from France as a symbol of uranium hexafluoride as well as pieces of the wall that fell in the Lejuc forest as a symbol of resistance against this insane and dangerous project. The trip will end on February 19th in Gronay where can be found the German uranium enrichment factory. The uranium hexafluoride transformed there often comes from Pierrelatte, France.

Anti nuclear activists, with this action, are trying to inform travelers as well as train companies staff about the many nuclear transports and the risks attached to them; they are indeed little known to the public, as authorities don’t inform people on that subject. In cas of accident, nobody is trained to react. Nuclear transports are supposed to continue indefinitely in Germany since the structures and transports enabling the nuclear industry to function are not part of the German law on exiting nuclear power.

The action is moreover supporting the struggle against nuclear waste disposal in Bure. A massive protest will take place in Bure on the same day. The construction work for the nuclear waste disposal site started last summer. Thanks to a determined resistance they could be stopped in August 2016. The wall erected by ANDRA (Agence nationale de gestion des déchets nucléaires, the agency in charge of the project) to protect its work has fallen mid-august under the determined pounding of protesters.

«To stop producing and above all not to bury», is a well knowndemand when it comes to nuclear waste.

And that is precisely what unites the train action activists and those in Bure this week end: to stop the production of waste at it source. In order to do that, we have to stop the nuclear transports that enable this dangerous industry to function.


For more on the subject

Web page of the German struggle against uranium transportation

Call for the “train” action in German

Call for the “train” action in French

February 14th, we declared our flaming feelings to ANDRA !

8:30pm : 80 nifty owls leave the House of Resistance towards the evil eye of Saudron (where Andra’s lab is located).

As we went, passing lands supposed to host the electrical transformer that ANDRA wishes to install to power CIGEO, we lit on our wonderful torches. In the night they were competing with the lab’s atrocious lights in the distance. After 40mn of musical walking, we reached the lab and noticed without great surprise that it was heavily guarded by the police.

« On est plus chauds que CIGÉO ! » « ANDRA dégage, résistance et sabotage ! » (“We are hotter than CIGEO!” “ANDRA fuck off, resistance and sabotage!”)

After a little danse around an improvised brazier, the bush on the round about in front of the lab somehow caught fire. On our way back, the windows of a surveillance cabin burst, some paint flew around and flames licked the intercom on the entrance fences.

A sweet night where even the red moon declared flaming feelings for ANDRA, and that is but a beginning…

Marche aux flambeaux vers l’ANDRA ! from vmc on Vimeo.

February 13th, a busy crowded week ahead

The logistics for February 18th is being set up! Every corner of the House of Resistance is being cleaned, a couple dozen people have already joined us and are busy on several fronts (cooking team for the week, sleeping rooms being set up everywhere, setting up the infokiosk and welcoming point, automedia and legal team office and medic truck organizing).

February 10th, popular reaction against police brutality

In Bure, in cities, in forests, in solidarity with Theo, the Lejuc forest stands against the inhumanity of racist, homophobic actions committed by the police

February 3rd, a wink from friends in Hambach

Another busy week end ahead but starting peacefully at the House in Bure. The sky was still hesitating as to whether or not to remaining gray for the day when we received in the morning support from friends in Hambach!

While walking in Hambach forest, with barricades and trenches built after the intrusion of RWE security guards and police, the news reached us that the same repression led by the greediness of insane ground diggers had fallen onto our Bure comrades, who are resisting the destruction of a forest supposed to enable even more extractionist madness under the shape, there, of a nuclear waste disposal site. Destroyed barricades, private security guards, police roadblocks, so many things that resonate so familiarly in our ears, as familiarly as the global destruction of habitats so as to extract all but the last drop of poison, killing ecosystems, communities, peoples and climate to fill the pockets of a few mafiosi barons.

Thus, to the companieros of Bure and all those resisting such assaults, up on barricades, up on tree houses, or in trailers, fighting that extractionist, capitalist monster, a loud solidarity cry resonates from the Hambach forest towards you

Morning intervention against the fields barricades

Here is the translation of an article published on 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!

30th January : the empire strikes again

The Andra came back with its machines this morning in the forest.

9AM : One excavator, two tractors with trailers, and three cars went through the northern entrance of the forest.

9:30 Physical confrontation with the security at the north barricade, they try to force through and violently hit the present opponents. We called the Andra’s press service and warned them that their security guards are using violence again. (11H54 : precisions : the opponents have been harmed by those who tried to destroy the barricade, the guards did not directly hit this time. the excavator kept clearing at less than a meter from the people).

9:45 Oppponents are tied to the north barricade and resist to the machines. Emmanuel Hance, the usual dirty-work executor for the Andra, tries to move them by the force. Police on the roads, risks of checks !

10:00 Machines are still stopped. Emmanuel Hance put somme gasoil on the barricade where the opponents are tied. A bailiff is present : the Andra feeds its case file for the 8th february by creating conflict, and once more mafia-like means !

10:20 Security guards turn aroud in their trucks, film and wait for the police support. Opponents are tied to the excavator, on the barricade and are installed on a brand-new platform built at the north barricade.

10:40 The Andra’s “Communication service” is on the spot, with the bailiff and journalists. Just one day before the “forest rehab” deadline, this com operation is depressing. The press service is not answering…

10:45 Tension goes down, after a discussion the opponents free the machines and the barricades while the Andra announce a retirement.

10:55 The Andra and all its machines, guards, com service & co are leaving the Bois Lejuc

11:15 Numerous police checks at the roundabout, several police groups. Threats of immobilisation of vehicles.

11:25 People who came to support on the police check in Bure are controlled and filmed by the police.

11:50 end of the police checks, one vehicle “temporarily” immobilised.