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It is vain to try and caricature the opposition to Cigeo

The following is a copy of an open letter published by local associations, locals and opponents to the Bure nuclear dump project. 

Since June 21st (and the attack against the hotel/restaurant), the prefecture and various officials supporting CIGEO have tried to raise fear and set the local population against people protesting the nuclear waste disposal project.

In their reports, they allude to a pack of “casseurs” (hooligans) come to devastate the Meuse region, of a “climate of terror”. It is quite typical every time that a struggle starts getting bigger and that the opposition escapes the preestablished official frame of protest – mainly thanks to sabotage or the illegal squatting of a specific space- that politicians begin to try and discredit it and divide opponents.

In the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, the Pays de la Loire regional president, Bruno Retailleau, went as far as comparing the ZAD to « Mossoul or Damas ». In Bure, Gérard Longuet (regional senator), took another step and compared the activists to terrorists by claiming that they were “individuals drawing from images of today’s world violence their gestures of terror”. How far can diffamation and shameful propaganda go?

Officials would rather face a harmless and smiling opposition indeed, one not making any waves, playing along with the “dialogue” game. But our struggle is many faceted, and we refuse to fit the bill and be submitted or fatalistic. After 20 years of petitions, demos, handing leaflets, and legal pleas against the CIGEO project in Bure nothing has been gained except for disdain and scorn.

The fact that places stamped with ANDRA’s aura are targetted by activists or that preparatory works have been stopped for a year now in the Lejus forest is the logical consequence of the deafness of officials as well as their incapacity to question itself for the last 10 years. The government is leaving this situation to rot and provokes the anger that sometimes spontaneously catches fire. There is a real urgency to finally take into account the reality of a struggle that won’t stop showing itself and legitimately raise an alarm about the project’s inherent risks.

There is a gesture to build, another to destroy.

Here in the neighboring villages, nobody can be fooled. Many of us have a different, more accurate vision of what is actually happening on our territory. Politicans reports, such as Mr Longuet’s in his recent grievance letter to the First Minister, look a lot like a desperate last resort to save a project brutally imposed to their region against the wishes of its inhabitants.

For many years now new opponents to the project have joined us and started settling in the South Meuse region, links have been forming, exchanges, solidarity. These opponents are buying houses, renting apartments. There are many projects forming, from gardening to the opening of a bakery, crafts, theater… By occupying the Lejus forest and leading legal recourses, these opponents have also saved one of our last common ressources while it was at risk of being destroyed, fenced and militarized.

This settling dynamic is a humble one, away from the eyes of the media. It is a daily effort, the exact opposite of ANDRA’s strategy of grandly promising thousands of jobs, roads, infrastructures but bringing nothing but a desert instead.

In February the Montiers-sur-Saulx mayor took a stand for the first time against ANDRA, denouncing his village’s slow decline under their rule. The only service that Mr. Longuet ended up offering to (re)open there indeed is a police station. Police and private security guards proudly patrolling renovated but empty streets: such is the only regional development prospect offered by the promoters of the CIGEO project.

Today, the assessment is simple: it is indeed the new opponents who are repopulating our territory, bringing their youth, their joys, their dreams. They have fallen in love with Meuse, when instead the politicians forcing their nuclear dump on us are merely using the territory as an electoral springboard.

We, local inhabitants, local ngos, protesters against CIGEO, want to take a stand and claim loudly that in Bure we do not accept to be divided. There is no good or bad activist, only a growing movement, rich with its diversity, and its will to implement itself and draw another future for our land. There might be a gesture to destroy and another to build, but it is the same hands doing both. Love and rage are but two expressions on the same face.

Blue pressure on the North and South barricades in the forest all week end

Saturday July 1st

Cops are back ! At 6pm, 4 vehicles parked at the (ex) antenna a few hundred meters from the forest then started moving towards the South barricade. About 20 cops got out of the trucks in anti riot gear and fully armed. In order to keep them away the south barricade was set on fire.

We faced them for an jour, they were pointing their flashballs at us but didn’t shoot. Just like yesterday, it looks like it could be a rehearsal exercise, maybe to prepare for an eviction.

We are calling for people to start joining us in the forest to make sure we keep enough numbers to keep them off. July is gonna be yet another busy month. 

We also call for people to join us on our big demo on August 15th to celebrate the fall of the wall and consolidate the forest occupation. 

Friday June 30th

Classic. Every month, we are gifted with our own cops visit. Except that today, there were 50 of them, with flashballs and shields in hand and they weren’t smiling. They mpved towards the first south barricade while in the north about 15 of them searched the North watchtower even though it is set on a private property (a field owned by a friendly farmer).

The police operation started at 5pm and was over around 6:30pm. We are calling for people to remain careful, it looks like they might be training for an eviction. The cops assured us “we’re here to stay and we’ll see you again soo”. We sure know how to expect them.

Info thread June 2017

Sunday 25th : family walk into the wood

Around fifty people came to see us and share good food at the Vigie sud, before discovering the new equipments in the forest, tree houses and else. Some did not came since the fall of the wall last august !

At the station, agricultural works are progressing, the wheat is beautiful and the 1500m2 of potatoes are almost weeded.

The week of action is almost reaching its end, but several people would like to make it last, and start to build their nest in the forest !

Saturday 24th : we hear the boots’ noise

We had to face a huge police operation. Around one hundred policemen were patrolling in the villages, arresting and checking the inhabitants. The helicopter came a few times in the wood to visit us, even by night. Anti-riot barriers were set up before the Andra while the military jeep were driving on the country roads.

We preferred not to go out this night, we rather chose to sing at the campfire and look for the bats living in the Bois Lejus !

In Mandres, police stayed all night on the church’s place, stationed in front of the town hall. They were watching the opponents’ houses with big flashlights and walking in the sleepy village, tommy guns in the hand.

Friday 23rd : Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!

« We no longer consider this a party » was the title of today`s issue of the infamous Est Républicain newspaper, quoting from a recent ANDRA press release. A somewhat dramatic approach… Our nuclear friends seem to be reduced to playing on fear and shameless lies (pretending for example that we took down the antenna- we wish!- or that we threaten family members of elected officials…), to try and make us look like big bad bandits. Ironically enough, just as the Est Republicain article was being wrapped up, its title was made paradoxical by a great costume party by the round about where the lab, hotel and ecomuseum can be found. They no longer consider this a party? Too bad, we still want to have a boom!

Yesterday they tried to divide us, painting us as ultra violent to see if we’d play along like the prefecture would love us to. Everything was ready: the special intervention cops with their automatic rifles parading at the Lumeville station, anti riot fences near the laboratory, dozens of cop trucks with probably more cops in them than there are protesters here at the moment, a water canon seen on a nearby road in the early evening… Well tried, but you cannot force our radicalness onto us. Starting at 10pm, we thus answered instead with music and mocking laughters, songs and fireworks, silly dance, breathtaking punk, sensual salsa.

national police force, we order you to start scattering at once!” : even their words seemed to be a laughable attempt to push us into their mold, to make a dancing party an illegal gathering. Failed, we shall not be reduced to police words. We laughed and took advantage of the sweet night music before going back home. On our way back, a green box containing measuring tools belonging to ANDRA was set on fire. Then the cops once again demonstrated their capacity for blunder by following us, getting off their vehicles once entering the village, tyring at all cost to start a fight that we refused to be dragged into, this time.

So yeah, it’s still an anniversary boom! And beyond scandalous newspapers headlines, in the forest, solidarity is being built, rich and powerful discussions about our own timing for radicalness are being held, constructions are making progress… Hooligans, dancers, dreamers: we are all of it at once, and much more. Much more at least than their pitiful attempts at labeling us.

Three days left to this action week: we’re still expecting you!

Wednesday 21st : breakage at the Andra’s

The week goes on and early birds this morning visited the 3stars hotel-restaurant of the Andra’s lab. A tire barricade was set on fire on the front. Then realizing the door was wide open, some people quickly went inside, broke the windows and the bar with precious alcohol bottles. While the alarm rang joyfully and the chaos prevailed in this sanitized space, other funny bandits were crashing the usual fences around this famous hotel, who regularly hosts all the shitty nucleocrats. The Owls finally went back to the Bois Lejus, satisfied and happy. It seems once more that the infallible nuclear security… failed.

Check out our press article here: http://en.vmc.camp/2017/06/22/no-breakfast-andra/

Tuesday 20th

edit : This afternoon, around 30 nice owls occupied temporarily Mandres’ crossroads, this crucial spot for humiliating car checks (whether you’re by foot, car or bike), scene of abusive and never-ending vehicles searches, symbol of the on-going militarization of the meusian territory.

This small walk was an opportunity to move together and visit around. It was also a good way to symbolically claim that the blueish atmosphere is not inevitable and that we can offer other colors : the spaces we are taking back, even temporarily, are spaces which escape the permanent cop surveillance befalling Mandres’ inhabitants as much as us. Some might say it’s our fault, that it’s our presence that provoked the police reaction… But those who are being watched, filed, harassed shouldn’t be considered responsible for their own repression. It’s the logic itself of the wild installation of a nuclear dump, despising the will of the inhabitants, that creates this constant surveillance. Let’s refuse it !


A great sun above the Bois Lejus, time is passing by. From the new kitchen, majestic, a detail seems to disturb the owls. A detail you say ? The landscape is different. Something’s a-missing… The antenna located between the forest and Mandres-en-Barrois no longer is.

The first sabotage of the week is not by the opponents : it’s a company specialized into the windmill industry who gave up installing a wind turbine park on the Cigeo zone, and removed their own antenna that was used to make preliminary measurements. So does it count or not ? The arbitration’s gonna be difficult.

Edit: Andra now has claimed on their website (in French only unfortunately, sorry folks) that the nuclear opponents (that’s us!) were responsible for taking down the antenna. So… do we get the points then?

Cigeo scares windmills off ? Let’s scare off Cigeo (and windmills).

Monday 19th : Abrac-Abadie, abradabra, and the action week shall begin !

More and more people coming into the forest : the next days are gonna be awesome ! Howewer, the Bure team wants to take note of the Paris team’s lack of fair-play, who started the week of action with no less than seven days ahead, with a brilliant en-flour-ment of Mr. Abadie, Andra’s CEO. It’s not really nice, if the referee has some ethics, they shouldn’t take this into account 😉 Well done, friends ! We want more !

White costume, dark look…

Saturday 17th : Smells like fennec!

Yesterday friday 16th june, an air force helicopter, a Fennec, flew over us. It’s the second time in four days that such an aircraft takes pictures of the forest. The first one, on the 13th in the morning, insisted on the south part of the Bois Lejus. It flew over 9 times, military videocamera in hand by the helicopter’s door. Unfortunately we didn’t have a camera to take pictures. The second time was over the whole forest, around 3PM. It came twice above inhabited locations, but without anyone at the door to film. This time we were prepared and we identified the helicopter, a fennec.

We can read on the air force’s website “Light twin-engine helicopter, the Fennec is used in air defense, SAR, & reconnaissance/surveillance missions. Also participates in sovereignty missions & public service”.

Such missions of “sovereignty” and “public service” already happened at the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Very expensive, these missions step out the ordinary for the struggle against Cigéo. They show that the file is no longer piloted by the prefecture, but by both the Ministry of the Interior & the Minister of the Armed Services. This proves once more the national scale of the struggle.

Thuesday, June 13th

We want to congratulate our friends from Gudmont who are fighting against implanting a radioactive waste sorting facility in Gudmont-Villiers, in the south of Joinville (Haute-Marne). On the 6th of June, we’ve been told the Derichebourg multinational company wIthdrew from the project. Nevertheless, the fight is not over, as It remains possible that the project will be moved to Soulaines (Aube). Moreover, we’re still fighting against the active laundry and decontamination facility project in Joinville.

Meanwhile, in the forest, we began to prepare Halloween ! We planted pumpkins seeds and are ready to wait patiently during the growing season.

 

Friday, June 9th

Yesterday, the opponents of France biggest biomass project (in Gardanne) got another victory : the administrative court considered the environmental impact assessment as insufficient and canceled for this reason the operating license. From Morvan to Roybon, from NDDL (Notre Dame des Landes) to Gardanne, more and more projects are blocked or canceled : your victories strengthen our determination !

Tuesday, June 6th

The trial of Loïc was this morning. We will soon tell you more about it : for now, we want to say that our friend has been very brave, confronting the justice and affirming the legitimacy of his direct actions against the ANDRA. We’ll soon publish the pleading the lawyer pronounced and Loïc’s words so that they keep echoing in our hearts. Nevertheless, the frozen hammer of justice hit : 4 months suspended prison sentence (5 years probation) and 500 euros for the material damage (the gate he cut).

While we were waiting for some news of Loïc, the administrative court of Nancy rejected the request against the exchange of the Lejus wood and confirmed ANDRA owns It.

We all know the judicial authority is not our ally ; but we did not expect this authority could brush aside so easily the will of one third of Mandres inhabitants….

When the magistrates disdain appears as an anti riot barriers ally, the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties is : an unforgettable birthday party😉

Monday, June 5th

Several associations signed an open letter to Nicolas Hulot (the minister of ecological and solidarity transition since May 2017) requesting that he abandons the CIGEO project.

Sunday, June 4th

Unusual police attitude towards us. We think there’s no risk of eviction : they just want to put pressure on us.

4.15 PM : 3 cars and 2 vans are parked in Bure

4.10 PM : cops are hanging around the north barricade : they get closer to it and then walk away

3.50 PM : some vans are in Ribeaucourt (the south watchtower’s side)

3.30 PM : 4 cars are near the antenna; they don’t get closer to the south watchtower for now

Saturday, June 3d

Bzzzz crrrr ! Hammer, scissors, circular saw, hand saw : you’ll soon be able to enjoy the new collective kitchen of the Lejuc wood ! One more reason to participate to our endless birthday party (19-26/06) !

We are currently updating and extending our website : soon you’ll find a new rubric (link coming soon) gathering news and events from other struggles.

Thursday, June 1st

In time for this new month, the Nuclear Safety Authority informed of an incident that occured in Cattenom nuclear power station : the third in 2 weeks ! Always cheerful and energetic, the nuclear industry wishes you a happy new month of June ! 🙂

No Breakfast for ANDRA

On February 16th and 18th 2017, protesters against the Cigeo nuclear waste dump project claimed the destruction of the fences of the ecomuseum, a greenwashing side project of the laboratory. On Wednesday 21st, the 3 stars hotel restaurant – located a few meters away from the future nuclear waste reception and conditioning platform – was targeted.

Since its implementation at the Meuse/Haute Marne border about fifteen years ago, the ANDRA (national agency dealing with nuclear waste) has made it a point to methodically infiltrate the local minds, villages finances, schools outings, rural landscapes, etc. The round-about between Saudron and Mandres, where the laboratory, its technical pole, the EDF archives, the ecomuseum and the hotel restaurant can be found, is a fine example of their omnipresence. Icing on the cake, it should soon open a bakery too, so that literally nobody in the region can go buy bread without having to deal with ANDRA. Yet oddly, each and every project targeted is introduced to the public as completely unrelated to Cigeo or ANDRA…

By attacking the ecomuseum in February, we were making a loud claim that it is not an ecological museum disconnected from the storage to be, but rather indeed just a pawn on ANDRA’s social acceptability chess board. The same goes for the Bindeuil hotel restaurant, conceived to welcome in its luxurious rooms, obviously not tourists to a nuclear cemetery, but instead nuclear engineers, delegations visiting the laboratory and even cop officers potentially. It was absolutely not a random Meuse hotel targeted out of sheer love for destruction : it was the planned sabotage of one of ANDRA’s Trojan horses.

The fact that the hotel belongs to the village of Bure only goes to show the extent to which the nuclear industry is ready to go to involve local structures in its plan for dominion. It isn’t only through the GIP (an investment fund showering the region with millions in the name of the CIGEO project) that the municipal councils are held tight, but also through economical projects such as this Bindeuil hotel : a money source located right in front of the laboratory, and entirely dependant upon its activity.

The aim of the construction and action week taking place in the Lejus forest between June 19th and 26th is to perpetuate the occupation that has now blocked the development Cigeo for a whole year. It is a platform from which to denounce the invasion of the territory by ANDRA as well as the militarization it involves. It was precisely for that reason that a few owls went on June 20th to peacefully stand at the entrance of Mandres, carrying a banner that read « freed intersection » : to denounce the neverending controls to which the locals as well as the activists are subjected, to denounce the constant police surveillance, the intrusive and abusive vehicles searches, the helicopters flying over on a daily basis, etc.

This week is also an opportunity to reaffirm the determination of protesteers and convey a clear message : ANDRA is not welcome in Meuse, whichever mask it tries to hide under. In our times of nuclear industry debacle, it seems obvious that it is not acceptable for companies or local structures to work hand in hand with ANDRA and avoid the anger of those whose opinion has been scorned for 20 years now.

It is pointless to try and use in Bure the boogeyman of « hooligans », « ultra left », « balaclava wearing youth » or the « anarcho zadist » movement. What is really at stake here is the anger and indignation that have been contained for far too long. We want ANDRA gone and we want them to take their filthy laboratorym ecomuseum and three stars hotel with them. We shall open our own bakery.

June 17th, concerts at the ancient train station of Luméville : you can’t overdose on music !

On June 17th, within the framework of the anticarceral week-end, some friends of the Faction Est and the Blackout Brigade are organizing a live music evening on saturday night ! 8 bands ; open-mic, and mix turntables !

There’ll be food and drinks; and you can pay what you want to go in (money is for the anti-repression group). You can obviously camp here : bring your tent and duvet 😉