French campaigners against a huge new airport at Nantes to hold rally for cycles and tractors in Paris on 12th November

The campaigners against the building of a new airport outside Nantes in South
West France will be travelling by bicycle and tractor to Paris – leaving Nantes
on 6th November and arriving in Paris on 12th November where there will be a big

Campaigners from other countries are invited to join them on the cycle ride or
for the rally in Paris.  

Details in French at 

This is the biggest campaign against airport expansion in Europe.  It is possible
that the campaigners can win. 

John Stewart, who lead the campaign against at third runway at Heathrow said: 
“We hope that campaigners from all over Europe can join them for the rally in
Paris.  Let’s make this an international rally against airport expansion.   We
stopped a new runway at Heathrow.  If we can stop a new airport in France as well,
it will make it more and more difficult for the aviation industry to expand anywhere
in Europe.  Join us!”

Everyone in Paris on November 12 for the arrival of the Tractor-Bike  (Approximate
translation from French)

The coordination of the opponents of the proposed new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes
(NDL), near Nantes will be travelling to Paris by tractors and bicycles, starting
on Sunday 6 to Saturday, and arriving in Paris on 12th November 2011.  This is
to challenge national French decision-makers, and influence negotiations between
parties that are sure to occur for the 2012 Presidential.  Campaigners will denounce
once more the aberration of the project on the grounds of financial conditions,
economic, social and environmental harm. We will leave Notre Dame des-Landes Sunday,
November 6th at 9 am.  We pass by Cande and Sable, near Le Mans, Chartres and
Versailles, Boulogne and finally arrive in Paris on Saturday, November 12th at
noon. We will have traveled 400 km, so this means travelling a long distance each
day.  This bike ride is a continuation of the rally  held earlier, the
three days of resistance to Notre-Dame-des-Landes 8, 9 and 10 July 2011 and the Regional backhoe bike in March 2010 .


The website, translated (approximately) into English says:

What is the Notre-Dame-des-Landes ?

Close to Nantes, in Notre Dame of the Moors, a gigantic airport project threatens
2000 ha of arable lands of the woodlands that have exceptional biodiversity. The
project dates from the Sixties, for Concorde, and the reasons given for need for
its construction changed much with the passing of years and against arguments
of the opponents.

Today, in fact there is no problem of saturation nor of safety at the current
airport of the Nantes-Atlantic and that the context does not support the growth
of the air travel sector. But the State with the support of the town councilors
and regional PS and UMP allotted construction and the concession for 55 years
of this airport to the Vinci group.

€360 million minimum of public investment would be cost of the new airport. Paradoxically,
the need for this new construction is not proven and no improvement or  expansion of
the existing airport was studied…

In spite of a strong opposition and demonstrations of the anomaly of this airport
building project, the necessary environmental, archaeological, etc, studies take
place with deployment of troops  an increasing police violence.

Since October 2008, each day, two people are stationed permanently in front of
places of symbolic Nantes imrportance, to denounce the arable land being lost
and public money that would be wasted.

This is an operation by Citoyens Vigilants (Vigilant Citizens). 

Farmers want to be able to continue to live and to work on the zone envisaged
for this project and the inhabitants (old and new) want to continue to live there.

A collective of elected officials opposed to the project was created in June
2009. It currently joins together nearly 1000 elected various political families,
who will be in Paris on arrival of the participants in the tracto-bicycle. A collective
of airline pilots also accompanies us in our combat.

A project emblematic and useless

• Destruction of 2000 hectares arable lands when it is urgent that we develop
a locally-based agriculture of high quality, helping towards food sovereignty

• Economic uselessness: the ” bet on the future” announced by the supporters
of the project and carried by the faith in a productivism worthy of the Seventies,
but the current international airport of Nantes Atlantique is able to meet the
present and future needs

• Aberration of ” hope” of growth of air transport in contradiction with the increasing
scarcity of oil resources and the necessary reduction in production of greenhouse

 • Destruction of employment

• Public money wasted to the detriment of current spending priorities such as
schools, creches, hospitals, public transport…

• Refusal by the elected local and regional officials of the PS and UMP to properly
consider alternative solutions recommended by associations

More than one hundred celebrities, a strong coordination of more than 40 associations,
collectives and political movements, representing several tens of thousands of
people, called at 3 days of gathering on the threatened site, on July 8th to 10th,
2011, around the topics Climat/Énergies, arable Lands/Food sovereignty and Social
justice, a gathering at which nearly 15.000 people joined together to fight against
this project – which has became national, even European, issue.

At the time of these three days the it was decided to take the protest to Paris. 
Plans have been made for a regional tour in November with tractors and the bicycles,
like the one which had taken place in March 2010 the day before the regional elections.

More information on Nantes Airport