Nantes: success of the European Forum against GPII (Useless Imposed Major Projects)

Several thousand people in western France have held a 5 day meeting at Nantes, against GPII (les Grands Projets Inutiles Imposés). People came from other countries, to share their struggle against huge infrastucture projects such as the plans for a huge new airport for Nantes, at Notre Dame des Landes – a fertile farming area. They regard these large projects as unnecessary, wasteful of public funds and socially unjust, undermine local culture, and are environmentally destructive or dangerous. They also fear such huge schemes exclude people from decision making. Most of these projects take up farming land, making it less likely an area can have food sovereignty. 


July 12, 2012

Great success of the European Forum against GPII (Useless Major Projects and Imposed)

Coordination Project Opponents Airport Notre Dame-des-Landes welcomes the success of the 2nd European Forum against the Grands Projets Useless Imposed held at The Paquelais-Vigneux of Brittany, near Nantes (44) from 7 to 11 July 2012.

Over 8000 people attended the five days of workshops, discussions and conferences.

The quality of interventions and the remarkable work of interpreters and the organizing team have helped to make this forum a while extremely strong landmark in the convergence of struggles in Europe.

All participants, including foreign delegations, leave motivated and determined to continue in that direction.

The closing statement (attached) to be proposed for validation to instances of different organizations, is a valuable foundation for future exchanges at European level and beyond.

Appointment is already made ​​for the European Social Forum in Florence from 8 to 11 November 2012, a day of decentralized actions and coordinates December 8, 2012 (3rd European Day against the Major Projects and Useless Imposed), the World Social Forum in Tunis in March 2013 and the third against the GPII Forum in Stuttgart in the summer of 2013.

After Rio + 20, the defense of a world solidarity continues to Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

In French:

Grande réussite du forum européen contre GPII (Grands Projets Inutiles et Imposés)
La Coordination des Opposants au Projet d’Aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes se félicite du succès du 2ème Forum Européen contre les Grands Projets Inutiles Imposés qui s’est tenu à La Paquelais-Vigneux de Bretagne, près de Nantes (44) du 7 au 11 juillet 2012.
Plus de 8000 personnes ont participé aux 5 jours d’ateliers, d’échanges et de conférences.
La qualité des interventions et le travail remarquable des interprètes et de l’équipe d’organisation ont concouru à faire de ce forum un moment extrêmement fort, qui fera date dans la convergence des luttes en Europe.
Tous les participants, et notamment les délégations étrangères, repartent motivés et déterminés à poursuivre dans cette direction.
La déclaration de clôture (ci-joint) qui sera proposée pour validation aux instances des différentes organisations concernées, est un socle précieux pour de futures échanges au niveau européen et au-delà.
Rendez-vous est d’ores et déjà pris pour le Forum Social Européen de Florence du 8 au 11 novembre 2012, une journée d’actions décentralisées et coordonnées le 8 décembre 2012 (3ème journée européenne contre les Grands Projets Inutiles et Imposés), le Forum Social Mondial de Tunis en mars 2013 et le 3ème Forum contre les GPII à Stuttgart à l’été 2013.
Après Rio +  20,  la défense d’une planète solidaire se poursuit à Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

JULY 12, 2012

Closing statement of the second against the Major Useless Imposed Projects Forum 

We, participants in the second against the Major Projects Forum Useless and Imposed (GPII) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes (France) from July 7 to 11, 2012:

  • support and express our full solidarity with the struggle of the people of Our Lady of the Landes region, and all who support it, in France and beyond, against the proposed new airport for the city of Nantes;
  • denounce the crackdown on activists and residents,
  • reaffirm our mutual support to all struggles against GPII in Europe and worldwide.

We came together to identify, list, fight the big projects that we recognize unnecessary, wasteful of public funds and socially unjust and environmentally destructive or dangerous, and that exclude people from decision making. Most of these projects, devourers of farmland and natural areas, do not allow food sovereignty. They undermine cultural diversity.

This second forum brought together some forty collectives and organizations including fifteen of Europe and beyond. More than 8,000 people participated in various workshops. It was very rich exchange of perspectives and actions, sharing experiences and building alternatives to major projects and for other choices. We decided:

  • coordinating our struggles at European level and beyond by:
    • the creation of a permanent working group has a warning function and mobilization,
    • the pooling of our experiences,
    • the pooling of resources (European website …)
    • the creation of a European group of scientific, technical and legal;
  • study the desirability and feasibility of a European Citizens’ Initiative
  • our participation:
    • the European Social Forum in Florence on November 8 to 11, 2012
    • World Social Forum in Tunis in March 2013
  • the organization:
    • a day of decentralized actions and coordinates December 8, 2012 (3rd European Day against the Major Projects and Useless Imposed)
    • 3rd Forum of GPII in Stuttgart in 2013
Our concrete struggles, their convergence are emerging today the concept of Major Projects and Useless Imposed. We want to explain and popularize this concept broadly. We leave the forum more than ever motivated and determined to pursue our goals and continue to link our struggles. 

For more information and news about Nantes airport, see Nantes International Airport and Nantes Airport News

Massive “Save The Planet” and “STOP” human frescoes by Nantes protesters against “projets inutiles”

Day Sunday was marked by the realization of a new human fresco, this time written in English, to be understood beyond the borders.

July 9, 2012   The airport campaigners at Nantes have produced a spectacular visual image, created by hundreds of people in a green field. Their message, in English this time, to get to a wider audience than only France, reads “Save The Planet” and “STOP!” They are opposing not only the unnecessary and highly damaging airport planned for Notre Dame des Landes, but have joined with other campaigners from other parts of Europe opposing other bits of, what they call “projets inutiles” (useless projects), which they describe as “white elephants”. Some of these are HS2 in England; a rail line in Stuttgart; and the Lyon-Turin TGV in Italy. Susan George, attending the protest, said these bits of infrastructure were damaging and costly for communities, and there are better things to do.   Click here to view full story…


Anti airport campaign at Notre Dame des Landes protests against inadequate public inquiries

June 22, 2012    Several public inquiries are to be held into the proposed airport at Notre Dame des Landes, at Nantes in western France. These have been hastily announced, to start on 21st June with insufficient notice. They inquiries are only due to last for 4 weeks, and the timing coincides with a busy farming time of year, and the holiday season. Opponents are protesting that the inquiries should be held in September, and should last for 8 weeks in order to fully take account of voluminous evidence papers. Opponents tried to prevent the commissioners entering the town hall, and there were scuffles, use of police force and tear gas, and an arrest. The protester are continuing to try and get the inquiries delayed.    Click here to view full story…


Nantes airport building plans, set back by 2 years by the hunger strike

May 14, 2012    The hunger strike at Nantes, against the Projet d’ aéroport du Grand Ouest, Notre-Dame-des-Landes, ended last week. Now the legal procedures continue, against compulsory purchase of land from farmers and others living in the site, some 30 km north of Nantes, where the airport would be sited and where work would have soon started. The Mayor of Nantes, Jean-Marc Ayrault, had been a keen supporter of the airport for years. He is still very much in favour of it. There is bitterness that he did not once visit the hunger strike over its 28 days, until pressure was put on him by Francoise Hollande’s office to meet one of the campaign. The planned airport would be the main airport for Western France and have up to 9 million passengers per year eventually (current airport has 3 million passengers).     Click here to view full story…



After 28 days the Nantes hunger strike ends, with concession from authorities to reconsider land expropriations

May 9, 2012

After 28 days of hunger strike, which Michel Tarin endured to the end, and 5 others fasted for slightly shorter periods, the strike has ended. At last there have been concessions from the local authorities that the compulsory purchase of land owned by farmers and other local residents will be suspended for the time being. The expropriations will not now go ahead until the outcome of several legal proceedings that have been filed against the proposed airport. It is likely that these legal challenges will take up to two years, giving the campaigners two more years in which to continue their opposition. The hunger strikers ended their fast with bowls of soup, and though exhausted, they are delighted with the result. Drinking their soup together, surrounded by a huge an efficient network of support, the hunger strikers emphasized the quality of support they received each day and the climate of affection and solidarity that has buoyed them up during their ordeal.  Click here to view full story…