It took nearly five hours to two squadrons of mobile police, supported by CRS, to destroy, Wednesday, November 7, the seven barricades along the main road 281, between Notre-Dame-des-Landes and The Paquelais, 15 km north of Nantes, by opponents of the new airport project.
It is exactly here that should be built in one of two tracks of the future airport runways. Yesterday, Philippe, Charlotte, and Romain Renard, nurses, students, barely four hundred years they had kindled a fire which heated bitumen and allowed better dig excavating an ax to delay the police vehicles .
The sweet grove Nantes became guerrillas. Face to face, both sides are preparing for a long struggle that could turn the real trench warfare. On the one hand, the government, Jean-Marc Ayrault, head, Prime Minister, former Mayor of Nantes, local promoter of the new infrastructure for many years, and the Great West Airport (AGO), 85% subsidiary of Vinci Airports, airport operator the future shouldhold its first flight late 2017.
The other, an alliance of explosive opponents of the project: farmers, elected officials, residents and promised not to expropriation must allow the construction of the airport and the bus routes on 1650 hectares. But also squatters, settled for two or three years in several houses emptied of their occupants and “écoguerriers” recently arrived, activists broken struggles “against the system” or“tourists” , often young, such as the Australian or Italian cross paths in the grove Nantes. The regional prefect, Christian de Lavernée wants to distinguish“residents, farmers, who constitute the institutional opposition and activists, anarcho-libertarians, who called Notre-Dame-des-Landes,” the biggest squat open of Europe “.”
“VENI, VIDI, DEPARTMENTS”
Far successfully divide the forehead, the eviction began Oct. 15 – code named Caesar who, suddenly, inspired slogans such as “Veni, vidi, vinci” or “Veni, vidi, left” – the contrary welded ranks, creating emotion and solidarity. And provides anti-Notre-Dame-des-Landes impetus for the successful demonstration on Saturday 17 November, with the objective to “reoccupy” and rebuild what has been destroyed. Hoes, forks, beams, nails, and “mirrors” to prevent police helicopters tofilm , are part of the list of equipment to bring . The rally, which couldaccommodate thousands of people, wants to raise families, political activists, union and association deemed hostile to the project “pharaonic” the “Ayraultport” , unnecessary and economically harmful to the environment, according to activists.
Late Wednesday morning in a winter sun, opponents face dozens of soldiers, heavily equipped. They are caught. A young man is forced to the ground. “Take me his hood, I want to see her mouth “ , an officer yells. Most of the protesters who are able to hood and scarf ‘s escape , jumping over hedges and ditches along the D281.
The voltage drop for a moment. Meadows still wet from the torrential rains of the previous days, activists watching the ballet of the police vehicles. They protect gear from the departmental territories and sea Loire-Atlantique and workers who fill the trenches and clear the road.
This time, the police do not risk in the nearby woods to dislodge the huts and camps dispersed. Like the camp of the “Far West”, which includes dozens of militants. “The goal was to restore traffic on this road impassable for several days”, says Colonel Frederic Boudier, head of the device. But the road, just released, is again blocked a few hundred meters by two trees lying across.
Every day the fight. Tuesday, it was the eviction of squatters and raze the house occupied. The end of this week, it may be the turn of police platoon mountain, came especially from Briançon (Hautes-Alpes), to climb the trees to dislodge militants hilltop.
The prefecture has decided to “clean up” the area of deferred development (ZAD) to start as soon as the preliminary work. By the end of November, said the prefect, under an order made on Biodiversity, the first transfers of insects and amphibians will take place. Residents of twelve ponds are “moved” , whose marbled newts.Drums trees sheltering large beetles will be moved. Archaeological survey work will begin at the same time. February 2013 sounded the beginning of deforestation.The construction of the airport shall, in principle, start in spring 2014.
Anyway, despite the urgency, the government must wait the outcome of the actions already undertaken by the courts. For the battle is fought also on the legal front.
Other procedures are ready to be launched since the publication of the prefectural on the “Water Act” by the end of December. Under various French and European regulations, there is an obligation to preserve the heads of watershed and not bringdamage to wetlands, hedgerows and characteristic features of the area of the new airport. “I always thought this folder would stop with the law on water “ , said Christophe Daugé, counselor Regional Europe Ecology-The Greens, who believes that “da Vinci can not compensate for the destruction of wetlands “ .
The government side, as da Vinci, we remain confident. “Proceedings of the Water Act and the Ecological Land compensation will be mobilized respected” , insists the minister of ecology, Delphine Batho . Eric Delobel, Deputy Director General in charge of the future airport in Vinci Airports , assures him that “9 million at minimum are reserved as compensation to the Water Act “ , a total of 446 million estimated cost of the new airport facilities.
Pending the outcome of this legal battle, opponents remain mobilized. Oldest evoke the struggle of the peasants of Larzac in the 1970s, when farmers and political activists had made common cause against the proposed extension of the military camp. François Mitterrand, newly elected in 1981, had declared the abandonment of the project.