Notre-Dame-des-Landes: Court authorizes the expulsion of some opponents from Bellevue farm

At Notre-Dame-des-Landes, the site of the proposed new airport for Nantes, the opposition goes on.  Each week more people from across France come to take turns in occupying the proposed airport site, living in mud and discomfort in shacks.  Bellevue farm had been empty, but has been reoccupied and the protesters have worked hard to set up a farm there, with animals and real farm work. They are determined to stay. The court in Saint-Nazaire has ruled that the people on the farm must leave now. However, a report from a commission of dialogue is awaited next month, so it is not likely the farm occupants will actually be evicted before then. After the judgment, nearly 150 opponents gathered at Bellevue farm to show their determination. “We expected this decision. We’ve been here two months and we’re staying.” Work on the airport had been expected to start before now.  The legal processes are causing long delays for the airport company.


Notre-Dame-des-Landes: The court authorizes the expulsion of some opponents


COMPANY – But they should not be expelled immediately …

The court of Saint-Nazaire on Tuesday authorized the deportation of opponents who have a set of huts built on the site of the contested future airport  at  Notre-Dame-des-Landes near Nantes, it was learned from a judicial source.

However, given that the report of the Committee of dialogue at this airport – whose work has produced a truce on interventions by the forces or law and order for four months – must be made ​​in early April, the likelihood of their immediate expulsion this Tuesday was very thin. These cabins – a dozen built in two clearings – are at the center of the area of occupancy of opponents, and form a hamlet called “la Chataigne” (The Chestnut) by opponents.

Symbolic place

To prevent the destruction of huts, authorized by the court on 11th  December, 2012 , several opponents were nominally declared the occupants, forcing Airport Grand West (Vinci) to initiate a new and more lengthy deportation procedure.

Constructions of “La Chataigne”, built on November 17 at a huge rally together with 13,000 to 40,000 people (according to differing estimates of the State and the demonstrators) have become a symbolic place of this struggle. They have since welcomed people from all over France, to the  “anti NDDL” collective, and they take turns each week.

Counsel for the opponents, Pierre-Henri Marterêt,  hoped on Tuesday that the court’s decision was not executed until the report of the Committee of dialogue was made.  The airport at  Notre-Dame-des-Landes, being built to replace the current Nantes airport located south of the town, was to have been opened in 2017.

The dialogue commission is due to report in early April

But intense demonstrations and violent clashes with the security forces which took place at the time of the autumn 2012 attempted eviction of some 300  anti- capitalist opponents installed on site had already led to the postponement by several months of certain phases of work such as clearing, which was initially scheduled for January 2013.

The dialogue commission set up by Jean-Marc Ayrault at the end of November to ease the crisis is due to report in early April but no date had yet been set on Tuesday.

Original French at




NDDL. Opponents determined to protect Bellevue farm 

28.3.2013 (

Yesterday morning, the President of the District Court of Saint-Nazaire  ordered the eviction of the occupants of Bellevue farm, at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, and “the removal of all equipment and furnishings or pay a penalty of € 50 per day. All new occupants of the farm and those of other parts of the site are affected by this decision, “said Erwan Le Moign, one of the defenders  of the NDDL opponents.

After the judgment, yesterday afternoon, nearly 150 opponents gathered at Bellevue farm to show their determination. “We expected this decision. We’ve been here two months and we’re staying.  We are going to the departmental level, and with farmers in Morbihan, Ile-et-Vilaine, Vendée,” recounts Cyril Bouligand, a farmer the collective “Copain”.  Reinforcements of tractors are expected to further protect this farm, located at the site of the North runway. “The expulsion will depend on the government decison” said Julien Durand, one of the militants, “but we will not leave. We will continue to bring the farm back to life. “


Original French at



More information on the battle that is going on at Nantes from ACIPA and also at Nantes Airport News