Go ahead towards the final withdrawal of the project!
Whilst preparing our summer event we are at a turning point. Although we have progressed: works have been delayed, the withdrawal of the project which is the aim of our struggle, has not yet been obtained.
We hold our ground! We hold it on our three pillars!
We hold our ground on Zone!
After the autumn upheaval of 2012 and the ‘Cesar’ police action, resisting farmers, newcomers and supporting citizens, all together, have preserved the land of the ZAD [Zone à Défendre].
Life is getting on, long term agricultural projects take shape with ‘Sème ta ZAD’ [Sow the ZAD] and ‘COPAIN’ on the farm at Bellevue and on threatened lands. The Fighting Naturalists have run various field studies, enriching our knowledge and expertise and reducing to little the « compensations » planned by AGO Vinci. Links have been created, the ZAD counts more inhabitants and is now better cultivated than it has ever been.
Farmers as well as ordinary people showed their enormous support towards the defence of the threatened land through the demonstration on February 22nd. The flash mobilization for Saint-Jean du Tertre saved the farm and gave us guarantees for the future.
We hold our ground on the legal level!
After the EU Committee on Petitions in Brussels decided to keep open our petitions, in September 2013, in spite of the promoters’ will to empty the ZAD, the decrees allowing works to begin were delayed until the end of December: the Prefect might have been conscious of their weakness in regard to the law…They were immediately contested, while different appeal procedures concerning expropriations are going on persistently before the courts at all levels. We heard recently that the EU Committee started a penal procedure against France about the preliminary studies being cut into parts and the insufficient work on the impact on environment of the project as a whole!
We hold our ground on the political level!
Although the local promoters of the project have not been shaken on their (wrong) bases, the national political actors cannot ignore the subject any more. A major political agreement was wrought from the socialist party through a 28 days hunger strike in May 2012. It said that no one could be expelled as long as some recourses had not been definitively judged.
In February this year, Jean-Marc Ayrault who was still PM had no other choice but to say that no works would start as long as all ongoing recourses had not been judged. This was confirmed by the Socialist and Green Parties agreement for the March local elections in Nantes and Rennes and again by the new Minister for Environment, Ségolène Royal.
The expressed political will to respect the current legal proceedings is a first step. Therefore, resolutely and serenely, we are looking forward to the closure of all the recourses especially those concerning water and threatened species regulations both on national and European levels.
In the meanwhile we do not give up on anything on the ground. The announced delays are not by themselves signs of the final victory, nevertheless they are quite a positive point. As time goes by it becomes more and more obvious that this project is absurdly outdated if we take into account existing knowledge and legislation!
What we want is outright abandonment of the project!
This would allow farmers and inhabitants to look ahead to their future and draft new long term plans. This would allow to achieve optimal operation of the existing airport when necessary.
Dropping the project would reinforce the determination and hope of all those committed to the fight against Big useless imposed Projects which are land-hungry, biodiversity destructive, guzzling aquatic and fossil resources and public subsidies.
Before the July 5th and 6th gathering on the lands of Bellevue in Notre-Dame des Landes, protest caravans will converge from all over France, starting where symbolic struggles are taking place. Join them massively on their way!
In 2012, we said « Now is the time for fighting! »
In 2013, « We are still here, still resisting, more legitimate than ever. Let’s bury the project! »
In 2014, we dare say: « Withdraw the project now! »
The final victory is within reach of our efforts!
Once again we must succeed in making this 2014 gathering-convergence a time of outstanding mobilization!