Many thousands of determined opponents of new Nantes airport gather before final court decision

Over the weekend of 11th and 12th July there was a massive gathering at Notre Dame des Landes, in western France, to show the strong opposition to the building of a new runway there, to replace the current Nantes airport. This “mobilisation” is the 15th that the organisers, ACIPA, have put on over the years.  It was estimated that perhaps 15,000 people attended over the two days. People at Nantes are very aware of the carbon and climate implications of a new airport, as well as serious local environmental destruction. They also link the Nantes campaign with other huge infrastructure projects across Europe, that would be damaging in terms of carbon emissions – such as a new runway in the UK. There is a desire to link up campaigns against such developments.  The gathering combined a lot of workshops and education sessions with fun, with music, dancing and food -but with a very serious message. On Friday 17th July the Nantes Administrative Court will rule on the last 17 appeals by opponents of the airport project, on several environmental issues in contention with EU law, such as on water law and destruction of protected species. It is thought the court will rule against the opponents,but they will appeal. These legal issues are all that is holding up building of the airport. 


Several thousand opponents of the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes met before the final court decision


(Le Monde, France)

Several thousand people attended, Saturday, July 11, to mobilize weekend against the airport project at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, about fifteen kilometers north of Nantes. The stakes are high: if this form of summer gathering takes place every year – this is the fifteenth edition – the 2015 meeting takes place just days before the (near) final court round about the proposed move of the Current Nantes Atlantique airport to the small town of Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

By late afternoon, the organizers met a peak at the height of their hopes when many other large projects were contested in the heart of the debate.

The government, through the voice of the Prime Minister in particular, has already indicated that the work of the future airport, told the Great West Airport, a subsidiary of Vinci Airports, could begin once all legal remedies exhausted.

Last resort

Friday, July 17, the Nantes administrative court must give judgment on the last seventeen appeals by opponents. On June 18, the public rapporteur had rejected them , arguing that the decrees issued by the prefecture, the Law on water and protected species, were consistent with national and European regulations. If the President of the 8 th house, Patrick Chupin had stated that the court would decide “independently” in most cases, the recommendation of the rapporteur public is followed by the judges.

Nothing precludes, in fact, the early start of work, both for the construction of the new airport platform (the terminal and the two tracks) that bar the road which should allow the service of the site.

Obstacles could still nevertheless complicate or delay construction sites. We must move protected species which for some of them, can not be done any time, especially in summer. Opponents, in case of defeat (expected) Friday, intend to appeal, which is not suspensive of a possible start of work.

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Finally, the shovel into action in Nantes grove, it will then dislodge tens of zadistes, who occupy the ZAD, zone defense (originally holding zone). It will not be easy, especially as this site, ZAD ancestor that emerged throughout the country, Sivens (Tarn) against a dam in Roybon (Isère) against a Center Park, many reinforcements will come lend a hand strong permanent occupants, as soon as the start of any movement of construction site equipment, escorted by police. An important network of support committees is Woven throughout the country for many years.

The fiasco of “Caesar”

In October and November 2012, the operation “Caesar” that was intended to dislodge the occupants and resume huts and occupied farms had resulted in violent clashes in the peaceful countryside Nantes … and a fiasco. The offensive led by the gendarmes had caused a major demonstration of some 30,000 people, from all over France, with the presence of many political leaders (Europe Ecology-The Greens, the Left Front, Modem, far left, libertarian, etc.) on 17 November.

In May 2013, they were still tens of thousands have made a human chain around the site slated to host the future airport. Will they be as numerous 11th and 12th of July? This is not safe, but mobilization may nevertheless be significant.

Representatives of other strengths to projects like the landfill of nuclear waste in Bure (Meuse) will be there. On this issue, the integration by the Senate of an amendment to the law Macron not put to a vote by resorting to 49-3 Thursday night endorsing the creation of the landfill of nuclear waste, has rankled opponents , environmentalists in mind.

See the picture on Twitter

The militants hostile to the construction of the Center Park of Roybon are the guests of honor at the 2015 Notre-Dame-des-Landes. They will know, them, the decision of the Grenoble Administrative Court on their appeals, Thursday, July 16.

Read also: The future of Center Parcs Roybon again suspended from a court decision

“Heater fight! “

Suffice to say that the reasons to prepare future events will not fail and that the coming week is important. After the judicial phase, decisions will be highly political.

At five months of the climate conference that will host delegations from all member countries of the United Nations in Paris, François Hollande he will take the risk of clashes in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, or elsewhere? Environmentalists and anti-capitalist activists, opposed to what they call “big useless projects” have understood the dilemma.

They placed the gathering of the weekend under the sign of planetary rendezvous of the end of November. “heater control, not the climate! “ profess organizers gathered in the opponents to the project Coordination of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, adding, “There is no planet B! Stopping global warming! “ .

The original French at:


See also

Notre-Dame-des-Landes 2015 : Une détermination renforcée par le succès du 15ème rassemblement.

Notre-Dame-des-Landes 2015: A determination reinforced by the success of the 15th gathering.

14.7.2015 (ACIPA)


Bad Google translate English version below (but you can get the gist !):

The resounding success of the fifteenth annual gathering Notre-Dame-des-Landes, 2015, organized by opponents of Coordination for the airport project, leash, as one of our members said, ” there is little doubt about the inability of the Power go back to the act of destruction  . ” If the struggle of Notre-Dame-des-Landes has become the “flagship” of European struggles, we have, after this weekend more than warm, accumulated enough energy to help inform other struggles for much longer.

Congratulations and thank you to the committee members who worked for 6 months around those who have become over gatherings of real pros of the organization, support committees and to the many volunteers who helped them to the end, as well as ‘producers who gave products or loaned equipment.

Congratulations and thank you to the 15,000 participants of this great event to have answered our call again! The relaxed but determined atmosphere that settled – under a generous sun this year – has earned us numerous enthusiastic congratulations.

Congratulations and thank you to organizations from all over France – Bure, Roybon, Sivens and even Great Britain and Germany – to provide information on a stand or / and debate through the quarantine proposed forums. The quality of trade increases every year and allows us to say that our traditional appointment has become a festive rendezvous militant of the highest level meet the high expectations of citizens.

Congratulations and thank you to the artists we came to dance and volunteers occupation of heaven to those magical moments.

We were very honored by the presence of Mr. Tognoni, General Secretary of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal and thank him for being with us at this important stage of our struggle.

Tributes to Rémi Fraisse opening rally and political meeting were the highlights, filled with emotion and respect. Everyone was aware that such a tragedy does not happen again.

There is no intention of abandoning the project.  We must continue to work on the three pillars of our action:

– We confidently expect the rendering judgment expected Friday, July 17 on the 17 appeals filed notably under the Water Law and Protected Species. It is “a first round in a match in 3 sets” according to another activist.

– On the political side, we must prepare for the month of December in preparation for regional elections (especially in PDL and Brittany, funders Potential of Our Lady of the project-des-Landes) and

-COP 21 which one can say that the debate has already started this weekend at Notre Dame des Landes.

– On the ground, we will remain vigilant, all united components to discourage the slightest hint of the beginning of work on the airport, confident that our civil disobedience is legitimate. All components of the fight work on a common future without airport rich exchange of new agricultural practices and respect for living together in harmony after the abandonment of the project.

We wish everyone a nice summer!

Wear the badge of the struggle of Notre-Dame-des-Landes wherever you go this summer to strengthen it!

Think of other struggles whose representatives came to Notre-Dame-des-Landes weekend that need us to support them!  [Heathrow for one].

See you in mid-August to actively resume our actions in non-violence – ie coherent actions with the world we want to help build – with respect for people and property and with a determination not only completely intact but strengthened by what has happened around Notre-Dame-des-Landes in 2015.


The event’s photo album is online here: the videos will be collected there:

Press Book dedicated:

Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Une mobilisation studieuse et festive

 Les débats ont fait le plein
And this includes some short video clips
In rather poor English translation:

Notre-Dame-des-Landes. A studious and festive mobilization

The anti-airport passed their traditional summer mobilization. It was the 15th time this has been held and it was held in Vigneux-de-Bretagne.
A spokesman of project opponents Notre-Dame-des-Landes, Julien Durand had Sunday smile, the day of reckoning. “The mobilization was excellent. The participants were happy to be back. The crowd shows that resistance is installed , “noted the peasant.
A portrait of the environmental activist Rémi Fraisse had been deployed to the big top
This year, there was no headliners, but opponents came in numbers affirm their determination to prevent the transfer of the Nantes airport. Julien Durand estimated up to 20,000 people were on the site over the two days.
The 15th rally against the transfer of the Nantes airport to Notre-Dame-des-Landes was studious. A wide audience, in search of information, followed quarantine forums and debates. That of Sunday noon, in particular, who made the link between anti-airport fight and the fight against global warming.
Many people also exposed to legal action, and reflection on the future of the area “after the abandonment of the project.”
The gathering was festive. After the success of the great popular dance Résist’danse Saturday night, other music took the relay on Sunday, as “bagad Notre-Dame-des-Landes, an increase training for the occasion with musicians who play in training industry and fans.
Friday, July 17, it will again issue of airport project. The administrative court will tell if the invalid or prefectural water law and destruction of protected species. The judgment, written, shall be communicated directly to the parties. Opponents have not planned a gathering near the administrative court.


The public rapporteur dismisses the actions of opponents of the airport project of Notre-Dame-des-Landes

Le rapporteur public rejette les recours des opposants au projet d’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes

18.6.2015   (Le Monde, France)

Not very good translation into English below:

The decision was expected. The rapporteur has rejected public, Thursday, June 18, the 17 appeals filed by opponents of the proposed airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, announced about fifteen kilometers north of Nantes (Loire-Atlantique). The Nantes Administrative Court will deliver its judgment on 17 July.

From the findings of the known public rapporteur, President (PS) of the Pays de la Loire, Jacques Auxiette, released its satisfaction. “These conclusions are logical , he says.  They are in line with a validation of the important and unprecedented environmental measures that accompany the transfer of the existing Nantes Atlantique airport to the grove of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. They show that the years of dialogue were useful because they helped improve the environmental aspect and the necessary compensations. “ It is quite likely that the court follow, as is the case most of the time, the conclusions of the public rapporteur.

For opponents who had filed appeals against prefectural orders “Water Law” and “protected species” – associations (the elected Collective doubting the relevance of the airport [CEDPA], the intermunicipal citizen Association populations affected by the airport project [ACIPA], France Nature Environnement, etc.) and individuals like Julien Durand, a longtime opponent farmer and spokesman of ACIPA -, this conclusion is nonetheless carrier risks.

Indeed, on several occasions, the Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, said that the future airport work would start as early as the ultimate recourse judged. Nothing therefore should stand in the runway of the airport project proponents, government, the region and the city of Nantes in particular, and Vinci Airports and Airport Grand Ouest subsidiary (AGO ) that was assigned the concession of the future airport platform.

“The battle is not over”

For their part, opponents have expressed their intention to appeal against any decision of the court which would be unfavorable to them. “The battle is not over, we will appeal if necessary because it is completely abnormal that justice follow the advice of Vinci, and government, as we have motivated scientific expert opinion “ , said Françoise Verchère, CEDPA spokesman. “We hope that nothing will be done on the ground before all remedies are exhausted, as Head of State promised, therefore before any appeal “ , she adds.

He cited the example of East Donges, in the 2000s, one of the Autonomous Port of Nantes expansion project that wanted to build new docks by destroying a reed bed in the estuary of the Loire. “The court rejected the opponents but finally we won on appeal “ , she recalls. The Minister of the Environment the time, Jean-Louis Borloo, announced the abandonment of the project on 19 June 2009. After twenty years of fighting.

Read also: Notre-Dame-des-Landes: Valls irritates environmentalists

“Strength of arguments”

The only glimmer of hope for opponents, the president of the 6 th Chamber of the Administrative Court, Patrick Chupin, has insisted that the conclusions of public rapporteur pledged that he and the court would decide in “complete independence” .

“Our goal is to achieve the cancellation of prefectural orders, given the strength of our arguments” , told the World counsel for the opponents, Thomas Dubreuil. In support of their applications, the associations hostile to the project indeed cited the findings of two expert reports that criticize, in particular, compensation systems provided due to the destruction of wetlands where several dozen flourish protected species.

In April 2013, a panel of scientific experts appointed by the government of Jean-Marc Ayrault, then Prime Minister, former mayor of Nantes and always strong supporter of the airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes, felt that could not “validate the method as is” scheduled compensation and that he formulated reservations should be lifted so that “the project can be continued.” These criticisms of the Committee related in particular to “insufficient initial characterization of biodiversity “ , “insufficient analysis of quantitative hydrological functioning” , “non-relevant analysis of water quality” or “lack of explicit method for long-term monitoring of compensation measures” .

More recently, in February, it was the turn of the Scientific Council of the natural heritage and biodiversity to convey his reservations to the Minister for Ecology, Segolene Royal. He saw then that “this project would have a major impact on agro-ecosystems of relict wetlands, endangered throughout western Europe, with their valuable ecological functions and biodiversity richness, which offset opportunities alike appear very limited “ . The Board had issued “an opinion that the destruction of this very original set by the realization of the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes” .

New setback

The record of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, open for nearly fifty years, is not yet completed. In 2010, the joint association of airport studies foresaw the arrival of the first aircraft in 2017. It will not happen. The battle is not over, especially since the opponents have developed an alternative project, defended a long time: the renovation of the Nantes airport. Friday night, they will present to the press and the public the findings of the “citizen workshop” which, with many architects, worked in particular on the expansion of the existing terminal.

Just a week before the decision of the Administrative Court of Nantes, on 11 and 12 July, the Nantes Bocage and farms occupied by farmers and activists ZAD (zone defending) welcome from supporters of the country to a mobilization weekend. “This will give us the opportunity to re-engage everyone in case it is needed” , says Françoise Verchère. Zadistes, farmers and environmental protection activists have the opportunity to discuss strategies for opposing the start of construction. And the most skeptical about the usefulness of legal battle are sure to then emphasize the need for other means of control.
See the original French below


Lors d'une manifestation contre le projet d'aéroport à Notre-Dame-des-Landes le 18 juin.

Notre-Dame-des-Landes : pour les opposants, le projet d’aéroport est contraire aux objectifs de la COP21

(Le Monde, France)

In rather poor English translation below:

Notre-Dame-des-Landes: for opponents, the airport project is contrary to the goals of COP21

13.7.2015 (Le Monde, France)

On one airport to another. From Notre-Dame-des-Landes, where the state, region and Vinci Airports Nantes Atlantique want to transfer the existing airport until Bourget, north of Paris, where the UN Conference will be held climate, COP21, a single combat.

For thousands of opponents (about 15,000 according to the organizers) to the draft new Nantes airport, gathered Saturday 11 and Sunday July 12 in Vigneux-de-Bretagne (Loire-Atlantique), south of the future airport area, there a major contradiction between the declarations in favor of the fight against global warming policies and industrial managers, and the reality of economic policies and infrastructure projects, particularly transport.


“Air transport is stowaways in the fight against global warming, it exempts of all, recalled Lorelei Limousin, Climate Action Network (RAC) at the central meeting on Sunday morning. The absence of tax diesel for the Air lost 550 million euros a year to the government, to which one can add the reduced VAT on airline tickets, € 600 million, more than one billion shortfall. “ She continued, to the applause of hundreds of activists present in a large tent: “Air France is one of the sponsors of the COP21, it boggles. “

Read also: Climate: air transport promises a blue sky

These politicians, Europe Ecology-The Greens (EELV), the Left Party (PG) and the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA), were hit hard. ” The fight against climate change, it is in our advertising, in our communication, say the large groups, Air France, BNP Paribas, which invest in fossil fuels in the world, EDF, GDF-Suez, etc., but in reality, they oppose any proposed saving energy , explained Yannick Jadot, MEP EELV. They say yes, butnot here, not now, not like this. “

Martine Billard (PG) mocked those who “want to sell green airports” . “We are sold the same sustainable nuclear; to be sustainable, nuclear is truly sustainable “ , she threw to the conquered militants. According to her, the planet can not travel, unfortunately, to the discovery of all countries of the world. “There are limits, our planet has limits, and we must make choices, what is at stake the COP21 “ , she has said. For the representative of the NPA, Christine Poupin, the question of “expropriation of the big capitalist groups” is asked.

Beyond political statements, facilitated by the full support of the public, the weekend of mobilization against the planned Notre-Dame-des-Landes – and all the “useless major projects”  : rail tunnel between Lyon and Turin The Center Parc Roybon (Isère), the dam Sivens (Tarn) … not to mention the “factory” of a thousand cows or landfill of nuclear waste in Lorraine, in Bure … – was the occasion of an intense work on arguments.

Judicial appointments

“An Airbus A 320 engulf as much energy in one hour at takeoff than me in twenty years on my farm, summarized Daniel Durand of the Confederation Paysanne. To get to New York, it would take 150 ha rapeseed, 300 if we want him back. So useless to think of biofuels for aviation. “

One after another, all stakeholders dozens of forums organized under the six capitals of the site have expressed opposition to current projects. The link with the fight against global warming, five months of COP21, is permanent, highlighted by the presence of officials of the Climate Coalition and 21 of Alternatiba activists who are trying to achieve, by bike, turn, France militant. “heater control, not the climate! “ was the central slogan of the weekend.

And then there was the news of the record of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Friday, July 17, the Nantes administrative court must rule on the last seventeen appeals by opponents of the airport project. The day before, the Grenoble Administrative Court will judge appeals opponents of the Center Parc Roybon.

Read also: Several thousand opponents of the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes met before the final court decision

Political agreement

“If the opinion is unfavorable we, as public rapporteur has suggested, then we will appeal. And according to the political agreement sealed with the president and prime ministers that have succeeded, no construction will not start before the exhaustion of all legal proceedings “ , recalls serene but determined, Julien Durand, farmer and is emblematic of the ACIPA (inter citizen Association of populations affected by the airport project of Notre-Dame-des-Landes).

Around the vast grasslands of La Paquelais, where opponents have installed the rally, dozens of occupants of the “zone defense” (ZAD), distributed between farms and the many huts scattered around the countryside, are also waiting later with the firm intention not to leave the place one day construction machinery.

See the original in French here:

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