By Emmanuelle Bramban, Idle No More France,
March 1st 2016
Translation by Christine Prat



The gathering on Saturday February 27, 2016, to protect Notre Dame des Landes, threatened by the destructive project to build a new airport, was more than successful.
Some 60 000 people from all over the region and even all over France came to support local resistance movements, those of farmers as well as that of the ZAD!
Whether the governing powers, who try to minimize this huge mobilization, like it or not, it has been a huge gathering, the most important in the whole history of the struggle for Notre Dame des Landes.

Two convoys from the Paris region took the direction of the meeting point, one from Saint-Denis – where the city council financed the hiring of busses in solidarity – the other from Paris, consisting of 8 big busses, all full.
From Larzac, a historical farmers’ resistance region, from Languedoc in the South, from regions along the Rhone, from Alsace in the East, from the North… etc., from all regions of France, but also from England, Ireland… in big or small delegations, human beings found it important to defend that small piece of France, that ancestral land, rich and beautiful, against that senseless project of having an airport built by the Vinci company.
A project which has been wanted and fervently desired by Jean-Marc Ayrault [ex-Prime Minister, ex-Mayor of Nantes, now Minister again] and Prime Minister Manuel Valls, this is the reason why they are ready to sacrifice and kill that rich agricultural area with an extraordinary biodiversity including protected species, and an incredibly fertile soil.

And then on the ZAD (Zone A Défendre: To be Defended Area), where those who occupy the land mean to defend it through resistance, creativity has been developing and new ways of life tending to autonomy and food self-sufficiency have been reinvented in numerous ways. This is necessarily dangerous for corporate lobbies which are unconditionally defended by government and Presidency, who want to break this strong regional resistance, as an example to crush any further dissent.
They have gone so far as to exert pressure to remove farmer families from Notre Dame des Landes who are still there in their farm – those who are called the ‘historical people of NDDL’. Recently, the administrative court in Nantes decided their immediate removal from their houses and their family lands which they have owned for several generations. Those people have been asking for years to meet the President who never answered.

Thus, that Saturday, from intersection Vigneux to that of Temple de Bretagne on highway 165, they all came walking, cycling, on tractors, pushing prams, and all of them, in a cheerful family-like mood, but very determined, expressed their will, chanting “NO! NEITHER AIRPORT NOR RELOCATION!”, “GARDENS, NO TAR”, “THE SKY FOR THE BIRDS!” as well as in artistic, creative ways.

This land and its inhabitants deserve to live and to keep their ancestral territory which is a benefit for the region and the whole of France; it is thus time that the President and his government come back to their senses and to the reason of the Life of the Earth and stop giving in to the calls of deadly cash.

Emmanuelle Bramban, March 1st 2016


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