REPORT OF WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING HERE THIS SUNDAY 15 APRIL. or THE MAGIC OF THE ZAD!
Despite the state of siege imposed by the government, a crowd of 15,000 to 20,000 people has succeeded, whatever the cost, in reaching different points of the ZAD this Sunday. This afternoon new groups are arriving all the time. Since this morning, the state has done everything possible to break this huge surge of solidarity: there are road blocks and checkpoints everywhere; police checkpoint policeman at the exit lanes of the motorways, asking drivers not to to try to go to the solidarity gathering. This is the first time that the state has tried to prevent a big demonstration of this kind on the ZAD, and to wind up the tension. But here the collective spirit has not allowed itself to be intimidated by any such thing: the ZAD’s supporters know the country paths, and the fields, and they have been moving in groups in order to get round the police blockades. The movement that succed in forcing the abandonment of the airport project is here again today, in all its strength and diversity, to defend the ZAD.
At 2.00pm there was a solemn moment at the Bellevue Farm. The thousands of sticks and clubs (batons) planted on the 8th of October 2016 were dug up from the ground. We had made a solemn promise to come and collect them if ever the ZAD came under renewed attack. That time has now come!
People of all ages have set off along Le Chemin de Suez, escorting a large wooden framethat is being carried by a convoy of tractors. This beautiful construction has been created this week with timber from the ZAD, under the Hangar de l’Avenir [the ’Barn of the Future’] by dozens of carpenters. For the moment it is mounted on the field of the Wardine, with a view to moving it later. Hundreds of people are carry pieces of wooden constructions by hand. It was on this same field in 2012, at the time of the Demonstration of Re-occupation, that human chains had carried masses of materials to build a village at La Chataigne [the ’Chestnut Tree’].
Today, hundreds of sticks and clubs were immediately planted around construction site to protect this new building, a market hall and meeting space which was initially planned to be brought directly to the Gourbi to replaced the communal area that was destroyed [by the police] last Thursday. Meanwhile other large groups of demonstrators, with batons in hand, have spilled over from all sides of the police operation on the D81 road, and have crossed the road to pass to the east, into the forbidden zone, which has been occupied since this morning by columns of gendarmes. A mobile construction has been carried across the fields. Meanwhile more than a hundred people have been kettled since since this morning at the La Grée farm. Supporters are trying to reach them. We are informed that the Prefect [local representative of the state] has arrived at the Saulce crossroads. After yesterday’s solid demonstration of more than 10,000 people in Nantes, involving trade unionists, students and supporters of the ZAD, she will once again be able to see with her own eyes that nobody can crush our collective desire by the use of terror and destruction!
Especially because this weekend solidarity actions are continuing in many cities in France and around the world.
The ZAD has been wounded, but it is always magical!
We shall shortly send an update on the events of this afternoon
For further information, see the regular updates at the ZAD website: Zone à defendre – zad.nadir