NDDL: Occupiers expect "appeasement gesture" from government

The occupiers threatened with expulsion from the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes on Monday demanded a "gesture of appeasement" to the government, on the last day of the ultimatum set by the latter, while a calm precarious prevailed on the bocage nantais.

"A gesture was made by the inhabitants of the area.It is no longer up to us to make a gesture, it is very clearly the government to make a gesture to extend appeasement, "said Baptist, 33, a crepe maker on the ZAD, during a press conference.

" We expect a strong gesture from them, "he insisted.

Two weeks after the first evictions on the ZAD, which led to the destruction of 29 "squats" on 97 habitats identified by the government, explosions of grenades still resounded Monday in the bocage Nantes.

"Some opponents face the gendarmes.It is rather calm, it is face to face, smooth, "said the gendarmerie to AFP

The departmental road 81, which crosses the area from north to south, is no longer hampered by barricades as at the beginning of the gendarmerie operation, which mobilizes some 2,500 soldiers.

On Friday, a delegation of occupants of the ZAD has deposited forty nominative projects to the prefecture to regularize the the situation of the occupants, as required by the government

If the prefect of the Pays de la Loire Nicole Klein stressed the "heavy work" of the zadistes, the decision to continue or not the expulsions is the responsibility of the head of government. 19659002] – "De collective bargaining "-

" Since the file was filed, there has been no government communication that went in the direction of appeasement. So we expect the possibility that they come back to intervene … ", estimates Baptiste.

" We have until the end of the day to present new projects or refine them. Work continues to be done in this regard, "he adds.

At the press conference, several occupants recalled that the projects filed in the prefecture were interdependent and that it was a question of "a" collective approach "for the territory." We are asking that we be left with an experimental laboratory on land management and agro-ecology issues, "explains Sarah, a resident of the ZAD.

Several projects were presented in detail to the journalists present: JB, a 39-year-old urban planner, presented his market gardening farm, which had been installed for one year at La Noë Verte.

The young farmer, father of two children and living in the village of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, sells its production on the local markets, without reaching for the moment to release an income.

"My activity could not have existed without the support of the ZAD , tool loans, support for repair, etc. We have a kind of virtuous dynamics, "he says.

Contributing to agricultural social mutuality" enthusiastically ", the market gardener welcomes the complementary activities of the ZAD (food gardens, cannery, orchard, honey , etc.) and their opening to the residents of the area

"All that is produced is not closed to the inhabitants of the area. We intend to shine with all these solidarities, "he says.

Farmers from the Copain 44 collective, sponsors of agricultural projects, also gave their support to the approach of the zadistes.

" Les projects hold the road, "says Thomas Hardy, 33, a farmer near Chateaubriant (Loire-Atlantique)." We must allow time to build them, we can not mount projects under pressure, "he adds. , pointing out that a conventional agricultural installation requires "18 to 24 months of administrative formalities."

Questioned by AFP, the prefecture indicated that a balance of the number of projects submitted would be carried out after their examination by the Departmental Direction of Territories and Sea (DDTM), without specifying the duration of this examination.

NDDL: Hulot will chair the meeting in Nantes between the prefect and the zadistes

The Minister of Ecological Transition Nicolas Hulot will preside Wednesday afternoon in Nantes the meeting between the prefect of the Pays de la Loire and a delegation of occupants of the ZAD Notre-Dame-des-Landes, announced the prefecture .

This meeting, scheduled to begin at 2.30 pm in the prefecture, aims to find a way out of the conflict, after ten days of gendarmerie operations on the site and clashes between opponents of the former airport project and forces of order.

The authorities gave the zadistes until April 23 to regularize, through a simplified form having no legal value but allowing the state to know the names of people wishing to "enter the rules" and the outline of their agricultural or para-agricultural project, recalled the regional prefect, Nicole Klein.

This resumption of the dialogue, proposed by the prefect herself last Friday, was accepted at the beginning of the week by the occupants of the 1,650-hectare site.

The head of state Emmanuel Macron said Sunday night that "at the end" of the deadline of April 23, if the Zadists had not declared their agricultural projects, "all that must be evacuated will be evacuated ".

Twenty-nine squats were destroyed in the early days of eviction operations. Police on Wednesday, on the tenth day of gendarmerie operations zone, clearing operations on two roads crossing the ZAD, including barricades erected each night by the zadistes, according to a source close to the file.

Nicolas Hulot must also meet representatives of the agricultural world of the department and local elected officials of the territory, according to the prefecture.

A press point will be held at 16H30 in the prefecture at the end of the meeting with the delegation of opponents.

NDDL: negotiations between authorities and Zadists deadlocked

More than two hours were not enough to unblock the situation in Notre-Dame-des-Landes: the negotiation between the authorities and the zadistes culminated in a deadlock Wednesday night, leaving a feeling of "waste" to Nicolas Hulot.

First to react at the end of the meeting with the prefect of the Pays de la Loire region, Nicole Klein, chaired by the Minister of Ecological Transition, the delegates of the opponents lamented a frozen position of the government which left them until April 23 to regularize. The initial deadline expired on March 31.

"No line has moved, the demands made" by the government remaining the same, regretted at the exit of the prefecture Marcel Thébault, one of the four historic farmers of NDDL and one of the members of the delegation.

According to him, the government did not propose a "delay period or anything".

But, replied Nicolas Hulot, "what the government claims does not seem out of reach, no way an ultimatum ". Expressing a "feeling of sadness, waste" that he hopes "temporary", he again called on opponents to seize the "hand of the government."

"Let's not skip the last step, do not go into a spiral posture, confrontation, violence, do not confuse ecology with anarchy, and let's move on to another stage, "he said,"

– "Acknowledging the deeds done" –

After the abandonment of the airport project for which he had campaigned, "the government is entitled to expect a gesture, and more than a gesture, a return to order", insisted the minister, asking opponents to "recognize the gestures that have been made. "

 Prefect Nicole Klein and the Minister of Ecological Transition Nicolas Hulot Wednesday, April 18, 2018 in Nantes (AFP - Jean-Francois MONIER)

Prefect Nicole Klein and the Minister of Transition ecological Nicolas Hulot Wednesday, April 18, 2018 in Nantes (AFP – Jean-Francois MONIER) [1965] 9011] Crucial, the meeting was aimed at finding a way out of the conflict, the tenth day of gendarmerie operations on the site of 1,650 hectares, marked by clashes between opponents and police.

The delegation received in prefecture must make a "return" Wednesday night at an assembly bringing together the various components of the anti-airport movement. The prefect is to meet her again on Friday.

By inviting the Zadists to resume the dialogue, interrupted on April 9 by the eviction operations and the destruction of 29 "squats" in four days, the prefect wants to offer them "a exit door "and try to avoid an evacuation of greater magnitude.

The head of state, Emmanuel Macron, had said Sunday evening: at the end of the new period of regularization, fixed at April 23, if the occupants did not declare their agricultural projects, "all that must be evacuated will be evacuated. "

They must "give their names," said the prefect to an AFP journalist. "If they do not respond at least to this request, the President of the Republic has been very clear, there will be new evictions."

At present, "the only ones who are in a regular situation are the four historic farmers who have requested the surrender of their land and those who have a temporary occupation agreement that often exploit the land without living there", Ms. Klein detailed Tuesday.

The declaration of intent that must be fulfilled by zadists wishing to "enter the rules" includes their names and outline of their agricultural or para-agricultural project. Without legal value, it is a prerequisite for signing or not precarious agricultural leases.

The representative of the state had received before the meeting only a few "fanciful forms, people from elsewhere," she said Tuesday to an AFP journalist.

The zadists judge the format of this "too individual" statement of intent.

The state will not close the door to cooperatives or GAEC (agricultural groups operating in common, ed), but "it will not be Larzac, it was said," had said to the AFP Ms. Klein

The agricultural union Confédération paysanne, very involved in the Notre-Dame-des-Landes file, believes that it is possible to "cohabit" all agricultural and artisan projects on the site, provided that the climate calms down locally

On the site, a precarious calm reigned since Tuesday. The police continued the clearing operations on the two roads crossing the ZAD

NDDL: hopes of appeasement and high-risk week on the ZAD

A high-risk week opens for the government on the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, which will show if appeasement prevails, while the deadline falls Monday midnight for the regularizations, and that a new operation of expulsion of the zadistes in an irregular situation is possible.

"The situation is calm, really calm this weekend on the ZAD", assured the gendarmerie which mobilized approximately 2,500 soldiers since the beginning of the operations evacuation on 9 April. "The strength of the gendarmerie is adapting to a situation that is calm," she repeated.

This "lull" after a week under high tension is in a context of extended hand of the zadistes Friday after the collective filing of forty files of agricultural projects or nominative projects.

They had responded to the urgent appeal Wednesday of the Minister of the ecological transition, Nicolas Hulot, opponent to the old airport project, which had blasted the "mess" and urged them "not to enter a spiral of confrontation, violence" and to seize "the hand of the government".

The prefecture has given until Monday evening to complete individual forms to include their name and outline of their project, a prerequisite for the eventual signing by the State precarious leases.

"The problem is not giving names, we wanted a collective project," explained "Camille", one of the ZAD spokespersons.

"We made the gesture that was Asked by the government, for us this gesture must be heard, the dialogue resumes, we leave the hellish cycle of imminent threat of further expulsion.The ball is in the government camp, "he said.

The fear of a new evacuation operation hangs among the Zadists after the "trauma" of the destruction of 29 squats last week that the Zadists consider their place of life. There are about sixty precarious settlements out of the total of 97.

"I lost my house, my life, I have nothing left but I will fight for the houses that remain," said Paul, one of the occupants on the site of 1,650 hectares of which 270 ha must be allocated by the State.

If the prefect of the Pays de la Loire Nicole Klein stressed the "heavy work" of the zadistes, the decision of evacuation is the head of the government.

– Firmness of Édouard Philippe –

Or, Edouard Philippe reiterated before the National Assembly that "the illegal occupants" who will not quickly regularize their situation "will leave the place" in Notre-Dame-des-Landes because "force must remain in the law".

Particularly delicate, as inherited from the decisions of the past five years, the Notre-Dame-des-Landes file is one of the tests of the capacity of President Emmanuel Macron and the government to resolve conflicts peacefully, while the social fronts are multiplying.

Several associations or collectives opposed to the airport project had urged the occupiers to regularize and agree to negotiate with the government.

The repetition of the barricades removed and immediately raised in a cloud of tear gas had ended tired local residents and even some zadistes who thought the method "counterproductive" when going back to the table discussions.

The 28 agricultural projects deposited at the prefecture will be evaluated Monday at the Chamber of Agriculture of the Pays de la Loire. But these projects do not create "any rights", Mrs Klein said Friday after a technical meeting with occupants of the ZAD.

Without any insurance, the zadists call "vigilance". "We are ready to mobilize if the government does not hear this gesture of dialogue," said one of the spokesmen of the zadists that does not exclude "a great mobilization" next Sunday.

NDDL: a first step forward but no lasting peace

A lasting peace on the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes seems still distant despite a progress on Friday in the process of regularization of the territory, first round won by the government which does not rule out the threat of further expulsions.

In the standoff between the State and the zadistes since the abandonment of the airport project, January 17, it is the latter, cornered, who eventually give way.

Three days before the expiry of an ultimatum enjoining them to regularize themselves under penalty of being evacuated, they presented Friday forty files, agricultural or artisanal, identifying by name carriers of projects.

This "step forward", decided after intense closed meetings of the very heterogeneous anti-airport movement that wanted to impose the collective management of land, does not mean the removal of a new expulsion operation: after the dismantling of 29 squats last week, there remain about sixty precarious habitats out of the 97 identified. The authorities remain determined to "put an end to the illegal occupation" on the site of 1,650 hectares. The government will do it "with immense quiet determination," assured Prime Minister Edouard Philippe Thursday.

 Clashes between gendarmes and zadistes at Notre-Dame-des-Landes on April 15, 2018 (AFP / Archives - Damien MEYER)

Clashes between gendarmes and zadistes at Notre-Dame-des-Landes on April 15, 2018 (AFP / Archives – Damien MEYER)

As tension seems to subside, after long and intense clashes, the destruction of other squats carries the risk of an escalation of violence. A pitfall that wish to avoid authorities and opponents, four years after the death of environmental activist Rémi Fraisse on the site of the disputed dam project in Sivens (Tarn).

Since 9 April and the launch of the gendarmerie operations in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, the violent clashes have resulted in 75 injuries to the police and over 270 on the side of the opponents, who seized the Defender of Rights.

The clashes had increased in intensity as the demolitions of squats progressed. At each blow of the backhoe, the opponents and their supporters, including "black blocks" from all over France and Europe, responded with barricades and digging trenches.

The police were wiped Molotov cocktails, stones or glass bottles, replicating by the throwing of 11,000 grenades, including 10,000 tear, in ten days, according to a source close to the file.

– Two non-circulating roads –

 Notre-Dame-des-Landes (AFP - Paul DEFOSSEUX)

Our Lady of the Landes (AFP – Paul DEFOSSEUX)

Centralized first around the departmental 281, famous ex-"road chicanes", gendarmerie operations – which mobilize about 2,500 military – moved to the second axis crossing the ZAD, the D81, in turn closed to traffic.

Its main intersection is nothing more than ruins, after the barricades and the passage of armored vehicles, some of them going down to the waterlogged roads.

First sign of a precarious return to calm before a hypothetical "return to the rule of law", these two roads still closed to traffic were cleared Thursday and Friday, the opponents do not go up the barricades destroyed by the gendarmes . The routine of tires, bits of trees and wrecks of cars removed in a cloud of tear then immediately rested on the roads, had finally tired residents and even some zadistes who thought the method "counter-productive" when to recover at the table of discussions.

"Let's not go into a spiral of posture, confrontation, violence … Do not confuse ecology and anarchy," urged on Wednesday the minister of ecological transition Nicolas Hulot, dispatched by the government to preside over a meeting between the prefect Pays de la Loire and a delegation of occupants.

In the wake of the minister, a long-time opponent of the airport project, anti-NDDL associations or collectives had urged the Zadists to "seize the outstretched hand".

The occupants' projects cover approximately 270 hectares of land, but there is no guarantee that they will obtain precarious occupation agreements (COPs). "We will see pretty quickly if it holds the road," said the prefect Nicole Klein, for whom "some" of the 28 purely agricultural projects presented seem "problematic".

The occupiers, who hope to "save a minimum" the collective dimension of the activities on the ZAD, ask the State to "take a step forward", by not sorting out these "related projects". to each other ".