NDDL: on the Zad, thousands of demonstrators determined to "rebuild" and maintain "utopia"

"If we persevere to rebuild, they will not spend months to destroy": the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, thousands of people gathered Sunday in support of the evicted occupants affirmed their determination to rebuild the destroyed habitats and especially to maintain "utopia".

Far from being defeated by the mobilization of the police since Monday and the destruction of 29 squats built by the zadistes, the defenders of their way of life were said Sunday more determined than ever to support them and to come recreate their places of life, as they did in 2012 after the operation César.

 A protestor dressed as a monk on the site of the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, theater of clashes with the forces of the Order, April 15, 2018 (AFP - CHARLY TRIBALLEAU)

A protestor dressed as a monk on the site of the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, theater of clashes with the police, the April 15, 2018 (AFP – CHARLY TRIBALLEAU)

"There is an indisputable thing: people are absolutely keen that we do not make a clean sweep of utopia, of the dream that has been created here," says Marcel Thébault, a "historic" farmer in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, who salutes the "formidable mobilization despite of all blockages ".

As a first symbol of this reconstruction, the demonstrators transported on the muddy roads the frame of the future "Gourbi", one of the squats dismantled since Monday. This "emblematic and collective place" for the zadistes has already destroyed four times according to them

Jérémy, 37 years old, restaurateur, is there for three days. He came from Rouen to take part in the reconstruction operations and "defend the Zad at all costs". "They will spend months and months destroying what we are going to rebuild," he says.

Like him, thousands of people of all generations, including families, converged on the site Sunday to assert their solidarity. There, they unearthed the thousands of sticks that had been planted during a previous mobilization, in October 2016, with the promise to come and look for them in case of expulsions.

 Clashes between protesters and police on the site of the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, April 15, 2018

Clashes between protesters and police on the site of the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, April 15, 2018

"Macron did not understand, we won, everybody gets together, the convergence of struggles is here, there is an even stronger solidarity that is in "To be created" on the Zad, says Christine, flowered boots on the feet and gas mask around the neck.

All around the Bellevue farm, dozens of families or groups of friends enjoy a lull for picnics, tractors or logs, while some improvise a piece of harp or bagpipes.

– "They have not finished with the Zad" –

 A protester holds a sign against the police on the site of the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, April 15 2018
 (AFP - Damien MEYER)

A protester holds a sign against police on the site of the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, April 15, 2018
 (AFP – Damien MEYER)

Jean-Marc, 53, an arborist in Saint-Brieuc, is now "engaged on the long term" alongside the zadistes to "let young people dream." There, we removed the possibility to do things differently ".

In the fall of 2012, a previous demonstration of reoccupation after evictions, during the last big attempt to evacuate the Zad, called Operation Caesar, "the gendarmes were not there. ", says Marcel Thébault. "Today, we reach a level of tension and confusion unequaled," he continues.

Some protesters also note a "very wide acceptance" to defend "hothouse" all the huts, unlike 2012.

 Demonstrators dance on the site of the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, the April 15, 2018
 (AFP - Damien MEYER)

Protesters dance on the site of the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, April 15, 2018
 (AFP – Damien MEYER)

"We know the life that was formed here, we had the opportunity to go hiking, parties here, it became a part of the local life and, all in suddenly, we end up with a military invasion, in a state of war ", regrets Sedi, 41-year-old engineer, who lives in the Nantes region.

"No offense to the government, we will get there.They have not finished with the Zad," promises Michel, one of the occupants expelled from the fold of the "100 Names".

While the helicopter of the gendarmerie continued late in the afternoon to fly over the area, the demonstrators began to set up the "new Gourbi", in a field, a few steps from a face-to-face. -face stretched between zadistes and police.

USA: New snowfall on the northeast, cancellation of thousands of flights

The northeastern United States was under the snow on Wednesday, displacing some 2,500 flights at regional airports, road accidents and power cuts for thousands of homes.

Nearly 550 flights – or nearly 42% of the planned total – from or to JFK International Airport had been canceled at about 1900 local time (00:00 GMT), 700 flights – or 55% – for Newark International Airport, and also 700 (60%) for LaGuardia Airport, which primarily connects US destinations, according to the FlightAware Flight Tracking Site.

Boston and Philadelphia airports were also affected, with cancellation rates between 20 and 30%

The intensity of snowfall, sometimes accompanied by thunder and lightning, varied greatly from one region to another.

Only a few centimeters had fallen at the end of the day at JFK, but up to 30 centimeters of snow had fallen altogether in other more central districts of New York, and up to 50 centimeters in the more rural areas of New York. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut states, the National Weather Service (NWS), the national weather forecast, had revised upward by mid-day expected snow.

Temperatures were relatively mild (+2 degrees Celsius in New York) and the NWS provided for "heavy and wet snow, with squalls and floods on the coasts."

In the evening, fog and "conditions close to a "blizzard", with gusts of up to 55 km / h, made traveling in many areas near the US financial capital "very difficult if not impossible," according to the national weather.

– State of Emergency –

New York public schools such as courts or utilities remained open, although many closed earlier than planned to allow employees to return home.

In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy announced Tuesday night the closure of schools and declared a state of emergency.

 Two women walk on snow Wednesday in Hoboken, New Jersey (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP - KENA BETANCUR)

Two women walk on snow Wednesday in Hoboken, New Jersey (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP – KENA BETANCUR)

Such a measure is common in the United States in the face of climatic hazards: it makes it possible to give priority to emergency vehicles and to release funds from the federal government.

In Boston, schools were to remain closed on Thursday

Rail transport was also disrupted. The national carrier Amtrak announced the cancellation of some of the trains running between Washington and Boston.

Last Friday, a storm had already swept the northeastern United States over a wider area from Maryland to Massachusetts, which had killed at least five people, mostly due to windfall trees violent events that had accompanied heavy rains

More than 100,000 households had been deprived of electricity. Several thousands of them were still without power on Wednesday, and other cuts were added, especially in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

In the latter state, some 136,000 people were affected, according to the company FirstEnergy.

Wet snow and lack of visibility also caused many accidents on the roads. Between midnight and 4 pm, the New Jersey State Police reported that they had to respond to 356 accidents, but did not specify their severity.

The snow was not expected to last beyond Wednesday, however, according to weather forecasts, and the state of emergency in New Jersey was to be lifted at night.

Drought: thousands of Spanish farmers protest for aid

Thousands of farmers from southeastern Spain demonstrated in Madrid on Wednesday, calling on the government for help in the face of the "surreal" drought that is hitting them and threatening jobs in their area. Europe

The surroundings of Alicante, Murcia and Almeria, on the Spanish coast of the Levant, where fruit and vegetables are produced in all seasons for all of Europe, suffer particularly from drought. Spain is experiencing one of its worst droughts since the beginning of the 1980s.

"Without water in the Levant, desert and unemployment Let's defend Europe's kitchen garden", could be read on a banner in the parade. 19659002] "80% of the water was cut off", AFP José Antonio Diaz, manager of an agricultural company in the Almeria region, complains about the empty water supply in the area. four-fifths in the south-east of Spain, according to him.

He says he was able to grow only 15 to 20% of his usual production of salads and watermelons, a situation "surrealist."

Some farmers, he says, have even considered moving some of their production to southern France, around Montpellier, where water is more abundant.

"In 39 years, I have never known such a serious year, "says Pepe Rodriguez, a 59-year-old farmer from the Murcia region.

" What are we going to do with all immigrants there we have there? ", he wonders, worried about the jobs many families in his region live in, including many workers from Africa.

He wants the government to subsidize desalination of seawater, a very expensive technology for the time being, and put in place in the longer term a system of water transfer from the rivers of the north, wetter, to the south.

Reserves of water from the Jucar and Segura basins, the two main rivers draining southeast Spain, were 27.7% and 17.6% respectively, according to official data released on Tuesday.

Snow: Thousands still stranded on roads in the South

The snow has fallen abundantly since Wednesday in the region of Montpellier, where 2,000 "shipwrecked by the road" were rescued and at least 2,000 others were still blocked Thursday morning on the roads and highways of Herault.

At 9:30 Thursday, nearly 2,000 cars and their passengers were still blocked on the A 9 motorway near Montpellier and A 75 (Clermont-Ferrand-Beziers), after spending the night. "The head of the cork is being resorbed slowly", it was assured to the prefecture of Hérault which gave, as the day before, any precision on the number of people concerned.

On the networks Thursday morning, motorists were said exasperated by the situation: "Is it normal and that the only people who come to take news and offer food are motorists? We are stuck in the same place since 15H30! You realize?", tweeted at 9:00 a driver stuck with his children.

Some 2,000 other people were accommodated Wednesday afternoon and overnight in the 35 points of reception of Herault and were still in the morning in the unable to recover their abandoned vehicles on the highway.

Montpellier, placed on red alert all night, woke up under a thick layer of snow Thursday, 10 to 20 centimeters in the center and 30 centimeters in the north of the agglomeration. Thursday morning, it was not snowing anymore but heavy rains were expected.

The city was paralyzed: no tram or bus was circulating and all the establishments receiving the public were closed during this period of school holidays: nurseries, stops day-care centers, leisure centers, swimming pools, media libraries, halls and markets … Air traffic has been interrupted since Wednesday noon

Montpellier Mayor Philippe Saurel (DVG) explained that he froze and snowed only the turnouts are damaged, which derailed two tramway trains ". Adding that trees had fallen on catenaries, he assured BFMTV "try to get a line running as quickly as possible."

450 people found refuge in buildings made available by the town hall, including the Zenith and in a TGV requisitioned by the prefect in Montpellier station. The Hérault firefighters handled 3,219 emergency calls and hired 650 firefighters and 293 vehicles for relief, assistance, reconnaissance and refueling actions.

The snow gradually gained most of the country on Wednesday evening and fifty-three departments were on orange alert Thursday late in the morning mainly for snow-ice.

It was still snowing on the north of the Hérault and west Gard, south-east of Lozere, on the north and east of the Alpes de Haute-Provence, the Hautes-Alpes and in the interior of the Alpes-Maritimes. In Provence, the wind has formed drifts and icy patches, particularly in the interior of the Var.

Some 5,000 subscribers are without electricity in the sector of Alès (Gard).

The motorway A8, between Aix-en-Provence and Saint-Maximin, where in the evening thirteen snow plows had unlocked all stuck vehicles, was completely reopened around 10:00.

– light snowpack in the North-

Elsewhere in France, from the center-west to the south of the Hauts-de-France, the Grand Est and the Alps, the snow is announced and will be followed by "an episode of freezing rain," forecasts Météo-France.

 View of the Place de la Bourse in Paris on March 1, 2018 under a thin layer of snow (AFP - Olivier MORIN)

View of the Place de la Bourse in Paris on March 1, 2018 under a thin layer of snow (AFP – Olivier MORIN)

In Burgundy, the A6 was cut in the middle of the night in the direction Lyon to Paris, up to Auxerre, said the motorway company APRR. The A47 Lyon-Saint-Etienne has also been closed Thursday since 9:00 in both directions at the height of Tartaras (Loire) following the accident of a tanker truck, through the central guard rails, causing a several kilometers

In the Drôme, around 02:00 am, a motorist was seriously injured after hitting a snow plow on the A7. An accident with a snowplow also occurred in the Ain, where a school bus ended up in the ditch by crossing a snowplow, without making any injuries.

In Ile-de-France, where the soil is covered Thursday morning with one to three centimeters of snow, the prefect of police activated the plan snow-ice and "strongly advises travel by car" until 14H00. The heavy goods vehicles traffic is forbidden on the N118 in the Yvelines.

Despite this snow, the Ile-de-France transports were little disturbed on Thursday morning, except for the buses in the departments of Val-de-Marne and Hauts-de -Seine

According to the SNCF, "no big delays or big disturbances" on the French network Thursday morning, but the speed of TGV was limited to 200 km / h by precaution on the axes Paris-Lyon-Marseille / Montpellier and to the Atlantic. In Montpellier station, the trains were between 30 minutes and two hours late.

In the South and the Rhone Valley, the redoux began slowly Thursday, as well as in New Aquitaine where all the areas Mandatory parking of trucks was being evacuated.

In the north of France, temperatures will also rise Thursday but will remain around 1 to 2 ° C in the afternoon in Lille, Strasbourg , Mulhouse, temperatures much lower than normal in the season.

Thousands of Pakistanis Attend the Cemetery of Leading Human Rights Activist

Thousands of Pakistanis crowded the streets of Lahore city on Tuesday (13/2) to bid farewell to one of the country's most prominent human rights activists, who died of a heart attack on Sunday at the age of 66. [19659002] Friends, family, politicians and human rights activists were among those who attended the Asma Jahangir funeral ceremony at the city's Gadhafi Stadium.

Jahangir is one of the founders of the Pakistan Human Rights Commission, a body that highlights human rights abuses throughout the country. He also serves as the UN special rapporteur on human rights issues. On his website, the international body praised Jahangir for his "contribution to human rights", which earned him numerous awards from home and abroad.

The US State Department said Tuesday that – along with Pakistan and other countries – the departure of democracy and human rights activists. [em/jm]