Six Points for the Future of the Zad
Yesterday's decision by the French government to abandon its plans for a new €580m (£513m) airport at Notre-Dame-Des-Landes lead to jubilant scenes at the Zad. The Zad–Zone à Defendre, a small piece of land near the proposed airport–is site of the longest and largest social struggle in France, and yesterday's decision was seen as a victory for the Zadists.
The French state has given the Zadists until the spring to vacate the land, raising the question of what will happen to the struggle. This six points for the future of the Zad was originally published in The Zad and NoTAV by the Mauvaise Troupe collective, a group of writers involved in the Zad struggle.
The purpose of this six-point text is to establish the common bases necessary for the zad project once the airport project has been definitively buried:
We defend this territory and live here together in different ways in a rich mixture. We expect to live here for a long time and it is important for us to take care of this bocage, its inhabitants, the diversity of its flora and fauna, and of everything we share here. Once the airport project has been abandoned we want:
inhabitants who own or rent properties earmarked for expropriation or eviction to remain on the zone and regain their rights.
agricultural workers who refused to comply with AGO-VINCI to continue to freely cultivate the lands they are looking after, regain their rights, and pursue their activities in favourable conditions.
new inhabitants who came to occupy the zad to take part in the strug- gle to remain on the zone and what has been built since 2007 during the occupation in terms of creative agricultural experiments, self- built dwellings or temporary dwellings (cabins, yurts, trailers, and so on) and forms of life and of struggle to be maintained and pursued.
lands redistributed each year by the Chamber of Agriculture for the AGO-VINCI account in the form of short-term, precarious rentals to be put under the control of an entity issued from the struggle move- ment that would unite all its components, and the anti-airport move- ment, not the usual institutions, to be in charge of determining the use of those lands.
those lands to go to new agricultural and non-agricultural use, both official and non-official, and not to enlargement or profit.
these bases to become a reality through our collective determination. And, together, we will devote the attention necessary to resolving the eventual conflicts that arise when putting them into place.
The Zad and NoTAV: Territorial Struggles and the Making of a New Political Intelligence by Mauvaise Troupe (translated and introduced by Kristin Ross) is out now.