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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #297 - Loire-Atlantique: Wave of anger against the surf park (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:23:05 +0300

In Saint-Père-en-Retz (Loire-Atlantique), 10 km from the Atlantic Ocean, a surf park project arouses an opposition movement ... under construction. But for the moment the mobilization is going through difficulties, whereas the work must start at the beginning of 2020. There is urgency ! ---- Since July 5, the Loire-Atlantique and Vendée are in drought. Farmers are prohibited from watering their fields. And yet, it is in Loire-Atlantique, on the border with the Vendée, that this project of surf park was launched, carried by the company Magic Swell: a basin of 200 meters long generating artificial waves all the 8 seconds ... 10 km from the Atlantic Ocean, yet little stingy in waves (free and ecological) and surfers.
Destruction of agricultural land and water scavenging
This project will officially result in the destruction of eight hectares of agricultural land, but actually 25 hectares when we take into account the related projects (bar-restaurant, playgrounds, picnic area and rooms that can host business seminars) and by the requisition of twenty-five million liters of water, certainly planned to turn in closed circuit (during the five years of exploitation of the surf park according to certain echoes). Today the drought that plagues and the Loire which is at the lowest remind us yet the importance of an economical management of water resources.

The collective Terres communes [1]decided to oppose this destructive project. Even Philippe Grosvalet, PS president of the Loire-Atlantique department decided to return his jacket, having perhaps felt the wind (volunteer wave generator) turn.

July 20 was organized a first weekend of occupation. Workshops and concerts were planned on the site. But about fifty FNSEA conventional farmers, fascists recruited via Facebook page to " break the zadiste " and residents frightened by the prospect of a new Zad have arrived on the site around 11:30 , determined to do battle. The most angry were armed, perched on tractors and accompanied by tons of manure to make the site unusable. The Zapistes (Zap for protected area or area of peasant autonomy) still too few on site at that time have withstood somehow.

Clashes took place, under the gaze of the gendarmerie, not decided to intervene ... until the first wounded, who was the farmer formerly owner of the field. A boon for the cops. The mobile gendarmes, then more numerous than the zapistes, then went down on the ground to threaten those present with collective custody with prosecution if they did not dismantle the site.

Rising tensions
At the same time, 200 people who had gathered in front of the town hall to demonstrate against the project at 2 pm, moved to the place of occupation. After death threats from fascist militiamen in the streets of Saint-Père-en-Retz, the demonstration was prevented from entering by the gendarmerie.

Faced with the ultimatum and a little balance of power to our advantage, it was agreed to move the site to a farm owned by a member of Common Ground. The support rally - and no longer occupation - still took place. An event full of energy and determination with unfortunately a shadow on the board: one of the members of the collective was summoned to the gendarmerie for assault with weapon while he was not even present on site during the clash.

A week later, on July 27, a new gathering was held at the town hall, with a hundred people. Once again, the presence of the camp opposite made the event, but this time outnumbered from the start. The rally therefore took place as planned. This also allowed to know a little better the composition of the opponents of the Zap: supporters of " economic dynamism ", ultraviolet elements, the typical speech of the extreme right antisocial - " you are all feigners to the RSA " - and threatening zapistes physical aggression - " we're going to blow your head " - or even death ; but also people who disagree with the means of action of the Zapists. With these a discussion may be possible ...

The opposition to the surf park struggles to gather en masse. Opponents of the project seem to be struggling to hold an occupation to a few dozen people and demonstrations of support on Saturdays gather for the moment only a few hundred people. In addition, the small size of the land does not allow the same occupation strategy as in larger Zad. But the determination is at the rendezvous.

Prepare for the future
What the movement really needs today is support, and more, activists. The UCL invites you all to come to the next gatherings, to follow this fight closely and to talk about it around you. At the height of the struggle, the Zad of Notre-Dame-des-Landes could gather tens of thousands of people. This was decisive in his victory. The possibility of actions in Nantes at the end of September, via a support committee at the Zap, was discussed. Committee whose preparation will take place this summer and which already includes members of UCL Nantes.

It is up to us all, by the number, to make the Zap, too, live and win. With the start of construction scheduled for early 2020, it will be necessary to mobilize quickly. Not to mention the need for support for those who have been identified by the authorities as leaders of the movement and could be confronted with the judicial institution.

Florian (UCL Nantes)

[1] The collective Terres communes was created to defend the land, the biodiversity and the small peasantry by supporting projects of peasant autonomy, artisanal and actions against the urbanization of the lands or their concentration in the hands of some big farmers.

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