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Freedom Fighters – France

2012-2013 - France
Notre-Dame-des-Landes is the site of a proposed new airport complex (a public-private deal with Vinci company) on a wetland and a hedged farmland area near Nantes, western France. It has been the ground of fierce clashes since mid-october 2012 between French riot gendarmes and very determined opponents; local farmers and residents, green warriors and activists, noticeably supported by extreme left anarchists and anticapitalist youth who started to squat in evacuated houses or to build self-made tree houses and forest dwellings some three years ago to physically block the area to the promoters. Those squatters had started to produce their own food and wanted to live out of the system in complete autonomy, thus advocating small scale and organic farming, protection of agricultural lands for the future generations, and they strongly oppose urban sprawling and lobbies' excessive power on people's lifes in our contemporary world. /.../
Personal projects
/.../ The police intend to dismantle the camps so that preliminary work clearing the undergrowth can begin. This project dates back to 1970, but gathered momentum since 2008 when definitive limits of the project area were made public. Since mid-october 2012, authorities have launched the Caesar operation to force the aiport opponents out.
This work follows the same process as applied to the project Freedom Fighters - Arab Spring, revolution icons made out of a digital collage.

On the same topic see also the work > 'Land occupied… Do not try again later'

To read pictures’ captions click on the images hereunder.

Visual Portfolio, Posts & Image Gallery for WordPress
“Our Lady of Barrikades” – Morgane, 24, came to give a hand for a few days and help opponents anyway she can, and learn about self-management and self-sufficiency.
“Zone to protect. Resist, Occupy, Cultivate” – Amelie, 27, came to give a hand on a sunday and help opponents anyway she can. She’s helping build a new barricade on a wood track. She is an anti-nuclear militant and sells local beer to support French GMC Busters.
“Squat the world. If they expel us we will come back” – Qeru, has been a squatter for some time and decided to come and live in the project area to fight against it.
“Call to occupation. Blessed are the nutcases for they let the light in” – Emeline, a young volunteer who came to give a hand for a few days and help opponents anyway she can. She overstayed her plan and was still living in the area two months later.
“Let’s dance the struggle is taking off” – Plop the clown, 22, a clown and a market gardener, used to squat for a whole year on the project area. He came back since police operation to expel opponents started mid-october 2012. He prefers acting through a non-violent clown squad rather than direct and violent confrontation.
“Airport will not be. Thumbs up youth ! Tomorrow I’ll bring you 10 liters of petrol” – Julie, Marie-Jeanne and Lucette, all three live nearby and fully support the opponents. They bring food, fuel, and whatever is needed. Julie (left hand side) comes daily.
Aristide, a militant for a long time, takes part in many movements against consumer society. He’s feeling very well here and has no plan to leave yet. He’s been put to the court recently for unarmed participation to a mob after oral notice to disperse.
“Against the airport and its world. Occupation” – Elise, 30, who settled in the region and bought a farm with her family, is a behavioural analyst specialized in horses. As a nature lover, she couldn’t stay still regarding what’s going on in this area, and decided to come on a regular basis to help and support the opponents. She performed recently several naked action in front of the police lines.
“Decision-makers make one more effort to finish and wreck everything” – Erell, 21, masseur, she’s a volunteer who came to give a hand for a few days and help opponents anyway she can. Today she’s helping reinforce a barricade.
“NO. Resistance is fertile, airport is sterile” – Isabelle Loirat, an elected representative in the city of Nantes (main city nearby) from the Modem (Center Moderate), is actively fighting against the airport project at the city council level.
Severine, graduated in management, came to help opponents anyway she can for a few days after she participated to the massive reoccupation day on november 17th, 2012.
“Improve the existing. Conserve the future” – Madeleine, 88, has been a leftist militant all her life. She came to support the opponents against the airport project.
“We will dance on your planes ashes” – Michel, a retired truck driver, came to give a hand for a few days and help opponents anyway he can. He’s helping in the shacks construction.
“Reoccupation. Promoter, Urbanist, Cop, Get lost !” – Young volunteer who came to give a hand for a few days and help opponents anyway he can. Today he’s guarding a barricade.

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