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Land occupied… Do not try again later

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 stromgly 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.
On the same topic see also the portraits' series > 'Freedom Fighters - France'
Photographic film made and published during the climax of ‘Caesar Operation’.

To read pictures’ captions click on the images hereunder.

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The project area is a wetland and a hedged farmland where mostly dairy farming is run. It has been well conserved as the project, started in the seventies, had stopped every kind of land settlement and development. The opponents believe they can use this environemental aspect on a legal level to win the battle. November 7th, 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Sylvie Thebault, one of the directly project-affected dairy farmers. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
One of the many barricades on a major road crossing the project area, to block the promoters or the police forces. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Tree house. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
The Far West is next on the list of treehouses and self-made dwellings which are to be evacuated and destroyed. Waiting for the attack. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
One of the many barricades on a forest track in the project area, to block the promoters or the police forces. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Making of a trench near one of the many barricades on a major road crossing the project area, to block the promoters or the police forces. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Today morning several mobile police units came to clear a road blocked with seven barricades. Massive use of teargas, deafening grenades, flashballs, will not discourage the youth to keep fighting hard. Non violent militants have come to play their part. November 7th, 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Today morning several mobile police units came to clear a road blocked with seven barricades. Massive use of teargas, deafening grenades, flashballs, will not discourage the youth to keep fighting hard. Non violent militants have come to play their part. November 7th, 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Today morning several mobile police units came to clear a road blocked with seven barricades. Massive use of teargas, deafening grenades, flashballs, will not discourage the youth to keep fighting hard. Non violent militants have come to play their part. November 7th, 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Today morning several mobile police units came to clear a road blocked with seven barricades. Massive use of teargas, deafening grenades, flashballs, will not discourage the youth to keep fighting hard. Non violent militants have come to play their part. November 7th, 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Today morning several mobile police units came to clear a road blocked with seven barricades. Massive use of teargas, deafening grenades, flashballs, will not discourage the youth to keep fighting hard. Non violent militants have come to play their part. November 7th, 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
November 17th : massive reoccupation day, where 13.000 (according to police) to 40.000 (according to opponents) people have converged to the project zone to help build new tree houses and shacks in the forest. Physical defense of the land has so far been effective against the many police crackdowns to expel the militants, named Caesar Operation. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
November 17th : massive reoccupation day, where 13.000 (according to police) to 40.000 (according to opponents) people have converged to the project zone to help build new tree houses and shacks in the forest. Physical defense of the land has so far been effective against the many police crackdowns to expel the militants, named Caesar Operation. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
November 17th : massive reoccupation day, where 13.000 (according to police) to 40.000 (according to opponents) people have converged to the project zone to help build new tree houses and shacks in the forest. Physical defense of the land has so far been effective against the many police crackdowns to expel the militants, named Caesar Operation. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
November 17th : massive reoccupation day, where 13.000 (according to police) to 40.000 (according to opponents) people have converged to the project zone to help build new tree houses and shacks in the forest. Physical defense of the land has so far been effective against the many police crackdowns to expel the militants, named Caesar Operation. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
November 17th : massive reoccupation day, where 13.000 (according to police) to 40.000 (according to opponents) people have converged to the project zone to help build new tree houses and shacks in the forest. Physical defense of the land has so far been effective against the many police crackdowns to expel the militants, named Caesar Operation. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
November 17th : massive reoccupation day, where 13.000 (according to police) to 40.000 (according to opponents) people have converged to the project zone to help build new tree houses and shacks in the forest. Physical defense of the land has so far been effective against the many police crackdowns to expel the militants, named Caesar Operation. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Police action is proceeding towards a spot in the Rohanne forest to expel occupants and destroy their tree houses or protest platforms built high up in the trees to make police effort harder. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Police action is taking place in the Rohanne forest to expel occupants and destroy their tree houses or protest platforms built high up in the trees to make police effort harder. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Police action is taking place in the Rohanne forest to expel occupants and destroy their tree houses or protest platforms built high up in the trees to make police effort harder. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Police action is taking place in the Rohanne forest to expel occupants and destroy their tree houses or protest platforms built high up in the trees to make police effort harder. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Activists stay up in the trees whenever police action is expected, so that it makes their task harder. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Police forces keep posted on a road crossing into the project area. Youth came to provocate and try to push them out. Confrontation will go on until late in the night. December 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Police forces keep posted on a road crossing into the project area. Youth came to provocate and try to push them out. Confrontation will go on until late in the night. December 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Police forces keep posted on a road crossing into the project area. Youth came to provocate and try to push them out. Confrontation will go on until late in the night. December 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Police action is taking place in the Rohanne forest to expel occupants and destroy their tree houses or protest platforms built high up in the trees to make police effort harder. While violent encounters happen regularly, non violent militants also play their part through conversation and peaceful actions, like a (almost) nude procession through police lines. It will be ended by spraying of tear gas. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Police action is taking place in the Rohanne forest to expel occupants and destroy their tree houses or protest platforms built high up in the trees to make police effort harder. While violent encounters happen regularly, non violent militants also play their part through conversation and peaceful actions, like a (almost) nude procession through police lines. It will be ended by spraying of tear gas. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Police action is taking place in the Rohanne forest to expel occupants and destroy their tree houses or protest platforms built high up in the trees to make police effort harder. While violent encounters happen regularly, non violent militants also play their part through conversation and peaceful actions, like a (almost) nude procession through police lines. It will be ended by spraying of tear gas. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
On a new site of shacks and self-made dwellings that were collectively built on november 17th massive reoccupation day, local and supportive farmers have brought about fifty tractors to circle the site and protect it from police forces machines. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
On a new site of shacks and self-made dwellings that were collectively built on november 17th massive reoccupation day, local and supportive farmers have brought about fifty tractors to circle the site and protect it from police forces machines. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
Night time on a new site of shacks and self-made dwellings that were collectively built on november 17th massive reoccupation day. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
The Vache Rit, headquarter of the opponents, is a warehouse made available by a project affected farmer, Sylvain Fresneau. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.
At the Vache Rit, headquarters of the opponents. “Yes to vegetables, no to concrete”. November 2012, Loire Atlantique, France.

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