The ‘L.I.E.N’ [“la liaison intercantonale d’évitement du nord” – The Northern Bypass or LINK in English] is the latest section of motorway scheduled for construction around Montpellier, France. For 30 years, residents and activists have fought against this project which would see a river of concrete plough through some of the last green spaces around the city which has been in rapid expansions. The road will impact woodland that is home to numerous protected species, as well as threatening water sources in a notoriously dry region. In a period wherein all society should be fighting climate change, politicians and bosses are delighted by a project that will not only increase traffic and air and noise pollution in the area but also act as a foot in the door for the establishment of commercial zones and the expansion of a nearby quarry operated by the LaFarge group. Indignant that yet again the interests of profit are being prioritised over the interest of people and the planet, a determined crew have decided to occupy the impacted zone and surrounding forest. It’s a ZAD baby.
But what is zad? It’s a Zone to Defend, a radical occupation of land and a means of territorial reclamation. It’s a way of blocking dangerous industrial projects that destroy our planet and our lives in the name of profit. It’s a way of struggling against the shitstorm of industrial capitalism for those that refuse to twiddle their thumbs and wait for the political classes to react. It’s a way of re-politicising the struggle against climate change beyond signing petitions and buying hybrid cars. From the airport at Notre-Dame-de-Landes (France) to Heathrow (UK) to Standing Rock (USA), the ZAD is everywhere.
Below is a translation of the Call for Support published by the occupiers:
Since Sunday 06 June, we have been occupying the ZAD du Lien. All rebellious friends are called to join us as quickly as possible and in numbers. We are libertarian and environmental activists, utopians, residents, squatters, and free electrons from various political and environmental organizations … We will occupy until the project is abandoned, determined to protect our land, our commons and our future.
We are fighting against the L.I.E.N and its world. Against the concrete that sterilizes our future to all for the benefit of a few. It’s a huge fight, it’s a global fight, against a many-headed monster. One of these heads is the LINK. Yet another road, a ring road, an ecocidal and anti-social project, which paves the way for massive urbanization north of Montpellier, all this while trampling on the last areas of biodiversity and in defiance of public health. And we have every intention of preserving this piece of forest. The real link is the pathway right next to it, the pathway wherein we can say no, this stops here, and we can start to build something else. And for that, we need to be a mass movement. We occupy the ZAD today because the climate and social emergency calls on us to immediately block all destructive projects. And contrary to what we often hear in the mouths of our dear elected officials, bosses and journalists, a ZAD is not a Head Quarters for anti-democratic terrorists, nor a group of “thugs” seeking violence at all costs. On the contrary, it is the reaction of people outraged by the current state of our society. It’s a place that intertwines lots of amazing struggles in order to create an archipelago of free zones and to invent other ways of being and doing. A place where collective experimentation allows us to deconstruct stone by stone the edifice of oppression and struggle, as much as we can, against this validist, speciesist, carceral, militarist, racist, colonialist, LGBTQIophobic, patriarchal, capitalist, classist society. Come join us, let’s join our imaginations and our rebellion at the ZAD of the Link!
Meet Up at the Tour de Montredon, 34790 GRABELS 43.664430, 3.784656
Vehicle information: do not arrive directly with your car, park it around the surrounding villages, we will organise together for a safe parking arrangement.
Access by public transport from Montpellier: Tram 1 Euromédecine stop then BUS 24 Stop: Pradas Terminus
ACAB and Kisses
Contact: zaddulien(at)riseup.net (don’t worry about your language skills, you can always send an email in English)
REQUIRED LIST: Need everything but above all the essentials for survival, water, food that does not need too much cooking, picnic food, olive oil, spices, stove, pallets, tyres, all types of materials, screws, tools, everything everything, pots and pans, tarpaulin, marquees, nails, hammers, mattresses, tents, sun protection, sunscreen, and especially you and your friends 🙂 (this involves cars/vans to move our means of survival. Any help at this level is really welcome.)