Manif, occupation mai 2013 18 Mar 2013 05:05

Call : April 27 – Avignon, France DEMOCCUPATION !

April 27 – Avignon, France

DEMOCCUPATION !

 

Against the LEO and its world ! In defense of the Green Belt’s agricultural land !

(followed by 4 days of gathering to share and reinforce the land occupations)

Start at Place Pie 10:00 or St Ruf abbey’s garden 11:00

Contact : leopart@riseup.net

Called for by individuals struggling against the LEO, local collectives and the Reclaim The Fields network.

– A concrete green belt?

 

For 30 years, decision-makers have been working on a bypass highway project – the LEO, for East-West Link – that would skirt the city of Avignon to the South in order to connect the A7 and A9 highways that lead to Marseille and Barcelona respectively. This billion Euro operation is planned in 4 sections, one of which is already built, not without opposition. Until recently, the 3 remaining sections seemed to have been abandoned due to lack of money, but in march 2012, decision-makers and concrete-layers managed to wrest the 180 million Euros needed for section 2. Today, according to local authorities, the project will be seen through and the process is accelerating : The public inquiry was closed in February 2013 and the State already started expropriation procedures. This four-lane highway is to go through a large zone called Green Belt at the gates of the city, the last remaining agricultural lung of the city, surprisingly preserved until now. As immediate impact, the fulfilment of the LEO will destroy 50ha of alluvial land. But in the long run it will very likely result in the destruction of the whole Green Belt : The LEO will stimulate land speculation and the urbanization process in this zone, accelerating the city’s expansion to the south.

– Against the LEO and its world, democcupation !

 

As the expropriations multiply and the first construction work is planned for 2014, we wish to stimulate new life in this struggle because we know it can still be won. The movement against the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport demonstrates the effectiveness of occupying the ground to create spaces of creative resistance and allow for a collective offensive struggle to be built up.

WE INVITE YOU ON APRIL 27 FOR A TIME OF COLLECTIVE ACTION, GATHERINGS AND PARTIES, AND WE SUGGEST SPENDING THE FOLLOWING DAYS THERE TO REINFORCE THE RESISTANCE.

This demonstration’s goal is to make visible the opposition to this bypass project and to amplify the resistance. It’s addressed to those who fight for the future of agriculture, those who are active locally and who don’t want to give up, and those who struggle against this system. After the democcupation, a camp will take place on occupied land in the Green Belt for four days. Its tempo will be given by actions, constructions, discussions, screenings, workshops and parties… and anything you bring along ! We wish for these days to fit into the construction of a larger movement of land occupations and opposition to commercial exploitation of land.

– LEO, a project serving commercial interests for the city.

 

In Avignon, as in all major urban areas in France, it’s a time of generalized competition between cities. Cities become merchandise like any other and have to be profitable. They have to develop their attractiveness, invest, carry out innovative policies to reinforce local growth. In the background, the spectre of unemployment and employment blackmail is brandished. It’s a breeding-ground for pushing populations to accept the city’s policies, by letting them think they’re intended for them. It also accentuates spatial segregation of populations, which boils down to cutting the city in two : the rich down-town and the poor and other unwelcome people on the other side of the bypass, on the periphery. We want to organize locally to resist this mercantile concept of the city within which the LEO falls. Indeed, this project will stimulate the construction industry, favouring truck flows in the region and accelerating traffic. In the long run, LEO is the key infrastructure favouring further urbanization of the entire south of the city. In this area, it’s difficult for small farmers to settle, even with subsidies, because real estate competition is intense. Who can fight alone against implantation of large agro-industrial, infrastructural or property projects ? This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to Avignon : In France, a surface area equal to one county (département) is paved over every seven years.

IN AVIGNON AS ELSEWHERE, WE WILL NOT LET OURSELVES BE MANAGED ! IN THE FACE OF PAVED OVER REALITY, LET’S SOW THE FLEO* !

(*Flail – Fabulous Experimentation and Occupation Laboratory)

 

 Practical information  :

 

– You can arrive the day before. A space for tents and food will be available starting Friday evening.

– If you can, come with tools for clearing, gardening, building. And tractors !!!

– If you can, bring a picnic lunch to share on the 27th. Space for tents and vegan kitchens will be planned for the four days of the gathering after the demo.

– There will be a gendered zone for women-lesbian-trans people // a games space for children and adults – If you can, leave your dog / your car at home

– The programme of the gathering is open and everyone is invited to suggest discussion topics, come and share on struggle dynamics…

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