Final Straw: ZAD: some views from the inside

from AFM

This week's episode of the Final Straw features a conversation with Cami, a resident of the ZAD (Zone À Défendre or Zone To Defend) speaks about experiences of living on, defending, struggling on and with the project and the people in Western France and against the police, airport expansion and fascists.

Backstory: Notre-Dame-des-Landes (NDDL) in western France has been the target of the French government and private corporations like Vinci Construction for the building of new infrastructure. Plans have been brewing for 40 years to build a new, larger airport in the area, to expand the bus systems, build a high speed train out to the airport from the nearby city of Nantes and expand the port at Saint-Nazaire. The struggle, for many of the members of the farming communities around NDDL, has been about saving their countryside from gentrification, from preserving their generations-old ways of life, their homes, their agency in what happens to their homes so that it's not just people in Paris and Nantes who reshape their world. For many others it's about preserving some of the last remaining undeveloped lands in the area, resisting the expansion of the Metropolis and the way of life that it brings and even in making their own way of life with others while resisting eviction and learning new ways of struggle.

Much media coverage of the ZAD has worked to build a myth around the project that it's hunky-dory heroism and everyday revolution. While those things exist there, the story is not so clean cut. This hour we'll also be speaking about internal problems of sexism, racism, interpersonal violence, drug use, valorization of certain forms of struggle, homophobia... the same crap we have to deal with everywhere, sadly. Cami also talks about how people on the ZAD have tried to work through these problems. While also struggling against the occasional neo-fascist incursion from the outside.

We have hopes at the Final Straw that this will be the first of a few shows that focus on communities resisting development by Vinci (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinci_Construction), a company that destroys ecology, builds prisons and greenwashes around the world. Vinci is also the main holder of contracts with the Moscow government in relation to the development of old growth Khimki Forest (http://khimkiforest.org) to build a road and a village for the rich as well as Combe Haven in the U.K. (https://combehavendefenders.wordpress.com/). Also, in the Atlanta, GA, USA they've been awarded (under the sub-subsidiary Hubbard Construction) the Northwest Corridor contract, worth $600 million, which will bring 30 miles of toll highway to that city (http://www.vinci.com/vinci.nsf/en/press-releases/pages/20131218-1745.htm).

2 days ago Vinci was seeing red in Bristol, UK, due to an arson at some of their offices by Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI) (http://325.nostate.net/?p=9416)

https://zad.nadir.org
http://naturalistesenlutte.overblog.com/
http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com

The portions of the interview talking about Insurrectional theory, Radio Klaxtion (pirate radio on the ZAD), fascist attacks on the ZAD, immigrant solidarity, ability and the ZAD, films about the ZAD, and some of the music created through resistance by folks at the ZAD... don't appear here due to lack of time. They'll be linked on our afm blog page and eventually on thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org

Streaming from 3AM (GMT+5/EST) on 1/13/14 thru 1/19/14 at AFM, podcasting at radio4all.net and afterwards available, along with our other archives, at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org. Contact us for show suggestions and questions at thefinalstrawradio(aaaat)riseup(dot)net.

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Comments

thats been a lot of final straws man..

lel final straw more like liberal straw amirite

That's a straw man, liberal!

"internal problems of sexism, racism, interpersonal violence, drug use, valorization of certain forms of struggle, homophobia..."

True for the sexism and drug addiction (including alcoholism), false for the homophobia and racism. That's actually a place that's very queer-oriented, and although there are a few dicks who like to dominate women around, they're far from being ALL OVER the place like in some milieus within the cityscape.

At least that's the experience I had.

And for the violence, well fuck that. As long as people don't stab each other, I don't see how should be a moral issue, in the ZAD or anywhere else.

hate to need to point this out but just because YOU didn't experience any homophobia or racism doesn't mean they don't exist at the ZAD. i think we're long past pretending out radical spaces don't still mirror some aspects of society.

oh but I know. And I didn't say anything about the random shitty neo-fascist zombies coming for casual vacations at the ZAD, and those neo-hippies being really too friendly with them and the potential undercovers. Well France is full of sharply fucked up people in about the same way as the US, and no a community like the ZAD may not be enough to heal them... if they can be healed at all.

After all this is not very different than any other occupational camp or... well ok not as shitty as a tent village but still it's true that revolutionary relationship don't just happen by themselves. It's a continuous struggle within as much as with the outside world.

On homophobia, probably you hung out in the wrong sector of the zone... next time go east! ;)

LA FUCKING ZAAAAAAAAAD

East ZAD or gtfo

serious: the kids at La Gare are the best!

I was under the impression that this girl was being very bitchy and borderline slanderous, though most of the interview was actually on-the-. Though it was good to expose the drug problem, because that truly is an issue to deal with collectively for anyone going there. Chem drugs can fuck up just about any radical milieu, and it's not a new thing.

The conclusion was actually clever, because that kind of radical struggle really needs to be built up more in North America, instead of the usual Eurotrip for riot tourists.

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