We're grassroots Heathrow residents proving that communities less dependent on oil can be more resilient, stronger and happier. We take direct action on climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy by transitioning to a post-oil, community-led future for the Heathrow villages.

50,000 mobilised against Nantes expansion

Posted: March 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Peasant mobilization was strong in Nantes, where the procession was attended by 530 tractors.

A huge protest took place in Nantes on 22nd February, against the planned new replacement airport to be built at Notre Dame des Landes, some miles to the north. The organisers estimated some 50,000 protesters, who came in from supportive groups from regions all across France. There are reported to have been 65 coach loads of protesters who travelled to Nantes to take part, and 520 tractors, brought by supportive farmers from surrounding areas. The protests were put down with considerable force by the police, using water canon, rubber bullets and tear gas.

The full report is at Airport Watch, including an article from Le Monde, video of police response, and a blog from John Stewart of HACAN about the origins of the resistance to the airport.

John Stewart’s blog from 24 February begins:

In a blog about the huge demonstration, part of which turned in to rioting, at Nantes against the proposed  new airport, John Stewart looks at how this protest came about – and its relevance to other large infrastructure projects in Europe. The Nantes protest organisers say as many as 50,000 people attended, from supportive protest committees from areas across France. The politics of this airport project have taken on national interest and significance, and also linked into opposition to “Les Grands Projets Inutiles Imposes” (useless, imposed mega-projects).  The people passionately fighting plans for a new airport in unspoiled French farming countryside are linked to those opposing HS2 and other schemes like a high-speed rail in Northern Italy and cyanide-mined gold extraction project in Romania. All these projects have managed to get support from very disparate sections of society. They all have real doubts about the economics or the necessity of the project; also they have land, homes, countryside or communities to defend; there is significant local opposition; and they also attract in outside opposition, from people with a variety of  perspective as well as environmental.


Talk and film screening about La ZAD!

Posted: March 5th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Come to Grow Heathrow this Friday at 7pm for a talk and film screening about La ZAD!

La ZAD (Zone A Défendre) is Europe’s largest postcapitalist protest camp & anti-airport occupation, and is situated near Nantes in France. If you want to find out more before Friday, read this amazing blog!!


The ZAD in France is set to successfully resist eviction

Posted: January 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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Saturday, November 17th – Day of Reoccupation.

A yellow forklift truck leads the way; walking close behind is a block of Zadists carrying a fortified banner declaring: No to the airport and its world.

Behind them 20 tractors pull huge agricultural trailers filled with building materials: piles of pallets, straw bales, tyres, doors, windows, prefabricated wooden walls, hundreds of planks, corrugated iron roofing, tools – pretty much anything you can think of, including kitchen sinks.

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We sit on top of one of the trailers. The affinity group from our local village has decided to build one of the constructions for today’s reoccupation action – we have named it the Black Bloc Sanitaire – it’s a shower block and bank of compost loos. The pile of building materials that we sit on is much more messy than the trailer behind us which carries the wood for a group of young architects. The architects have a super neat stack of carefully numbered pallets and the rumour is that they have already practiced setting up their dormitory building in the main hall of the Nantes school of architecture. Our construction doesn’t even have plans that are to scale, but we are hoping that the collective energy of the day and a dose of spontaneity will see something rise from the pile of rubbish we are sitting on. This is the opportunity of a life time for anyone who has ever dreamt of building their own cabin, rebel palace or fortress: A free plot of land, no planning permissions or building regulations and hundreds of people keen to help build.

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None of us know where we are heading, the location has been kept a secret. From high up we see the river of human being flowing behind us, snaking through the country lanes as far as the eye can see. As always, we have Radio Klaxon on in the background, they have just announced that the mainstream media think that there are 40,000 people are on the action and over 400 tractors! We are all here on an illegal demonstration whose aim is to build a rebel settlement together on the land earmarked for the airport (see part 1). Last night the president interrupted a state visit of Poland to make a statement about the protest, reminding the French public of the “power of the law.”

A year ago, when I first saw the flyer for this action, with its floating date to reoccupy 4 weeks after the first eviction, I thought it was a great idea but that it would be a handful of tired traumatised post eviction activists symbolically rebuilding a couple of huts. Little did I imagine I would be taking part in one of the largest act of mass disobedience I’ve ever experienced and that we would have enough material to build a hamlet. The fact that there is not a single police officer in sight, however, not even a helicopter watching above, is strangely disconcerting.

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UK premiere of ZAD photography exhibition

Posted: December 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Action, Art | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

We are delighted to announce the UK premiere of a photography exhibition of the ZAD, an anarchist anti-airport collective in France. Like Grow Heathrow, the ZAD is a post-capitalist protest site in the proposed site of an airport. breathtaking photos that have never been seen before tell the story of the tens of thousands of everyday people who are resisting eviction and fighting for climate justice and the right to stay on their land, in their homes.

1 December – 5 January

Grow Heathrow

Free

 

For Bristol-based brizzlers, we are delighted to announce that the highly recommended exhibition will be available on Sat 15 and Sun 16 December in Bristol. More information is available from the curators, the Cut The Crap Collective.

Preview a selection of the photos

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25,000 activists reoccupy proposed airport in France

Posted: November 17th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Today Le Monde reports that an incredible 25,000 activists took direct action to reoccupy the site of a proposed airport in Nantes, France. Some protesters had been evicted from their squats. The amazing reoccupation united local farmers who risk losing their land with climate activists and thousands of protesters concerned about cost, pollution and noise.

For more information about the ZAD, visit zad.nadir.org.

We have been inspired by the passionate grassroots support for local people’s struggle to take their lives into their own hands and say, “no” to an unaffordable, polluting airport being built on their homes and farms. Check out these beautiful photos of the ZAD and you’ll wish you were there too.