France

Deux-Sèvres: still 2,000 demonstrators on the spot against the “basins”, the fight is a long-term one – France




Wooden towers, “Gallic village” style, to “anchor the struggle” on the ground: opponents of water reserves for agricultural use in Deux-Sèvres have taken root in Sainte-Soline after two days of mobilization . After a demonstration of several thousand people on Saturday, and violent clashes with the police, some of the activists remained on Sunday near the site, denied access by some 1,500 gendarmes.

“There are around 2,000 people left on the site, I remind you that the demonstration remains prohibited, so that any act aimed at trying again to enter the site of the reserve will again be ruled out”, declared in the morning on franceinfo the prefect of the department, Emmanuelle Dubée.

One of the severed pipes

The anti-basins collective, nickname given to these reservoirs, occupies land lent until May 19 by a farmer opposed to the project. “We fully intend to use it. This will be the starting point for a whole host of harassment actions that will be carried out if the work were to continue, ”said Julien Le Guet, spokesperson for the collective. “We are urgently awaiting a sign from the State and clearly, if in the coming days, we do not have an announcement of a moratorium, a review of the project, we trigger the device. »

There was no new intrusion attempt in the end but, in the afternoon, an action of “civil disobedience” according to the opponents of the project: hooded activists, in overalls and equipped with a grinder, shovels and pickaxes, severed one of the pipes supposed to supply the future reserve. According to a source close to the safety device, the pipe in question was not connected to the basin but fed the property of a farmer doing polyculture.

(AFP)

“Anchoring the fight on this ground”

Opponents have also taken root by erecting watchtowers. “We are building a lookout to anchor the fight on this ground, to be able to see the enemy coming,” said David, a 43-year-old peasant baker who requested anonymity, referring to “the collective imagination” of the “village of Gauls”. “This lookout will be transformed into a fort and permanently if the work on the basins resumes in Sainte-Soline (…) We are at the rear base of the area to be defended. »

Activists build a watchtower during a protest called by the collective "Bedpans No Thanks" against the "basins" near the construction site of a new water reserve for agricultural
(AFP)

Gérald Darmanin affirmed his “desire that no ZAD (Zone to Defend) settle in Deux-Sèvres as elsewhere in France”, announcing the maintenance on the site of the basins of Sainte-Soline of “more than 1,000 constables”. Believing, in a statement, that the gendarmes mobilized this weekend (from 1,600 to 1,700) had “done their job, to enforce the Republican State”, the Minister of the Interior denounced “the ecoterrorism” which, in his eyes, was shown by some of the demonstrators – “around forty S files, from the radicalized ultra-left (…) who want disorder and chaos”.

The Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau, defended him, an “authorized” and “general interest” project, in the face of which the demonstrations must stop. “To see environmentalists going to attack projects which in reality make it possible to better regulate our water consumption, it’s crazy”, estimated the deputy LR of Lot, Aurélien Pradié. EELV MP Sandrine Rousseau, who took part in Saturday’s demonstration like MEP Yannick Jadot, on the contrary gave her support to “activists who occupy the land (…) to show that these projects are sending us into the wall “.



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