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SchNEWS revisits ZAD - the anti-capitalist land occupation in France for an interview with an activist.
Word is that the ZAD eviction has turned into a 'military occupation'- is that how you'd describe it?
It really is impossible to see it otherwise. There are between two and eight vans of military police blocking the crossroads at the end of the road where I live 24 hours a day, forcing me to squelch through the muddy fields in my wellies to avoid them. the last time I had the audacity to ask (politely of course) why I couldn't cross the road and what they were doing there, I got a face full of pepper spray. The police appear to be gradually applying more and more pressure, strolling ever closer to the barricades and further from their vans. In all honesty, they seem to be trying to make themselves at home.
What's happening with the evictions and reoccupations?
There's been no actual evictions for a long time, and plenty of building. Many of them are really well-built and insulated, with little burners inside and pretty cosy. Around a week ago a farm was left by its occupant (who was not exactly a friend of ours) and immediately squatted. There are big hopes for farming collectives to take over this space and start new projects there. Most people were surprised it wasn't immediately evicted and razed to the ground, as in the past that has been common after we open new squats. However for the moment it is still there and it seems promising... only time will tell.
How are the numbers? What is the situation with the police?
I'd say right now we're between 100 and 200 but it fluctuates so much. I feel sure that another eviction would send people flooding back... I hope so! In all honesty though we have a lot of communication problems between us and it's really exhausting for the people who live here. It's so important we try and resolve that before calling out for lots more people to come and resist.
There have been some arrests... Especially scary is that people seem to often be arrested despite not doing anything much apart from being too near a cop who felt like arresting someone. Some of the sentences have been harsh too, especially being banned from coming to the ZAD - that seems to be their favourite. Many people have been given between a year and five year bans from returning to the zone. Having said that it goes in waves to some extent, and I still wouldn't say that huge numbers of people are being arrested. There's currently one person serving a prison sentence, and many with suspended sentences. I don't have the exact figures but it must be at least twenty.
'Non-citizens' take to the streets of Berlin in the latest instalment of the Refugee Strike shaking things up in Germany.
With protestors gearing up for a second round of resistance there could be 'diversions ahead' for the East Sussex County Council and the road backing scum Trinity College in the University of Cambridge.
Recent announcement by Environmental Agency grants permits to EDF aiding the production of nuclear energy at Hinkley Point C.
If the “world leaders” heading to Enniskillen in June were hoping for an easy protest-free ride they were sadly mistaken
Civil liberties activists in Germany and elsewhere are taking a novel, and militant, approach to CCTV culture.
For 25 years Golden Dawn were a marginal group that for the most attacked small left-wing and anarchist groups and sometimes would also go for immigrants. Until a few years ago they never measured more than 200 members. Up until recently they had one office. Now? They have forty-eight.
One group of Spanish workers has come together to stick a spanner in the works of austerity misery. Or more specifically, in the locks.
Sadness and disappointment but no surprises as judges in Amsterdam rule against releasing Morgan the Orca back into the wild.