Aberystwyth’s premier vocalists share their solidarity with the embattled commune of the ZAD, A joy to see. [miss you guys!]
Taken from this inspiring piece of activist-journalism, “The Revenge Against the Commons”:
The zad was initially set up as a protest against the building of a new airport for the city of Nantes, following a letter by residents distributed during a climate camp in 2009, which invited people to squat the land and buildings: ‘because’ as they wrote ‘only an inhabited territory can be defended’. Over the years this territory earmarked for a mega infrastructure project, evolved into Europe’s largest laboratory of commoning. Before the French state started to bulldoze our homes, there were 70 different living spaces and 300 inhabitants nestled into this checkerboard landscape of forest, fields and wetlands. Alternative ways of living with each other, fellow species and the world are experimented with 24/7. From making our own bread to running a pirate radio station, planting herbal medicine gardens to making rebel camembert, a rap recording studio to a pasta production workshop, an artisanal brewery to two blacksmiths forges, a communal justice system to a library and even a full scale working lighthouse – the zad has become a new commune for the 21st century. Messy and bemusing, this beautifully imperfect utopia in resistance against an airport and its world has been supported by a radically diverse popular movement, bringing together tens of thousands of anarchists and farmers, unionists and naturalists, environmentalists and students, locals and revolutionaries of every flavour. But everything changed on the 17th of January 2018, when the French prime minister appeared on TV to cancel the airport project and in the same breath say that the zad, the ‘outlaw zone’ would be evicted and law and order returned.
Yea, few could miss the contradiction of the fact that on the same day that France’s President Macron was bringing his ‘Make Our Planet Green Again’ pledge to Washington, he was also authorizing a militarized force to destroy an eco-commune.
The Digger’s Song, or World Turned Upside Down is a classic in the protesting canon. It tells the story of the 17th Century Diggers who took to vacant common land and dared to do something as radical as build their own homes, grow their own food, work, and live in peace. For these crimes they were attacked, their efforts plundered, and their homes destroyed.