What is the zad ?

“It’s like living in the playground you always dreamt of as a child.”

Camille, occupier of the zad.

Zad Forever is a collectively authored English language blog bringing together dispatches from  la zad of Notre Dame de Landes, France, a liberated territory against an airport and its world.  The zad has been occupied since 2009 and is part of a 40 year struggle ‘against a major capitalist infrastructure project.

The 4000 acres of wetlands, fields and forests have become a vast laboratory of commoning, where 250 people in 60 different collectives live together without the state, occupying the land against the new airport project for the city of Nantes.

Havesting the commons
Politicians call it “a territory lost to the republic”. The local farmers and villagers, activists and naturalists, squatters and trade unionists, who are part of the growing movement against the airport and its world, call it – The zone to defend – the zad.

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With its bakeries, pirate radio station, tractor repair workshop, brewery, banqueting hall, medicinal herb gardens, a rap studio, dairy, vegetable plots, weekly newspaper, flour mill, library and even a surrealist lighthouse, the zad has become a concrete experiment in taking back control of everyday life. In 2012 the French state’s attempt to evict the zone was fiercely resisted and the police have not set foot there since. Every time the threats of eviction resurface, over 40,000 people take part in creative acts of disobedience to defend the zone.

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Since the election of the new president, Macron, a set of three mediators has been assigned to find a ‘solution’ to the conflict. Even if the airport project is cancelled, the movement has agreed that the zad as a new commune for the 21st Century must remain, in all its diversity and with its land run outside of the state institutions.

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for more about the zad (in French and English) see zad.nadir.org

“That’s how I resist, by keeping working till the police arrive. Whether we like it or not we have become more than ourselves.”

Marcel, Farmer living and working on the zad.