Green & Black Unite

An activist movement gets it right.

John Jordan

The Associated Press has this inspiring dispatch from Notre Dame des Landes in western France of a people’s uprising powered by Green and Black unity:

They hurl sticks, stones and gasoline bombs. They have spent brutal winter months fortifying muddy encampments. And now they’re ready to ramp up their fight against the prime minister and his pet project — a massive new airport in western France.

An unlikely alliance of anarchists and beret-wearing farmers is creating a headache for President Francois Hollande’s beleaguered government by mounting an escalating Occupy Wall Street-style battle that has delayed construction on the ambitious airport near the city of Nantes for months. The conflict has flared anew at a particularly tricky time for the Socialist government, amid a growing scandal over tax-dodging revelations that forced the budget minister to resign, and ever-worsening news about the French economy.

A protest held over the weekend is likely to trigger a new round of demonstrations like those that drew thousands of protesters to the remote woodlands of Brittany in the fall. In those earlier protests, heavily armored riot police battled young anarchists and farmers, causing injuries on both sides. On Monday, similar clashes erupted, with three demonstrators injured, according to the radicals’ website.

The fight has brought together odd bedfellows: Local farmers who represent traditional French conservative values are collaborating with anarchists, radical eco-feminists and drifters from around Europe — who see the anti-airport movement as a flashpoint against globalization and capitalism. Environmentalists and the far-left Green Party also oppose the airport, arguing that it will bring pollution.

And long-time activist John Jordan sent us his participant-report.