Du 7 au 11 juillet 2012 à Notre-Dame-des-Landes - France - dans le cadre du Forum Social Mondial

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vendredi 18 mai 2012

Identify them, count them, fight them by action and the by the convergence of our struggles

The 2nd European Forum Against Imposed Useless Major Projects will take place in Notre Dame des Landes, France (in the Loire Atlantique region, near Nantes) from July 7th to 11th 2012. This forum is in the continuity of the first one – a thematic forum of the World Social Forum – which took place in Susa, Italy in August 2011. The first Forum was consecrated to Useless Major Projects linked to transport questions. The Coordination of Organizations Opposed to the Notre Dame des Landes Airport Project was invited and we were very pleased to participate in this event.
The choice of the location for this second Forum is not fortuitous: to start out with we would like to invite you to a very broad solidarity encounter with the region’s population on the July 7-8 weekend. During these two days, we can introduce ourselves to get to know each other, act together against this project and celebrate to concretely build solidarity which will reinforce our struggles.
Following that, we will be working – undoubtedly in a more restricted framework – by themes, alternating different forms of work (visiting threatened sties or sites which have been saved, workshops, conferences, plenary sessions, preparing actions, stands, exhibitions…).
Of course this Forum, as indicated in the title, should prepare us to advance in the theoretical definition of what is an Imposed Useless Major Project. It’s not that easy. Nevertheless, we dispose of a number of elements already pointed out for this type of project. We have notably observed the lies and the over-dimensioning in relation to the needs of populations, which are never studied democratically, nor defined. Waste is a common element: the waste of vital and precious natural resources (mother earth, water, fossil resources), the waste of public funds indispensable to satisfy the real needs of the majority. Organizations in struggle are unanimous on the need to attack such projects in the earliest stages possible.
But without waiting for an exhaustive definition, which is impossible at this stage, we are warmly inviting all collectives in struggle against these kinds of projects to join us. We’re talking about those projects which – in the eyes of those who oppose them – enter into the category of “Imposed Useless Major Projects”. Of course we’re referring to projects in the transportation field (motorways, high-speed train lines…), but also commercial or industrial mega-projects. The refusal of jumping off a cliff into productivist solutions which are destructive to agricultural land, the environment, the climate and social cohesion – provides us with a common framework.
However, we conceive of this Forum essentially as a CONCRETE TOOL FOR ACTION. We therefore wish to consecrate a lot of time to exchanges between groups engaged in struggles (including struggles which are over, victorious ones…), exchanging experiences on general strategy, on forms of action on the ground, on legal recourse, on articulation with the political agenda. We are particularly attached to this.
These exchanges should enable us to reinforce the networks that we are trying to build and to provide ourselves with common instruments for visibility in the mass media (e.g.: websites, a common European day of action…). We would particularly like to write a common declaration to transmit essential elements of our reflection and of our fight against Imposed Useless Major Projects.
Last but not least, DEFENSIVE STRUGGLES "AGAINST" only have full meaning when they are accompanied by thorough reflection and the simultaneous construction of alternatives, which the organizations of opponents almost systematically propose. These are ROADS TOWARDS an ecological, social and democratic transition. This of course brings us to favour the participation of groups engaged in this process.
By working on the devastation of territories, on the role of big projects in the destruction of local societies, on the phenomenon of land grabs and land management, on climatic deregulation, on the wasting of resources and on the wasting of funds generated by such major projects, we find ourselves at the heart of those problems as applied to Notre Dame des Landes. Those problems have been around in this case for years already: food self-sufficiency, energy/climate and social justice. Questions of democracy appear to us to be treated in a transversal way.
The ways these problems will be dealt with (transport, energy production, as well as industrial, sporting and commercial installations which are not productive…) will also depend on the presence of groups in struggle. We are kindly asking you to announce your intended participation (even if you can’t confirm it for the time being) and – should the case may be – your proposals for workshops or presentations, in order to help us in the broadest possible collective construction of this event.
The Forum’s International Piloting Committee
The Forum’s International Piloting Committee is made up of the 'Local Piloting Committee’ formed by the Coordination of Organizations Opposed to the Notre Dame des Landes Airport Project, and other European associations which work together, following the 1st Forum at Venaus, to support each other in their respective struggles and for the organization of this 2nd Forum.
On May 14th, the first members are:
No TAV Movement (Italy)
Stuttgart 21 is Everywhere (Germany)
CADE (a collective of environmental organizations opposing the new high-speed train lines in the Basque country)
Organizations which would like to co-sign this text may do so by e-mail at the following address:

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