In the lead up to the French Presidential election, the French government has promised to destroy a rebellious community of 2000 activists that have squatted for eight years on the site of a proposed airport in Nantes. Known as ZAD, the Zone to Defend, the movement has inspired a range of protests against useless development across Europe. ZAD has its own farms, bakery and radio station and is home to 200 permanent residents and houses up to 2,000 people. It survived 2012 eviction attempt mounted by 1,000 armed police with helicopters and military equipment. With renewed threats to their existence, the Zadistes have begun publishing internationally in an appeal for broad support.
The ZAD: An Autonomous Zone in the Heart of France
It all started decades ago with the local resistance against the construction of a second airport near the city of Nantes in western France. Eight years ago, this resistance culminated in the establishment of a self-organized autonomous zone, commonly known as the ZAD