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Zone á Defendre (France)
The ZAD until recently was the largest occupied region in Europe, with about 2.000 hectares and thousands of people that took part in the occuption. It gained broad media interest in France.
The ZAD is an aeroport protest site in the west of France about 15 miles north of Nantes. The aeroport project was first proposed over forty years ago and has faced constant local resistance ever since. The project is in the hands of the multinational company Vinci, who also provide such “services” as prisons, motorways and nuclear power stations.
In 2009 the area hosted a climate camp, since when the empty houses, fields and forests have been gradually filling up with people disgusted enough by the idea of this project to stay and resist. The reasons for staying were as diverse as the people but the occupiers were united by an idea that fighting capitalism is not just theoretical but something to live in practice every day. The ZAD has developed a broad variety of different forms of action, and combines protest, self-defense and solidarity economies, e.g. non-commercial food production.
Until the second week of October 2012 one could still arrive on the ZAD and tour around over 30 diverse squats spread across the threatened land. Since then, evictions have took place. About 2.000 cops met the determined resistance of the occupiers but in the end succeeded to destroy the infrastructure to prevent re-occupation.
However, currently a re-occupation is planned.
Solidarische Landwirtschaft Jedlersdorf (SoliLa, Austria)
“Solidarische Landwirtschaft Jedlersdorf”, shortly called “SoliLa” is the first initiative that occupied agricultural land in Austria. It was well featured in mass media, with accounts being mostly sympathetic. SoliLa formed on 17th April 2012, the international day of peasant resistance, occupying and planting fertile fallow land which is leased by the University of Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna (Jedlersdorf).
The action was innovative not only in employing a strategy of occupation against land speculation and the loss of agricultural soil, but also in mobilizing a broad range of activists and organizations, from La Via Campesina to food coops and bike clubs.
SoliLa activists were evicted by private university securities violently while police was watching. Negotiations with city government did not succeed.
Currently, new actions are planned around Easter.