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The expression Zone to Defend or ZAD (French: zone à défendre) is a French neologism used to refer to a militant occupation or anarchistcommune that is intended to physically blockade a development project. The ZADs are organized particularly in areas with an ecological or agricultural dimension, notably in the permanent blockade village against an airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes. However the name has also been used by occupations in urban areas, i.e.: in Rouen, in Décines-Charpieu. One of the movement’s first slogans was “ZADs everywhere” and though there are no official figures, in early 2016 there were estimated to have been between 10 and 15 ZADs across Fran

The acronym “ZAD” is a détournement of “deferred development area” (from French: “zone d’aménagement différé”). In 2015, the French term “zadiste” (English: Zadist) entered the 2016 edition of Le Petit Robertdictionary as “a militant occupying a ZAD to oppose a proposed development that would damage the environment.”

Appearing in France in the early 2010s, the term was first popularized during the opposition to the airport construction project in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of Nantes. The ZAD movement has its origins in challenging large infrastructure projects in defense of the environment, local people’s right to decide the future of their territories (at the price, if necessary, of conflict with state power) and the rejection of the capitalist economy. In France, the most famous antecedents of the ZAD movement are the Larzac struggle(1971-1981), the protests against the proposed nuclear power plant at Creys-Malville, in Isère (1977), and at Plogoff in the 70s and 80s.

The ZADs have multiplied in France after the failed eviction of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes commune in the autumn of 2012. One of the first to be set up after the failure of the eviction of the ZAD was the ZAD Bouillons farm, near Rouen, occupied against a real estate project by the group Auchan beginning in the winter of 2012. In addition to Notre-Dame-des-Landes ZAD, the best-known cases are those of the opposition to the Sivens dam project in the Tarn and at the Center Parks of the forest of Chambaran in Isère


intro’d to zad via naomi here:

Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) tweeted at 5:54 AM on Wed, Apr 11, 2018:
I’ve been tweeting about #ZAD, which may seem strange given the state of our world and the very real threat of rapidly escalating war. But having pockets where people are building a beautiful future matters. Pls read this from behind the barricades:

If the French government evicts the zad, it will be like evicting hope.


The movement therefore maintains that we should have the right to manage the land as a commons (see its declaration The Six Points for the Zad because there will never be an Airport). Today this is the struggle of the zad (zone to defend) of Notre Dame Des Landes.

The zad was launched in 2009 after a letter (distributed during the first french climate camp here) written by locals inviting people to occupy the zone and squat the abandoned farmhouses. Now the zone has become one of Europe’s largest laboratory of commoning. With its bakeries, pirate radio station, tractor repair workshop, brewery, anarchitectural cabins, banqueting hall, medicinal herb gardens, a rap studio, dairy, vegetable plots, weekly newspaper, flour mill, library and even a surrealist lighthouse..




It has become a concrete experiment in taking back control of everyday life.

rev of everyday life

Destroying the house of those that agreed to sit at the table with you was a strategic mistake.

Already solidarity demonstrations have taken place in over 100 cities across France, whilst the town halls of several towns were occupied. Zapatistas demonstrated in Chiapas Mexico, there were actions in Brussels, Spain, Lebanon, London, Poland, Palestine and New York and the underground carpark of the french embassy in Munich was sabotaged. They will never be able to evict our solidarity.



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april 24 2018 – the revenge against the commons

This is a long read by one of the inhabitants of the Zad, about the the fortnight rollercoaster of rural riots that has just taken place to evict the liberated territory of the zad. It’s been incredibly intense and hard to find a moment to write, but we did our best. This is simply one viewpoint, there are over 1000 people on the zone at the moment and every one of them could tell a different story. Thank you for all the friends and comrades who helped by sharing their stories, rebel spirits and lemon juice against the tear gas.

[haven’t yet read it all]



rebel architecture

iwan baan ness

living spaces

empty buildings

self org