A village is in a state of siege over its city council, the “300 000 pas” demonstration is under close surveillance, a helicopter hedge hops and flies above Bure, several groups of mobile policemen stand with helmets and shields in front of Lejuc wood in the morning : the prefecture and ANDRA are not de-escalating the conflict !
Not everything in the CIGEO garden is rosy. The CIGEO suffered its first defeat on the 1st of August 2016, when standing before the court of Bar-le-Duc, the tribunal decided clearing in Lejuc wood was illegal and that all work there had to stop. ANDRA experienced yet another juridical defeat on May 22, 2017. However, instead of keeping a low profile, CIGEO continued ordering its guards to watch the Lejuc Wood despite having violence complaints already filed against them. ANDRA also attempted to force its way into the wood with machines last January, causing a scandal when one of its engineers poured gasoline on activists holding a barricade that was blocking the road access. ANDRA’s attempts to impose itself result in a rise of shields; the mobilization in Bure revealed their aggressive and rushed strategy, which often remains hidden behind the mask of a social acceptability implemented within the last decade.
CIGEO’s overconfidence shows its incompetence and inconsistency. The company claims to have guaranteed the safe burial of radioactive waste for several decades, yet one can only worry about so much amateurism. Beyond its nonsensical communication tactics and mafia practices, ANDRA has, for several months, shown a complete inability to face the situation at hand. The numerous appeals filed against the agency in recent months demonstrate the growing weakness of the CIGEO project. Their glossy-papered plans multiply, all the while they struggle to demonstrate their credibility
Environmental research (deliberately) done poorly, aggressive land acquisitions, political corruption: ANDRA shows a very dark future for the entire southern Meuse. It tried to bribe the municipal councilors of Mandres to vote in favour of the exchange of the wood, as well as it using and then lying about a mayor who tried his best to save the ship from sinking. In the end, it is not at the Andra’s Ile-de-France headquarters in Châtenay-Malabry that a complaint will be filed against the mayor for forgery and uttering, or that we’ll consider the appeal filed by 35 inhabitants for a vote potentially made with a conflict of interest, or that we will have to deal with a divided and exhausted community.
More and more, ANDRA reveals that its promises were in fact false promises. Mayors get cold feet, residents finally dare to speak about what went wrong, and rancor takes root. Yet, the prefecture and ANDRA keep walking hand in hand; the first being an accomplice of the second, both working to dissuade and intimidate the activists and inhabitants who are no longer afraid to raise their voice. Police continue to be omnipresent : identity checks, traffic violations, and convocations to a hearing rain down on those who support the fight against CIGEO.
Claiming that they want to prevent the environmental degradations that ANDRA has caused for over 20 years, some radical activists are determined to not go backward. The prefecture and its executioner, the ubiquitous commander Dubois, use increasingly mind-boggling and disproportionate police tactics : military jeeps and trucks, surveillance drones, hidden cameras, riot barriers in the streets of Mandres, helicopter rounds every week, daily patrols in front of the House of Resistance, systematic deployment of mobile policemen at all our events.
Therefore, let’s not confuse things : all people agree that the atmosphere is much more peaceful when no policemen or guards appear on the horizon. If someone has to take responsibility for the intensification of this conflict, it should be, without a doubt, the prefecture and ANDRA. They have created a permanent atmosphere of insecurity and extreme tension. It is not surprising that emotions and tempers are heated by increased controls and surveillance, as well as the very regular police raids on the Lejuc Wood outskirts. We run out of patience: the explosion of anger last Thursday in Mandres, when the police interrupted and shoved a tribute to a deceased activist in order to make a way for the mayor of the village.
ANDRA’s unclear communication has given way to the contemptuous brutality of the prefecture: the tone has been set, the CIGEO project will impose itself by the force of the truncheon.
We saw this violence in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, and how it triggered a wonderful impulse for national and international solidarity. Without the constructive determination we use to oppose the CIGEO and its partners, there will be the repression that, more and more, turns Bure into the Notre-Dame-des-Landes of eastern France. In the past few months, the media and hundreds of people have come to understand that this fight is not only about nuclear waste management. It is about opposing a capitalist and hostile plan, both here and in fighting zones all over the world.
From Standing Rock to Hambach, via Notre-Dame-des-Landres or Rosia Montana, we have one transversal struggle that takes shape in practices and convictions.
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