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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #304 - Useless projects: In the West, politicize the ecological struggle (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Fri, 1 May 2020 08:54:01 +0300

On February 29, a regional demonstration took place in Nantes against various unnecessary and harmful development projects. It brought together 2,000 demonstrators and around twenty collectives, including the UCL group from Loire-Atlantique. Critical feedback on an encouraging event. ---- At the end of 2019, at the initiative of the Nantes collective against the Saint-Père-en-Retz surf park [1], the proposal was made to bring together a large number of wrestling collectives during the climate marches. ---- The stated objective is to initiate politicization, by going beyond vague calls for institutional action, and by tackling the very concrete question of the struggles against imposed arrangements and concretizations, avatars of capitalism and its logics of profit.
Collectives against water reservoirs, marinas or highway ramps answer the call, as do other green associations like Alternatiba, Extinction rebellion, or NDDL-Pursue together. All these little people meet during preparatory meetings between December and February. Ultimately, this will lead to a rather successful demonstration, despite the difficult weather conditions, with carnival floats as well as a very noticeable blocking of a Nantes bridge by the teams of Extinction rebellion.

Capitalism singled out
The link of all these collectives is a strong opposition to lucrative logics, with anticapitalism, named or not, as a backdrop. This is articulated with a challenge from the local authorities, who support these projects by taking advantage of the lack of information of the populations on the ecological challenges of preserving agricultural land and ecosystems.

This is to highlight the indifference of project leaders and investors vis-à-vis the environment, ecology in general, and their short-term logic of return on investment. The coordination of the collectives made it possible to set up a control network, drawing inspiration from the anti-airport support collectives that existed before the abandonment of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes (NDDL) project.

This addition of forces makes it possible to envisage actions of greater scope, and obviously a more important resonance for anticapitalism in ecological struggles.

Self-management lagging behind
Despite all the benefits of this coordination, the unequal involvement of collectives and individuals resulted in less consensual decisions and more or less followed-up mobilizations. In question a form of over-activism of certain militants, taking more the direction of the coordination, leaving aside those and those having less time to devote to it - recurring problem in the social movements.

Another pitfall: the choice not to organize this gathering during a climate march has ultimately weakened the political intention. It is necessary to integrate these markets with our own slogans and proposals, a fortiori when space is monopolized by the " hummingbirds " of zero waste and other individual gestures, well incapable of stopping the capitalist machine whose l exploitation of resources and workers is the first driver.

UCL Nantes


[1] Project for a wave pool 10 km from the ocean, on agricultural land. Read Alternative libertaire, September 2019.

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