Roybon, France: Communique from the MaquiZAD – on the recent roadblock

It’s now more than one month since the occupation of the Forest House, and that the cabins replace the massively destructive machines in the forest. We are here, and good here.

In spite of the cold and the snow, in spite of the pressure exerted by the gendarmerie[1], in spite of the various attacks that we have suffered, in spite of the frequent sabotages of structures, life goes on at the Maquizad.

With everyone’s effort, everyday life functions peacefully, the house and the cabins continue comfortably. The different residences allow more and more people to be accommodated, not mentioning the space for the tents and vehicles.

The past two weeks have had a wealth of events. Numerous people, of all generations and of all cultural background have passed to visit us, for five minutes or several days. People who come regularly simply curious to passby, children and grand-parents, Roybonais[2] and Swiss… One and other can find common-ground. Ideas and opinions, skills and experiences, solidarity and warm presence. These two weeks have been complemented by many small tasty and musical pleasures. Thanks.

On December 23rd, the administrative court of Grenoble suspended the préfectoral[3] order that authorised work on the Center Parcs of Roybon. Since this day, various statements announced the return of clearing work for the January 5th. Noting that the suspended préfectoral order also refers to the same clearing work, we are determined to maintain our presence at different entrances of the land to prevent the return to that site plan.

From the 27th, we were subjected to, during the day, a blockade by the gendarmerie who prevented vehicles to reach us. This road blocking is “justified” by a General Council order, dating from the 24th December, here is an extract:

“Considering that the department can not currently enter and ensure the work operation, including winter maintenance of a section of the RD20F[3], due to events related to the implementation of Center Parcs, it is appropriate to regulate traffic (…). This part of the RD20F (…) is closed to all traffic.”

But, the “events related to the implementation of Center Parcs” have not, at any time, affected traffic on the RD20F. The road maintenance has never been restricted by us and all vehicles can pass safely in front of the house. Except twice, in the interest of safety, chicanes were created to limit the speed near Maquizad.

The first time after an individual behaved dangerously behind the wheel of their car. The second, last weekend, while it snowed for two days, and the corner in front of the house was extremely slippery, and vehicles traveling at high speed past regularly. It presented a danger for the people who were look-outs at the entrance to warn us of new attacks. The chicanes were removed by request of the gendarmes who pointed out it impeded snow removal. The chicanes were placed precisely because the road was not plowed. In short, a twisted history yet again.

Since this situation, no road maintenance started; this doesn’t prevent the many “residents” to pass in front, the rubbish truck to do it’s route, or the postman to bring us mail. The measures taken did not prevent unidentified individuals to arrive at ours to “communicate”. Individuals who broke into the welcoming cabin, speaking with teargas and batons, before disappearing. Also what about the firecrackers thrown from 4x4s with no visible number plates? If the roads remained slippery and dangerous in the few shaded areas it is only because they were not cleared. And we were told that the roads were not cleared because we represent a danger… Find the error.

The only people actually blocked are those attempting to bring us moral support and material. Some people came to us, after 15 minutes of walking, loaded with what they could carry on their back, others were forced to turn back.

We consider that this order is totally unfounded and abusive, and that it is only a trivial excuse to put a bit more pressure on the occupants of the zone to defend and attempt to discourage support(ers) from arriving. This measure is a restriction on the freedom of movement and we demand that the roadblock is removed.

Friends, you can still come to the Maquizad by vehicle after sunset, or go directly to our new comfortable constructions, it looks almost like a Center Parcs but better, arriving during the day by the north and south access of the site. In the south, like in the north, you can unload, share a coffee, lend a hand for the collective effort. Without you, without this daily support, none of this is possible. If you come from far, everything is provided to accommodate you, don’t hesitate to come spend a few days with us.

See you soon in Chambarans!

The peasants in the forest

PS – Given the difficulties of communication, you can always send us mail to our postal address.

Translators notes:
[1] Police of the Ministry of Defense
[2] Local inhabitants of Roybon
[3] From the “prefet”, a delegate of law in the region.
[4] The road access for the ZAD

Published on, January 5th 2015
Translated by a Squat!net moderator