“A month and a half of daily clashes on a territory like that, where the local peasants come to put their work tool into play, where people meet on the barricades, inevitably it produces somewhat unexpected effects”, said Jean, 37, about the months of October and November 2012.

On November 17, 2012, a large demonstration brought together between 13,500 and 40,000 people in support of opponents of the airport project near Nantes, defeating Operation “César”.

This had mobilized from October 2012 more than a thousand police and gendarmes in order to expel anti-airport activists installed in squatted farms.

“The meetings that were born from that moment, they allowed a lot of people to say to themselves: there, we have something, and in particular the ability to mobilize many more people than what we have done until This fight is becoming iconic, so we can go for victory,” added Jean, who has lived there since 2012.

The parade on Saturday, led by a brass band, lasted all afternoon and was an opportunity to stop in several places that were the scene of clashes in 2012.

In a clearing, the demonstrators symbolically threw mud on a gendarme’s helmet stretched between two trees, then in a chestnut grove, they reconstituted a human chain, as they did in 2012 to bring provisions and building materials. on this place.

“I think that, if there hadn’t been this amalgamation between the inhabitants (of the surroundings, editor’s note) and the zadists, well the zadists would have been crushed, and it’s precisely because everyone did block, that it worked”, estimated Geneviève, 75 years old.

“There were people who brought food, who brought clothes, boots, etc. There was a solidarity that the prefect had absolutely not anticipated,” added this retiree, explaining that she for her part helped by kitchen.

The airport project at Notre-Dame-des-Landes began in the 1970s and was abandoned on January 17, 2018.