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STOP MEGA-BASINS – International mobilization

July 16 - July 21


Government Dictate – And yet they persist! The Minister of Agriculture recently dared to announce the objective of building 100 new mega-basins by the end of the year. On the outskirts of the Marais Poitevin, despite the legal appeals still pending against the 16 mega- basins, work is continuing painfully. Against a backdrop of conflicts of interest, two of them started in recent months at Priaires and Epannes, while the one at Sainte-Soline has been stalled all winter.

Under the Loi d’Orientation Agricole, the government is seeking to have these infrastructures recognised as being of “major general interest”, so as to short-circuit successful legal challenges and trample on environmental protections. His selective response to the agricultural malaise expressed this winter has been to favour – for the benefit of agribusiness bosses – the devices and sectors that are poisoning farmers, rather than guaranteeing them work and a decent income. It thus continues to pander to private interests rather than genuinely defending farmers and common goods. It funds the sterilisation of land rather than the development of agro-ecology, the only way to face up to the climate crisis. It is to this transition that public subsidies should now be allocated. However, it’s the prefects who, driven by authoritarian pressure, are currently challenging court decisions and pushing forward with the mega-basin projects promised to big industries, cooperatives, and traders all over France.

Towards a Moratorium! – For the time being, therefore, we need to implement a popular moratorium on the ground, and gather to assert its necessity. While the anti-basin movement is spreading to other parts of the country and beyond, this mobilisation represents a historic turning point: if we stop them here, we will stop them elsewhere! If the ‘basin system’ – hybrid corn export chains, factory farming, monocultures gorged with inputs – fails to perpetuate the agro-industrial deadlock, we will finally be able to move together towards forms of agriculture that protect the land and water.

More than a year after the convergence at Sainte-Soline, this summer’s massive gathering in the Poitou region is an opportunity for all the social and environmental forces to demonstrate to the government that it cannot hope to stop this vital momentum by repression. From July 16 to 21, amidst our diverse presence including farmers, union members, and residents of all ages from rural and urban areas, we’ll be reinventing the ways in which we demonstrate and protect ourselves. We will find a thousand ways to show our rejection of hydraulic projects.


// July 19-20 – Protests
The peak of this week of mobilization will be the two major days of river demonstrations and massive actions on July 19 and 20.

// July 16-21 – Village for Water and Land Defense
They will be preceded by an international village to debate, train, celebrate our struggles, and build the future. It will take place from July 16 to 21 with a multitude of round tables, workshops, training sessions, walks, concerts, and performances. Its program is detailed on the movement’s websites, notably: https://bassinesnonmerci.fr and https://lessoulevementsdelaterre.org