Following a court decision, the police evacuated the area to be defended (ZAD) of the Triangle de Gonesse located in Val-d’Oise. Rebel and environmentalists denounced the arrests at the end of this operation.
The security forces evacuated the zone to defend (ZAD) of the Triangle de Gonesse located in the Val-d’Oise on February 23 without clashes by means of a large police force. About thirty activists had occupied the land for seventeen days in order to protest against the creation of a future metro station for Grand Paris. According to a police source quoted by France Info, 25 activists were arrested for “illegal occupation of land” and “assembly”.
GONESSE – The ZAD du Triangle de Gonesse is being evacuated.
About 30 activists were there. Important law enforcement system. No access possible. pic.twitter.com/iavbEcZdrV
– Clement Lanot (@ClementLanot) February 23, 2021
On February 19, the Pontoise court ordered the immediate evacuation of the occupied land belonging to the Ile-de-France Public Land Establishment (EPFIF). The expulsion of these activists was ordered without delay under penalty of 500 euros per day.
“There was no violence or confrontation” declared Bernard Loup, president of the Collectif pour le Triangle de Gonesse (CPTG), which is not at the origin of this illegal occupation but who strongly supported. “The CRS arrived around 6 am, we are surrounded, they invaded the ZAD”, had testified a little earlier an activist present on the spot with AFP.
Since February 7, dozens of citizens (and up to a hundred on weekends) had occupied this land and had notably built makeshift huts for shelter. Refusing the construction of this new station for line 17 of the Grand Paris Express, they defend an “alternative” agricultural project, reject the artificialization of these lands considered fertile and oppose the creation of a possible business zone.
Elected environmentalists and rebellious support the Zadists
This evacuation created a stir in the opposition, in particular among the elected officials of Europe Ecology-Les Verts (EELV) and the elected officials of La France insoumise (LFI) who strongly protested against this evacuation. The EELV mayor of Grenoble (Isère), Eric Piolle, also came to support the activists in the morning. In a tweet published on February 23, he declared: “With an ecological President, the Paris basin will breathe!”
Defending farmland means taking care of our children’s food and our future. We are at the crossroads. Alongside the citizens mobilized to save the triangle of #Gonesse. With an environmentalist President, the Paris basin will breathe! @julienbayoupic.twitter.com/rGgNjFVQ7b
– Éric Piolle (@EricPiolle) February 23, 2021
For his part, the boss of EELV, Julien Bayou, declared that “it is a symbolic national issue”, during a press point organized on February 23. “All political forces can promote green speeches and in fact continue productive and land-destroying projects” he declared.
On the side of La France insoumise, the deputy for Seine-Saint-Denis, Clémentine Autain, went to the Cergy police station where several ZAD activists were taken by the police. In a tweet, the rebellious elected representative castigates the decision of the president of the Ile-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse, to have “seized the courts instead of assuming the necessary democratic debate on the Triangle of Gonesse”.
The parliamentary group of LFI also published a press release on February 23 to provide “support for the occupants of Gonesse” by asking for their “immediate release and an end to the establishment of this station, which is as unnecessary as it is harmful”.
This station project must serve line 17 of the Grand Paris Express and must connect Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis) to Roissy-CDG airport in 2030, via the Triangle de Gonesse, where it was initially intended to serve a Europacity shopping and leisure mega-complex. Emmanuel Macron announced in November 2019, the abandonment of this giant complex. Since then, the fate of these 280 hectares of agricultural land remains totally uncertain.