Woodbine and ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes

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[Editor note: The following notes were made during the “Woodbine and ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes”, of OpenVillage Festival (19th October 2017). Quotes are not verbatim but summarize what was said. If you feel something is mis-represented, please tell us in a comment or with the “Flag → Something Else” feature and a mod will fix it. – @anu]

WOODBINE Intro:

We are a collective in NYC, “against the end of the world” = against the nihilism across the country, the end of American empire, the end of a world
A revolution is a line that we draw in the present not the future.
50% of individual bankruptcies are due to a medical bill. More than 50% of Americans can’t cover the bill for an ER

(Podcast skillshare
Land upstate)

ZAD presentation:

Namid, Liliana, Sara, Claire

Land occupation set up to fight an airport project, in a struggle for 15 yrs. The occupation movement exists only for 8 yrs, created through a call out. 10 square km, as big as the biggest villages in France. 200-300 people who made the choice to live there. Several thousands involved. Organizing without state infrastructures. How to avoid relations of domination, hierarchy, specialization. Collective autonomy. Diversity of thoughts, but fascists not welcome.

How they organize:

  • Daft structures
    cabins, farmhouses, tents. A lot of agriculture with machines, collective gardens - grain and beans to feed a nonmarket and support other struggles.

They built a lot of infrastructure: spaces for tractor mechanics, woodwork, preservation spaces. Weekly newspaper, radio, website zad.nadir.org, welcome houses, internal telecom network. No police, no justice. Conflict mediation group. Autonomous health care. Some people don’t have health insurance, no legal papers, or access to cars or phone to do paperwork in the city. Fugitives, people traumatized by the medic system.

4 spaces of care:

La transfuse cabin for first aid, Trailer Medic for free/cheap medical assistance, Varies Rouge medical house a collective living there similar to a hospital, Medicinal Cabin for storing and drying medicinal plants.

Varies Rouges:

Sees 10 25 people a week, medical problems or who want a tattoo for their dog. At least 1 person available that can do care - a mix of self aid and accompanying medical surgeries - opened wounds, dog attacks, police.
All materials are donated, i.e. by hospitals, medicine are free prices, tinctures are one tenth of retails, support group of professional. We’re not trying to do everything or be the heroes, but there’s a lot we can do.

We help people without papers to get into medical institutions, and take responsibility for it.

CARE for people caught in armed conflicts I.e. with the police in demonstrations - rubber bullet injuries, grenades. Fight the part of the state that is intentionally hurting its people.

Trainings:

Short, for life vital help and first aid. 9 day for people in the zed, in a certain region so afterwards they can work together in their city, for example in demonstrations.
A network of people who’ve been through these trainings (80) so they can call out to the other groups. Easier to organize together because they have the same protocols.

We grow our own medicine in the medicinal garden and harvest them. Use them in consultations for chronic problems.
Regular Drop in clinics for exchanges, training and giving care at the same time.

About mental health:

No filter, anyone can come when they want. We’re now at the step of collecting information and finding professionals support.

Why do we do this? To take control of what happens with our lives, put ourselves on a learning path. The person who has the power to decide is not the same as the person who has the knowledge about their body.

Important to work in teams:

We are not experts. In emergency situations, it’s important to be 2.
To build a base of knowledge to be collectively autonomous. Yes we live 20mins away from the hospital, but do they come in 20mins? No.


REFLECTION:

  • What does health autonomy look like for you?
  • How does your work or expertise contribute to that?
  • What is it that you need, the next step for you?

OpenVillage Festival Session Documentation