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The weekend of resistance as seen by a few people from the Medical Team

Posted: juillet 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Texts in English | Commentaires fermés sur The weekend of resistance as seen by a few people from the Medical Team

From 22 to 24 June there was a weekend of resistance to the construction of High Voltage Power lines (THT in French) in Cotentin-Maine. This weekend was a continuation of thoughts, information and collective actions that have been ongoing for several months. The first two days were devoted to exchanges between locals and antinuclear activists who came from all over France, and beyond in a few cases! Sunday was a day of action whose purpose was twofold: to make this resistance visible and to sabotage the progress of work on the THT lines.

Looking Back specifically on this day:

Two processions left the camp, one walking towards the town hall of Chefresne, the other towards the pylons. Both processions were totally supportive, in permanent contact and following the same broad political line

Within these two processions we were about twenty people, all anti nuclear, formed as a group “medical team” self-organised all with the ability to perform first aid. We wish to clarify that we were not there as a service, but as individuals actively participating in the construction of this collective struggle against nuclear power and its world.

Even within the medical team , we belong to a political perspective of exchange and transmission of knowledge and practices, rejecting notions of experts and job specification.

We are writing this text in order to make a precise statement of events and to denounce the premeditated and assumed “police” violence by the prefecture of la Manche (county in France) that took place this Sunday, 24 June. Because this day is neither to forget nor to trivialise, and was marked again by impunity and military monstrosity, it seems important that these findings and those accusations are widely distributed both in anti-nuclear circle, to professionals working with victims, as to anyone who has to face French law enforcement. This, both in solidarity with our friends-and our self-referred mediation.

The means used by the French police, in addition to substantial numbers of course, were all employed in order to harm and hurt with a strong determination, that was thought about and assumed.

For the procession headed for the THT pylons a heavy arsenal was deployed including stun grenades, and other types of unidentified grenades, tear gas and truncheons. The firings by grenade launcher or hand, were deliberately aimed at people (in the face most often). Recall that the grenades are deadly when fired on a flat trajectory (which is prohibited by law), which was the case and that became standard.

The attack immediately began very brutally (about 200m from the camp) with serious injuries, from the first charge, and did not stop even when we retreated to the camp. And even when security cordons were set up by ourselves around our wounded and then we verbally reported the situation to the cops , charges and firing continued with exactly the same violence.

Another procession was tear gassed without warning after only a few hundred meters walk, which led to their immediate retreat.

Regarding the wounded

-One person was very seriously injured in the eye, they were transferred to a peripheral hospital at Caen University Hospital the same day, their vision is largely impaired and it is unknown if they will recover the same level of vision as before.

-Another person suffered a serious head injury which affected their eye due to the trajectory of a grenade fired, he was operated on that evening. He suffered a triple fracture of the skull and the retina of his eye was affected by the violence of the shock. His vision is extremely impaired irreversibly to 1/20th.

Both people needed an emergency evacuation. But the prefecture deliberately sabotaged the arrival of ambulances to the camp. Instructions were given to block the first ambulance a few dozen meters from the camp. A journalist present at the scene saw this (blockade of an ambulance by a police cordon) which certainly helped the ambulance to pass. The second ambulance was totally diverted by the police, allegedly for their wounded.

Both victims had to wait for more than an hour and and a half. Can we talk about something else other than cynicism and sadism?

-Someone else has had a large wound in the forehead (truncheon), which required stitches.

The rest of the wounded -(about 20) were consequences of multiple explosions of stun grenades. Exploding metallic impacts were lodged deep in the flesh, up to several centimetres beneath the skin, potentially severing nerves and arteries.

Thus, 15 fragments of shrapnel were observed (leg bones, knee, vagina, breast, arm) in one person. One of the fragments bluntly severed a nerve in her forearm. She was transferred to another hospital and then had an operation on her forearm (which means not all shrapnel was removed from the rest of her body). She will have problems moving her forearm/wrist and she lost the felling of touch/sensitivity in her fingers.

Others kept the shrapnel in their bodies, which is not without its problems, both in the short and long term.

Note, the doctor of the “SAMU” (French Ambulance service) with whom we were in contact, was harassed by the chief of staff of the prefecture to provide the identities of the wounded and their destination hospital. If he and other nurses respected medical confidentiality, other employees of the Polyclinic of Avranches knowingly communicated with the police preferring to be snitches instead of caring for patients … hats off to the collaborators!

Police were also on guard outside some hospitals in the area. It was also reported that real police roadblocks (directly on the road with combat gear) were stopping all vehicles and checking identities. And they even monitored the entrance to the University Hospital of Caen, where two vans and a “line” of riot police waited on the driveway. Repression clearly outweighed assistance.

Finally, despite the solidarity between all of us, the feeling of terror leaves, some of us, registered in our minds that will take time to heal … although clearly marked, this will take nothing away from our desire to revolt .

Our purpose is not “crying over our fate” because we knew what we were involved in. We are not fooled, France is a police state that shows its true colours when one attacks its founding pillars, including the nuclear industry. Certainly this is not new but worth constantly repeating. The state does not support this challenge, and even when they have blood on their hands this doesn’t scare then. And this text aims to inform again, and always that state violence is not only symbolic, but is also embedded in the bodies of our affected companions.

A few people from the “medical team”
mediccaen at riseup dot net

Information on anti-THT: and and