“Repeated violence, attacks against the police, calls for insurrection… The Uprisings of the Earth have once again shown Sainte-Soline the threat they represent. In responsibility, I am launching the procedure for the dissolution of this group de facto,” Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced to the National Assembly on Tuesday, March 28.
This group had actually been in the sights of the ministry for several months. According to Gérald Darmanin, the movement – one of the main organizers of the demonstration in Sainte-Soline on Saturday March 25, with “Bassine non merci” and the Confédération paysanne, some of whose members are also part of the movement – is directly “at the origin of the violent actions” denounced by the government during the unauthorized gatherings against the project of mega-basins.
This mobilization gave rise to particularly violent clashes between the 3,200 members of the security forces present on the spot to prevent the rally, and the thousands of demonstrators and environmental activists. The organizers of “Earth Uprising” then announced 200 injuries, including 40 seriously, and two in critical condition. On the side of the police, the ministry counted 47 wounded. The League of Human Rights and many observers later accused the security forces of “immoderate and indiscriminate use of force” on the demonstrators, and of having obstructed the access of help to the injured. .
The minister thus announced during a session of questions to the government that he had asked for “two reports” on the events in Sainte-Soline. He also affirmed that he would present at the next Council of Ministers a decree dissolving this movement. On Saturday, Gérald Darmanin denounced the “ecoterrorism” of the demonstrators who took part in the clashes. Before Parliament on Tuesday, the minister reiterated the harshness of his terms by calling “Earth uprising” a “small group”.
The movement was created in January 2021, during an assembly held on the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, within which many collectives had fought in 2018 to prevent the construction of a new airport. Nearby Sunday newspaper“Earth Uprising” defined itself in January as a “coalition of peasant unions, citizens, collectives, NGOs, local groups, determined to fight against global warming”, which fights against ” continued land grabbing by agro-industry and land take”.
Last summer, he had already attracted the attention of the media by carrying out wild harvests, with several hundred activists, in plots of vines located in the Var and considered to be “captured” by LVMH.
A movement monitored for several months
After having used legal remedies several times in their previous fights, “without being heard”, the collectives therefore decided to “switch to modes of action which prevent projects harmful to the climate”. Among them the “disarmament”, the “dismantling” or even the sabotage of installations, according to the JDD.
According to a note from French intelligence consulted by the newspaper, in December, a Lafarge factory had been the victim of damage to the tune of 4 million euros after an attack by militants of the movement. The members of “Earth Uprising” had responded in a forum not to be “not driven by a desire for violence but by a shared refusal to let industries make the planet uninhabitable”.