” Let it go “, “Lafarge turkeys”… Demonstrators decorated a concrete production unit located in Paris on the banks of the Seine with large banners on Sunday, December 10, to denounce the climate and societal impact of this sector, at the end of a weekend of similar organized actions in the country.
Under the gaze of police officers deployed from a distance, around 150 people of all ages, their faces sometimes covered with a turkey mask, gathered in a good-natured atmosphere in front of the site of the Mexican group Cemex, in the 13e district a stone’s throw from the large François-Mitterrand library. “We are reappropriating the places occupied by concreters in order to open up a space for discussion for local struggles fighting against land grabbing and the realization of the pharaonic projects of Greater Paris or the 2024 Olympics”explained the organizers (Earth Uprisings, Extinction Rebellion, Youth for Climate, etc.), also denouncing “the many exemptions” to the goal “Zero net artificialization” (ZAN). In particular, opponents of the double expressway projects in Yvelines, or the Grand Paris Express line on the agricultural lands of Saclay and Gonesse were present.
Cement and concrete account for 8% of global CO emissions2
At the same time, in Teil in Ardèche, the prefecture had around 150 demonstrators, and a portion of the RD 86 had been closed to traffic, the organizers were planning a “slow course”.
In Allier, where around forty people gathered, as in Puy-de-Dôme, the prefectures had issued orders prohibiting demonstrations around the establishments of the Lafarge group.
Access to the Val-de-Reuil (Eure) site was forced on Sunday in the middle of the day by around a hundred people “hooded and masked”according to the sub-prefect of Bernay, Philippe Fournier-Montgieux, adding that the guard had been ” held captive “ in a room until the police intervened about ten minutes later. The demonstrators were dispersed using tear gas, said the sub-prefect, who specified that an investigation had been opened and that “the plant will be able to restart normally on Monday”.
The day before in Tarn, people marched against the A69 motorway, some entering the site of a bituminous coating plant which will make up the surface of this project.
Demonstrations also took place in front of a concrete plant of the Lafarge group (Holcim) in Saint-Barthélémy d’Anjou (Maine-et-Loire), or even in Sainte-Cécile (Saône-et-Loire) against a project to extension of a quarry, the operator of which is a subsidiary of Vinci Construction.
Cement and concrete production represents 8% of CO emissions2 world, more than air transport and maritime transport combined, admit professionals. “At Lafarge we believe that the organizers of these actions on our industrial sites have the wrong target”reacted the giant of the sector, ensuring that the“the company is fully committed to the decarbonization of its activities and its products”.