The Occitan Nation Party favours the building of the Sivens dam
At the beginning of the project (the commission of enquiry was set up in 2012) a few people living close to the future dam set up a defence association, their watchfulness, a necessity in a democracy, enabled them to force the project-bearers to respect existing legislation as regards that kind of construction.
But very soon local Occitan people were overwhelmed by a group of professional eco-warriors from all across France.
These people started occupying the site. At the same time they blocked the access ways. Faced with such authoritarian and dangerous methods, likely to lead to a breach of the peace, local residents were obliged to request police protection. Some local people, although they were directly affected by the building of the dam, became discouraged and stopped fighting against it.
The activism of the newcomers (some of them fringe individuals going from an occupied site to another) was violent from the start. Some locals were the victims of the occupiers: cars daubed with paint, smashed windscreens, broken shop-windows in Gaillac. It would be too long to list the attacks. Such irresponsible behaviour surprised everybody. Such acts were even disapproved of by sensible local environmentalists. A majority of the county people refused to entertain the occupiers. To such an extent that, on 4th October 2014, a demonstration staged to protest against the dam only gathered 400 people. Very few of the locals took part in it.
The constant adoption of provocative measures and the systematic search for confrontation with the police forces were likely to end up in dramatic events. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened. Ever since the beginning of the project it has had the support of the local committee of the Occitan Nation Party. We welcome adequate regional development.
For us, what is at stake is progress and economic development. There being no technical difficulties, the building of the Sivens dam should be implemented. Geological and environmental conditions allow the building of the dam now that a few minor improvements have already been made. No serious objections can be raised to prevent the completion of the project. Work should continue according to plan.
The Occitan Nation Party, however, has reservations as regards the way this investment will be financed and the running of the enterprise. There is a rule according to which the user should be the payer so the local committee of the Occitan Nation Party demands that the major part of the investment and all the expenses linked with the running of the enterprise be covered by professional organisations that will benefit from it. Changes and adjustmemts are still possible.
Occitan Nation Party
28th October 2014