Montlaux and Cruis (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence), report

Their supporters nicknamed them the “ guardians of Lure». Named after this emblematic mountain of Haute-Provence, with its large rounded and wooded valleys and its bald summit culminating at 1,825 m above sea level. Sylvie, 60 years old, and Claudine, 72 years old, risk 2 years in prison for lying down, on October 4, 2023, across the path of construction equipment ordered by the multinational Boralex for the construction of a photovoltaic park in two communal forests. plots in Cruis (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence).

Handcuffed and placed in police custody, the activists of the resistance collective Elzéard Lure were presented for immediate appearance at the Digne-les-Bains court. After two adjournments, they will finally be judged on December 5. Boralex also wants to strike hard against them, by claiming 30,000 euros in damages for construction delays.

A retired dental surgeon, Claudine left Paris for Forcalquier four years ago. “ love at first sight for this magnificent country». “ We have no choice to do otherwise. Otherwise, there will be non-assistance to people in danger.»she says, personifying the mountain and the beings who populate it.

“ It had been 4 years since the construction site was going to arrive. I was depressed. It healed me», said, at his side, Sylvie. This actress is delighted with the citizen reaction which is currently taking place. “ When I open my window I see two scars, like the whole mountain is dying»» she laments all the same, pointing to the two areas cleared for the solar park. “ Some say that 17 hectares is not much. But the biodiversity of this forest is part of a whole»explains this resident who has lived for 30 years in the neighboring town of Montlaux.

With Sylvie and Claudine, it is a handful of women, from the resistance collective Elzeard Lure, of the same generation, who have blocked their bodies to oppose the Canadian firm’s project on 17 hectares since the fall of 2022. Since , the fight swelled, with Extinction Rebellion activists coming from towns across the region.

Most of the metal structures on which the panels must rest have nevertheless been installed. The industrialist hopes to start his park before the summer of 2024. In this country of Lure, a multitude of other projects have also been denounced for a total of 1,000 hectares promised for photovoltaics.

“ Block multinationals that come to colonize and destroy our lands»

“ We are determined together to block the multinationals that come to colonize and destroy our lands», declares Marie, a resident of the town for 12 years, microphone in hand in front of the town hall of Cruis, in front of 300 demonstrators. Sunday, November 19, the carnival and family walk extends to the forest trail which borders the construction site. With dogs and a drone, the police are on alert.

“ It’s a big day for Cruis», rejoices those who live near the future park. For this midwife who believed “ living in paradise, it is obvious to take care of the wild fauna and flora». His opposition earned him, like so many other activists, several summons to the gendarmerie.

These women also took risks for their physical integrity. End of September 2022, Iraz

climbed a tree to prevent it from being cut down. A lumberjack was still pulling with his chainsaw. The tree and the activist fell. The shock she suffered fortunately did not leave her with any serious after-effects. His complaint for endangering the lives of others with a weapon was dismissed. Established as a farmer since the end of the 1970s, Iraz describes with passion the mountain, classified as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO: It’s a super beautiful place that is part of my life. » Without using the term, she places their struggle in an ecofeminist perspective. Many photovoltaic developers are men. Those who develop the world are often men. Women often have a stronger connection to life. It bothered me that we were seen as neocolonized Indians who were bringing civilization to them.

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