Easter in “Le Temps”
Philippe Freiburghaus, Corcelles-Cormondrèche
The only mention of the Easter holidays in your edition of the Easter weekend concerned the lack of publication on Monday. If this remarkable absence was due to a lack of inspiration, it is distressing so much there is to write about the founding fact of the Christian religion which allowed the blossoming of our Western civilization and still permeates today, that Like it or not, our laws, our social protection and the activity of countless NGOs. If not reserving any other mention to the Easter celebrations proceeded rather from a will, then it questions powerfully on its springs …
ZAD as Zone to be desired
Frédéric Choffat, filmmaker, Geneva
Last fall, a handful of die-hards occupied a hill in the Vaudois countryside to save it from the destruction of a multinational. It’s a small hill, nothing to do with the expanses of the Amazon that are burned and ransacked every day, but it is a symbol. It is a piece of land which shelters a few thousand living species, animals, insects, plants, minerals. A few thousand species, and, since last fall, a handful more humans, often not much older than my children. They took it upon themselves, on their free time, on their studies, on their work, in order to dedicate themselves body and soul to defending this pretty wild corner of the destruction programmed to turn it into concrete. They might have thought for a moment that we would hear them, that the daily blasting of rock would gradually slow down, like the desire for unbridled growth that our society imposes on us. They believed that the Vaud authorities, that public opinion, would listen to their cry: the world is dying and they rightly fear that they will not be able to continue to live there, failing to take advantage of it, as we have done extensively. ourselves.
Yesterday morning, at dawn, it was a procession of police vans, fire trucks with cranes, off-road motorcycles, a tank armed with a water cannon and an army of disguised police officers in RoboCop, who went up the hill to restore order and calm. To silence this handful of rebels, to dislodge them from this little corner of utopias and dreams, and thus allow forests and fields, animals and plants to give way in turn to a gigantic limestone quarry. The Zadistas hoped and believed in it, but once again the money won, and the bulldozers pitted against the living.
I was there, and the representatives of the media, of which I am a part, were sorted, identified, registered, then decked out in a small blue vest bearing a clearly visible number allowing them to be recognized in the field and the images taken by the police themselves. Then they were taken to the scene by a special shuttle, dropped off between the police forces and the songs of the Zadistas. The ranks of police, after a long wait in the sun to clear the road to allow the passage of vans, were courteous to the resistance, themselves also polite and very well organized. They spoke so well and negotiated together that everything remained very calm. Then, in a great and brief violent surge, cutting trees, barriers and barricades as they passed, the police entered in force, occupying in their turn this small corner of the hill. They did not have colorful clothes, they did not sing revolutionary songs of struggle, but gently but surely stepped forward, dismantling and dismantling tent after tent, hut after hut, and dislodging the last rebellious trees and places. Neutral and independent observers, specially detached for the occasion and decked out for their part in a white vest, will undoubtedly be able to report a good participation of the two parties in the operation, despite, for a brief moment, a few cries, stones and insults from the Zadist side, a few shots from rubber bullets and tear gas from the police side. In short, a faultless for all. This is what will remain of the official record and we will rejoice in all ranks that order and non-violence have both been respected.
But the real assessment is that these young activists, our children and their friends, defenders of a different world, more equitable, more just, more respectful towards other species and our biosphere, have once again lost, and we with. With the help of our silence, the political authorities have once again confirmed their desire to silence this generation which cries and manifests, which tirelessly alerts us that it is no longer possible to continue like this, while the whole of society has its nose in the handlebars of work, growth and the pandemic. The real result is that nothing changes and that we continue at a frantic speed to run straight into the wall, guided by our sole desire for comfort and profitability, without seeing that voices are rising, that of other avenues are on offer, and it is more urgent than ever to slow down, stop and watch. And maybe listen to them.
Three open letters about the ZAD du Mormont
Luc Patthey, physicist, full professor, Villnachern
Dear Trustee Claude Dutoit,
Thank you for your words of relief! But look at least once
above your hill! And you will find that Holcim does not generate
not only salaries for your population of Eclépens but also
tons of CO2 which “cooks” Eclépens and our planet slowly.
On this topic:
Dear Madam State Councilor Béatrice Métraux,
A big bravo for this real master stroke almost flawless to evacuate a good hundred young Zadistas and climate activists. But at what cost! With more than 600 police officers to get rid of these Zadistas, the bill must be approximately 1 million francs. It is all very disproportionate and very awkward. Wouldn’t it have been wiser to invest this million for a “greener” cause with the Zadistas?
Dear First Prosecutor Bernard Denereaz,
What a tough decision to put a stop to any recurrence of ZAD in Switzerland! Stifle the cries of hope (or despair) of these Zadistas with 90 days in prison! Do you really think that will silence them, what a great mistake! What is the message you are giving to these young people who have a far-sighted vision of our society that is drifting?
In the name of the rule of law, your decisions make us, our children and grandchildren, the big losers of this Easter week 2021. Because the Zadists, like our honorable Nobel Prize, Prof. Dubochet, peacefully made us aware of the imminent dangers of an exponential change in the average temperature of our Earth.
Dear Mr. Syndic, dear Madam State Counselor and dear
Mr. First Prosecutor,
If you don’t know what an exponential change in the average temperature of our Earth means, ask the Zadists. They fully understand what this means. After the extinction of this first ZAD for the climate, what do you offer for our children and grandchildren? Plus 1.5 degrees today and plus 8.5 degrees tomorrow!
Think quickly, at this rate it is soon our extinction!
Question “Le Temps” on its anglicisms
Jean-François Sauter, Nyon
I am kindly pinning you on the use of the verb “to question” in Aïna Skjellaug’s comment. [, sur les élections au second tour de la municipalité de Lausanne («Mais la discipline presque soviétique… finit par questionner le fonctionnement démocratique…», Le Temps du 29 mars, page 4)]. We “question” someone, or, in the abstract sense, something, from which we expect an answer. The democratic functioning thus questioned will not answer you, alas.
Used as in your comment, “to question” is, despite appearances, an Anglicism. But in disguise. It was necessary to say “question”, “question”, or possibly challenge. This is precisely the meaning of the verb “to question” in English. Like many other English words spelled as in French, “question” is more and more used among us, wrongly, in its Anglo-Saxon meaning.
These “insidious” anglicisms are numerous. You will find some – alongside the flagrant anglicisms – in our Frenglish-French lexicon on our site defensedufrancais.com, under the tab Anglicisms, which I invite you to browse. You will find many others, including unsuspected ones, so easily not spotted; they are all intended to encourage them to curb their influx (including in our Larousse and Robert, thank God not yet in the Dictionary of the French Academy) and to (us, you) help to… speak French.
Do not underestimate the power of your newspaper to disseminate the French language, both true and false. French teachers will be grateful to you.
Anonymity, so comfortable and so dangerous
Evan Schleret, Geneva
For some time now, the fashion is anonymous denouncement. We slander, we insult, we courageously denounce under cover of anonymity. Thus, in the press, we are entitled to zealous informers but masked to defeat.
More seriously, the elected members of the Council of State regularly lend themselves to this deleterious exercise. We were thus treated to a whole series of murderous comments on Pierre Maudet by some of his colleagues unable to face up to their comments in the press. What this way of governing by rumor reveals is symptomatic of their lack of responsibility.
We did not elect reality TV candidates, but men and women who must be accountable and hold their office! To hide in order to denigrate in a press eager for sensationalism and killings contributes to destroying our democratic bond.
The left and the right may well appeal to “kick” the plague of the government. It is another plague that they will have to fight if they do not stop their drift. It is up to the people not to let this happen and to demand that this government take over. “Worse than the noise of boots, the silence of slippers”, it is quite true!