The Larzac is a plate Calcaire Massif Central, in the south of the France. It belongs to the Causses of this mountainous solid mass.
Calcareous plate of the south of the Massif Central located between Millau (Aveyron), and Lodève (Herault), the greatest part belonging to the Department of Aveyron. Larzac belongs to the Grands Causses, vast Jurassic limestone plates levelled by Surfaces of flattening of altitudes ranging between 600 and 1250 meters, the Causses are notched deep throats sometimes tightened in canyon, and valleys widening in small valleys which the rivers dug in their mass. Larzac, as for him, ranges between 700 and 900 meters of altitude. It is bordered in particular in the North-East by the Throats of the Dourbie, which separate it from the Black Causse, and in the west by the depression of Roquefort.
Communes of Larzac
Agricultural area, breeding of Sheep S and ewe and production of the Roquefort.
Larzac is crossed north in the south by the highway A 75, which ensures an alternative route between Paris and the Mediterranean, and which leads to the plate by the new whole Viaduc of Millau, which attracts a big number of visitors.
Line the SNCF Clermont - Béziers circumvents Larzac by the west.
Fight of the peasants against the military camp
In October 1971, the French government, under the direction of the Minister for Defense, Michel Debré, decided enlarging of the military camp. The farmers opposed this project of extension, which was finally cancelled in 1981 by the new President of the Republic, François Mitterrand, after ten years of non-violent fights.
Historical chronology of Larzac in fights
October 28th, 1971: Michel Debré, Minister for Defense, makes the decision of extension of the military camp of Larzac created in 1902. This enlarging would make pass the surface of the camp from 30 to 170 km ². More than one hundred exploitations are included partially or entirely in the new perimeter.
November 6th, 1971: demonstration of 6.000 people with Millau, the call of the FDSEA (Departmental federation of the Trade unions of Farmers).
November 7th, 1971: standpoint of the bishop of Rodez against the extension of the camp
- March 19th, 1972: founder of the the non-violent Community of the Arch located in Herault near Larzac, Lanza del Vasto, 75 years old, begins a 15 days fast to the Cavalry, on Larzac. With this fast are associated peasants, inhabitants of Millau and the bishops of Montpellier and Rodez.
March 28th, 1972: the peasants concerned with the extension of the camp unanimously decide to refuse any sale of ground to the army whatever the conditions of purchase, it is the “Oath of the 103”.
- July 14th, 1972: a demonstration in Rodez gathers 20.000 people behind 70 tractors.
October 25th, 1972: a herd of 60 ewes is led by peasants of Larzac on the lawns from Field-of-March to Paris.
December 26th, 1972: the prefect of the Aveyron sign the decree declaring of public utility 135 km ² of Larzac.
January 7th, 1973: rise of 26 tractors and many walkers to Paris. After 8 days, this first walk will be blocked with Orleans by CRS. They are the peasants of the surroundings of Orleans which will lend their tractors so that the walk of the 26 of Larzac can come to a end.
June 10th, 1973: pose first stone of the Bergerie of Blaquière. 3.000 people will take part financially in this rebuilding out of any official authorization.
- 25- August 26th, 1973: gathering in Rajal del Guorp (dolomitic natural circus in the North-West of the Cavalry) and goes on Larzac organized by the Peasant-workers. 80.000 people coming from all the areas of France and Europe converge for the first time towards Larzac.
October 4th, 1973: opening of a school on Larzac.
February 16th, 1974: inauguration of the sheep-fold of Blaquière built during the preceding summer.
17 August 18th, 1974: it is the second gathering in Rajal del Guorp: more than 100.000 people go on Causse for a harvest festival entitled “Harvest Third world”. At the time of this demonstration, François Mitterrand will be made even caillasser by militants Maoistes who disputed his presence.
June 6th, 1975: publication of the first number of the newspaper “Gardarem lo Larzac”. GLL will count soon 4000 subscribers.
July 2nd, 1976: lawsuit from the “22” in Millau, condemned to five or six months of prison to have destroyed documents concerning the compartmental investigation before expropriation. This action had been taken the previous year in 10 town halls.
13 August 14th, 1977: new gathering of approximately 50.000 people in Rajal del Guorp. Ravelled of a hundred tractors on which take seat of called quota hooded and in uniform (committees of soldiers).
October 21st, 1977: many lawsuits in Millau against the peasants of Larzac for insubordination, reference of military records, hindrance to traffic, etc During the lawsuit a herd of ewe invade the court.
September in December 1978: the prefecture signs the decrees of expropriation of the grounds of 14 communes. In response 150 tractors and 5000 people will plow the grounds of the army.
October 28th, 1978: national day of action organized by the Larzac Committees: processions, meetings, hunger strikes mobilize tens of thousands of sympathizers.
December 2nd, 1978: 18 peasants walked 710 km in 25 stages from Larzac. They will be constant all along the way by peasants of the FDSEA and residents which lodge them. On their arrival, 40.000 people ravel with the doors of Paris, the downtown area being blocked by CRS: it will be the greatest manifestation of the year.
May 1979: plenary assembly of all the movements of support and action: Larzac committees, GFA (Agricultural Land Grouping created in 1973), subscribed with GLL, Larzac-University (created in 1975), APAL (Association for the Promotion of Agriculture on Larzac created in 1975) etc
Be 1979: voluntary hundreds of workers pass part of their holidays on causse to give there in state the infrastructures (telephone, routes transportation, buildings).
May 1980: cancellation by the court of appeal of 66 procedures of expropriation. The action of reference of the army papers started in 1972 continuous and 1030 military records are deposited in Strasbourg with the presidency of the European Parliament; 3000 citizens will make in the same way.
October 1980: opening of a new compartmental investigation.
November 27th, 1980: in Paris, 74 members of several families of Larzac assembled for an action under the Eiffel tower, camp over Field-of-March. Expelled at the end of 5 days, they will continue their stay on a barge lent by the Conflans-Holy-Honorine commune of twinned with Costeraste of Larzac. This twinning campaign began in 1979: thus 14 municipalities of the hexagon are twinned with farms of the causse (Montpellier/Montredon, Grenoble/Cavaliès,…).
March 1981: edition of “Draws to me Larzac. 1971 - 1981, ten years of fights ten years of drawings” by the Larzac Committee of Paris.
June 3rd, 1981: François Mitterrand, elected president of the Republic on May 10th, declares in the Council of Ministers that the project of extension of the military camp of Larzac is abandoned.
August 8th, 9th and 10th 2003: Larzac 2003 (see below).
Larzac 2003: symbol of the popular fights
From the 8 with the August 10th 2003, the plate of Larzac was the place of a big demonstration altermondialist (called Larzac 2003), answering the call of the Peasant confederation and a vast collective of associations and trade unions. More than 200.000 people met during these three days to think of the impacts of the liberalization of the trade on their daily life.
Civil society of the Grounds of Larzac
It is about a company having for object the management of the built inheritance and not built French State on the plate of Larzac. This inheritance comes from the purchases and expropriations realized for the extension from the camp Militaire. This project of extension having been cancelled in May 1981 under the pressure of the Farmer S of the Larzac and part of the public opinion, the State became owner of 63 km ² of arable lands and various buildings. The farmers, anxious to continue the exploitation of the grounds, initiate in February 1982, the creation of a commission intercantonale for the improvement of land of Larzac (CIAF) and of a communal commission of improvement of land (CCAF) in each of the twelve communes concerned. As of December 1982, they seek management tools of the grounds which are independent of the State. Thus the Civil society of the Grounds of the Larzac which receives, by long lease is created, the 63 km ² of grounds. Thus, the owners are not owners of their ground, which they do not have thus to buy, but they must leave their farm as soon as they cease their activity which will be taken again by a new person.
The plate of Larzac includes or is bordered of several sites which are included in the Réseau Natura 2000:
- causse of Larzac,
- circus of Saint-Paul-of-Font and Tournemire,
- circus and cave of Boundoulaou,
- throats of the Dourbie,
- plate and cornice of the Guilhaumard,
- greenhouse of Cougouille,
- Throats of the Screw and Virenque.
Medieval fortificationsFive strengthened medieval sites occupy the plate of Larzac:
- the Cavalry,
- Saint-Jean-in Alcas,
DefenseA military camp, completed in June 1902, occupies a big part of the plate of Larzac. Its extension was considered in 1970; the decision was cancelled in 1981 (see historical above).
The 122e regiment of infantry was based with the Cavalry.
In 2005, the camp is occupied by:
- the Center of evaluation and instruction to the operational shooting (CEITO)
- the Establishment annexes police station of the Army (EACAT)
- the Detachment of maintenance of genius (DMG)
Established territorialement on the communes of the Cavalry, Millau and Nant, the camp of Larzac belongs to the zone of management of the Regional natural park of the Large Causses. This park extends on a surface from 326,76 km ² of which 30,43 km ² are reserved for the military activities of the CEITO.
Created in 1985 in the camp of Larzac, the CEITO shows the will to improve the instruction and the drive with the shooting of the units of infantry. The camp of Larzac makes it possible to implement simultaneously the totality of the armament in equipment in the infantry, to involve then to control the units of combat under realistic conditions on courses of shooting profiting from modern equipment (electronic ciblery, collection of the results in real-time, etc).
armor-plated units V.A.B,
- armor-plated units A.M.X 10 P,
- SRR (Sections of Regimental Recognition).
Controls take place:
on the camp of Larzac for the armor-plated units of infantry V.A.B or A.M.X 10 P (without armoured vehicles) like for the sections of regimental recognition,
- on the camp of Suippes for armor-plated units A.M.X 10 P.
It is at the time of the Guerre of Algeria that the Ministry for the French Interior obtained, in 1957, the possibility of resorting again to the collective administrative internment. Several centers of house arrest supervised were created in military sites: Larzac (Aveyron), Rivesaltes (the Eastern Pyrenees), Saint-Maurice-the Slate (Gard), Thol (Ain), Vadenay (the Marne). Nearly 14.000 Algerians suspectés to be members of the Front of national release (FLN) there was interned. Most important was the camp of Larzac, at the same time by its size - more than 30 km ², nearly 4.000 assigned and several hundreds of members of the personnel - and by its place in the central organization of the internment.
June 28th, 1959, a demonstration took place in front of the military camp of Larzac and the sub-prefecture of Millau; demonstrators not violent one protested against this camp which they described as concentration camp.
In 1962, the camp constituted one of the reception centres of the repatriates of Algeria (CARA) intended to lodge the Harkis and their family. Larzac accommodated more than 12.000 of them in tents.
It is in November 1941 and in March 1942, with the military camp of the Larzac, which were carried out, by colonel Barré, of the static tests of engine of rocket ordered by the Ministry for the War. The engine was intended for baptized rockets “EA 1941” (Self-propelled Machine 1941) which were to be able to send 100 away km a load of 25 kg. They are the first French rockets with liquid propellent. These tests continued in Vancia, close to Lyon. They were to continue in Algeria but were stopped following the unloading of Alliés in North Africa. They were taken again in 1945 and 1946 with the polygon of Renardière, close to Toulon.
The camp was still an army ground of launching of 1999 to 2002.
The European Festival of Space proceeded there in August of the years 2000,2001 and 2002.
Since the years 1990, the camp of Larzac was a ground of exercises for the drones. On these occasions any air traffic inside a polygon of activity including/understanding, in addition to Larzac, Black Causse and the Causse Méjean, was prohibited. Between October 11th and 13rd 2004 took place of the operations with the drones CL 289 (length 3,00 m, 250 kg, speed 740 km/h) and Kestrel (length 2,74 m, 140 kg, speed 200 km/h).
The military camp of Larzac was the theater of automobile competitions. Thus the four last special stages of the Championship of Super France 1600 of year 2003 were traced there.
Aerodrome Millau Larzac, located at 18 km with the SE of Millau, 2 km with the SE of the Cavalry and 2 km with NO of Hospitalet-of-Larzac. Track covered with 1700 X 30 meters. Altitude 2606 feet/794 meters. Cordonnées 43°59' 21" NR 003°11' 00" E.
In 1930, Millau - Larzac - Plain of the Temple, was already military aerodrome and camp of instruction. The ground made 650 X 800 meters. It was described as farm and usable in any season.
- Regional natural park of the Large Causses
- Mérimée Base, census of the monumental inheritance
- speleological Inventory of Larzac and Séranne
- Tourist office of Larzac
- Ministry for Défence (France)
- temporary Lakes and circulations of surface on causse of Hospitalet of Fossil Larzac in 1996
- of Causse of Larzac
- Circus of Navacelles
- friends of Larzac
- Southernmost Cevennes Tourist office
Larzac is a Commune Frenchwoman department of the the Dordogne.
Larzac® is the name given to an engine produced by the French manufacturers SNECMA Moteurs and Turbomeca within consortium GRTS; this engine equips the Alpha Jet with the French Air force as well as the prototypes of the planes of Russian Mig-AT and Indian drive HJT-36.
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