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V.A. – Pas Une Minute De Silence​.​.​.



On March 25, a barrage of stun grenade explosions and clouds of gray smoke swept over the muddy fields in the French countryside of Sainte-Soline. Tens of thousands of people took part in an illegal demonstration against one of the “mega-basins” (i.e., the construction of huge reservoirs pumped directly into the groundwater) in western France, […]

The post V.A. – Pas Une Minute De Silence​.​.​. first appeared on DIY Conspiracy – International Zine in the Spirit of DIY Hardcore Punk!




Artist: Various Artists

Title: Pas Une Minute De Silence...

Release: Digital

Year: 2023

Label: Pas Une Minute De Silence

On March 25, a barrage of stun grenade explosions and clouds of gray smoke swept over the muddy fields in the French countryside of Sainte-Soline. Tens of thousands of people took part in an illegal demonstration against one of the “mega-basins” (i.e., the construction of huge reservoirs pumped directly into the groundwater) in western France, which privatizes a common resource for the benefit of intensive, production-driven agribusiness. These mega-basins benefit only a small minority of large-scale farmers linked to big agro-industrial interests who refuse to question their methods in the face of the ongoing ecocide brought about by climate change. With its 162,000 square meter reservoir, Sainte-Soline quickly emerged as a focal point for protesters, becoming the new defining struggle for anarchists and environmentalists in France after the Notre-Dame-des-Landes ZAD (“Zone to Defend”) movement of the 2010s.

As one might expect from previous environmental struggles, such as the protest against coal mining in Lutzerath, Germany, earlier this year, the event turned into a battleground. Some 3,000 armed police were deployed to protect the reservoir construction site. More than 200 people were injured, some seriously, when police stormed the crowd and fired more than 5,000 tear gas canisters.

sainte soline protest
📸 Sebastien Ortoa / REA

In the midst of the riotous chaos of Sainte-Soline, two comrades, Serge and Mickaël, were among the severely injured and fell into a coma after the brutal clashes that day. In a spirit of solidarity, two long-time activists from the French punk scene have released a benefit compilation called Pas Une Minute De Silence… In their own words: “A compilation to make sure that we don’t let time make us accept or forget the mutilated and injured of the social war; to make sure that we don’t leave close comrades to deal with money issues alone; to share ideas and give strength to people who continue the fight against this world of exploitation.”

Usually, benefit compilations like this one feature a lot of new and rather unknown local bands who feel personally invested in the cause. In this case, however, we have some pretty big names as well as some brilliant new and upcoming bands. Two months after the clashes in Sainte-Soline, this compilation brings together 11 French and international bands, all of whom are passionate in both their music and lyrics that resonate with the unbridled spirit of resistance to injustice around the world. 

The record kicks off with a bang with “La Croisée Des Chemins” by the legendary Parisian chanson-punk band La Fraction, taken from their latest album De l’autre côté (2022). The album was La Fraction’s first release in many years, but they are still as urgent and relevant as ever. Next up is a song by Malaysian band Piri Reis from their amazing album Ritma, which was my favorite screamo release of last year. Then we have the aptly titled track “Horrendous Police Control” by Belgian crust legends Hiatus, who recently reunited and released a new album. This song, however, is taken from their 1993 classic From Resignation… To Revolt.

Sainte-Soline clashes, 📸 Reuters

The fourth song was a really big surprise for me, it’s one of my favorite songs by the melodic anarcho/post-punk band 1981 from Finland. I’ve written about them before, but I think they’re still criminally underrated. The band released a great new EP in March 2023, following up on their amazing Acts of Rebellion EP in 2019. Next we have CrimethInc.’s anarchist metallic hardcore legends Catharsis with their song “Absolution”, which was released as an exclusive track on their 2013 discography 2xLP Light From A Dead Star that is currently being re-released for the fourth time by Refuse Records. Then we have a song from Dublin’s super catchy & anthemic Oi! band Grit and a brand new song from Madrid’s Accidente, which will appear on their upcoming split with Nightwatchers from Toulouse. Utopie is the only band on the compilation I haven’t heard before, but their song “Antisocial” is a certified banger in the vein of Camera Silens and newer bands like Syndrome 81 or their Lille compatriots Kronstadt.

Sainte-Soline clashes, 📸 Reuters

I love good Basque punk, and here we have the promising new band from Bilbao called GURS, featured with the song “Tan Solo Unos Minutos,” which was released on their amazing self-titled EP last September. Second to last is a newer song by Belgian francophone anarcho-punk legends René Binamé, who have been playing their free form of punk and chanson-driven revolutionary music since at least 1988. The final track on the record is Petrograd’s classic “July 20th” from their 2002 album NineOneOne. The song, which captures the gist of the compilation, deals with state violence and repression, and how whenever there’s an uprising big enough to threaten the established order, the state will not hesitate to physically harm and even kill young activists, as it did to Carlo Giuliani during the riots outside the G8 summit in Genoa, Italy, in July 2001.

An important note from the people behind Pas Une Minute De Silence —to avoid the Bandcamp and PayPal cuts when buying the compilation digitally, you can instead donate directly through the fundraising pages set up for Serge and Mickaël:
Donate to Serge’s fund
Donate to Mickaël’s fund

The struggle is not over, and as this compilation shows, the punk scene is still part of the fight for a better future on this dying planet. Although only Accidente’s song on this comp is brand new and still exclusive, I absolutely love the whole record. It’s just the perfect selection of old and new bands and I love them all without exception. It’s actually becoming one of my favorite punk compilations ever, so I hope it will draw attention to the fight against the mega-abuse water projects in France and that Serge and Mickaël will live and fight to the end. The record is currently available on Bandcamp, but CD and cassette versions will be released in mid-June 2023.

Not one minute of silence…
Nothing is finished, everything is just beginning…


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