Basta! in English

Basta! in English

Housing

Building an Environmentally Sound House Cheaply, in a Week

By Rachel Knaebel

Should construction industry giants be worried? After open-source software and the manufacture of machines and objects, the global fabber [3-D printer] community is now turning to actual open-source house construction. Providing plans and techniques that are accessible to everyone, collaborative construction and assemblage of components (from the United States to France, by way of Great Britain), a true community of “free housing” is emerging and self-organizing to revolutionize construction and its financing and to provide everyone access to more suitable housing.

Surveillance Of Everyone

Europe’s “Smart Borders” Would Automatically Monitor Individuals

By Aline Fontaine, Morgane Remy

Walls and wire fences are not all that’s being built at Europe’s borders. The European Commission and Security Companies dream of “smart borders”: a multitude of automated and interconnected files and control apparatuses able to follow each individual. The program’s objective? Counter-terrorism and keeping migrants out. But these structures — the effectiveness of which remains to be demonstrated — risk straining public finances, while threatening civil liberties and private life, should some states decide to pass from border control of each person to surveillance of everybody

Food sovereignty

Communities affected by oil palm plantations block Bolloré group’s shareholder meeting

By Eros Sana

Blockades are popular these days in France. This time, it was the turn of the Bolloré group, located in Puteaux (Hauts-de-seine), to experience this form of protest. For nearly three hours on the morning of 3 June, around a hundred protesters peacefully blockaded the entrances to the headquarters of one of the country’s most powerful companies. Protestors challenged Bolloré shareholders as they attempted to enter their meeting.

Green Building

Straw Bale Schools and Public Buildings: Greener and Cheaper than Concrete

By Jean de Peña, Nolwenn Weiler

Instead of concrete and fibreglass, what about opting for straw? An inexpensive, readily-available insulation material that is both renowned for its high performance and for being environmentally friendly. Although for a long time it was used primarily for houses, straw is now being successfully put to use in public buildings, schools, kindergartens and community halls with an increasing number of experiments in both cities and rural areas thanks to a few proactive councillors. And since 2012, an official building code on straw constructions is available, which consulting firms and insurance companies can refer to. But these projects would not see the light of day without the motivation and determination of local councillors and building professionals. An encounter with the pioneers of the low-carbon buildings of the future.

Sports

Euro 2016: Nike and Adidas Dodge “Social Responsibility” in their Quest to Pay the Bare Minimum

By Germain Lefebvre, Ivan du Roy

How many Vietnamese workers is Cristiano Ronaldo worth, according to Nike? How many Chinese workers is Adidas’ sponsorship contract with the German team worth? Global sportswear brands have spent massive amounts on advertising and sponsorship for the Euro 2016 championship. Basta! and Alternatives économiques investigated what happens at the other end of the chain, where workers make shoes or jerseys for players and their fans. Despite the rhetoric about “social responsibility”, these major brands are still engaged in a race to the bottom. They are now leaving China – where wages are on the rise – for countries with even lower “labour costs”.

Solidarity

How One French Town Combines Welcome for Migrants, Ecology and Social Emancipation

By Olivier Favier

Grande-Synthe, in the north of France, is one of the very few French towns that welcome hundreds of migrants with dignity and respect. Despite 28 percent unemployment of its active population and a third of households living below the poverty line, Grande-Synthe is also a place where ambitious environmental and social policies are conducted. Mayor Damien Carême and his team support a popular university in the service of the town’s residents, have created the first renewable energy stadium in France and are building an eco-neighborhood accessible to the poor. Their political resolution is compounded by solidarity with refugees en route to the United Kingdom, making the experience of Grande-Synthe’s refugees very different from the fate reserved for migrants in Calais’ nearby seedy shantytowns.