Foix (Ariège), France – A ‘commercial hub’ slowed down for a week following incendiary sabotage on an Orange telephone distribution frame (5th March 2019)
April 10, 2019by actforfreedom
In a previous article we mentioned news of sabotage of telecommunications in Foix, Ariège, in the night between 4th and 5th March 2019. Now we know more about the process of activation and the economic damage caused by the fire to an Orange distribution frame in the vicinity of the commercial hub Peysales, in the south of the city. Telecommunications were not completely reinstated until late on Sunday 10th March.
‘According to our intelligence, the perpetrators tried first to access the Orange operational site with a crowbar, but they couldn’t manage to do so. However, they managed to force access to a basement room, which was closed with cast iron plates. Through the opening they threw pallets, sprayed everything with petrol and lit a fire. The heat and flames burned the protection of the telecommunications cables, forcing operators to replace all of them [300 metres of cables were completely burnt].
A maintenance method rarely adopted by Orange in other cases of vandalism in the region.’ So on 8th March 2019 La Dépêche says that ‘the commercial hub Peysales is functioning at a slower pace’. While at first they only mentioned malfunctioning caused to the Leclerc brand, we learn that many more brands and firms of the area (Intermarché, Lidl, Optique 2000, a car showroom…) and state agencies such as CAF job centre suffered severe interruptions for a good part of the week.
This is in part the case of an Intermarché store, which according to its manager allegedly suffered about 8,000 euros’ financial loss in fuel a day between Tuesday 5th March and Friday 8th March. On Tuesday the internal web of the firm was out of use. This Friday payments by credit card at the petrol station were still impossible, and this blocked all 24-hour supplies. In these days transmission orders, which can only be made through the internet, were halved. The ‘total weekly loss could be up to 10-15%…’ according to the exploiter manager.
‘At the commercial hub, the Optic 2.000 store has been completely deprived of telecommunications since Tuesday. I’ve got about 70 spectacles ready but as credit card payments and cash machines in the gallery are blocked, I prefer to wait before I contact customers’, optician Christian Buand explains. The same exasperation was expressed by Jean-Paul Marhuenda, the manager of a Renault-Nissan car showroom. ‘Our diary was almost empty because we couldn’t take appointments by telephone or by the internet. Not to mention car tests that couldn’t be carried out and customers’ disappointment…’ The Job Centre too suffered a dramatic slowdown. Blocked computers, impossible or very slow access to files. Troubles in getting local assistants by telephone […] The Caisse d’allocations familiales of Ariège had even to close down yesterday (Thursday 7th March). In the first days beneficiaries were assisted by telephone through the telephone network Tarbes, but a total interruption of the internet on Thursday forced the administration to close the doors to the 200 claimants due to be assisted yesterday.
Obviously, as the structures of the economy were disrupted in such a way, the State’s jackals, cops-journalists, launched themselves in investigation lines and wondered who would ‘want this commercial hub to be paralyzed’?
‘The Peysales area, which hosts twenty firms and 300 jobs, is an important target for anyone who wants to strike the economy of the city and the region’.
The only clue that was mentioned was anarchists, following the incendiary attack on three Enedis sites in the night between 5th and 6th December 2018, which was claimed with a communique published in the internet a few hours later.