Italian anti-high-speed train protestors retake land

Venaus 1


Massive protests have delayed the start of work on a 33-mile tunnel under the Alps between France and Italy planned as a key link in a trans-Europe rail line.

The demonstration mixed environmental activists with residents of the Val di Susa on the border between the two countries, the Times of London reported. In Venaus, the tunnel's Italian end, the newspaper said that almost every house sports a "No TAV" sign, using the project's Italian acronym.

On Wednesday night the Venaus post was cleared by the police. Between 3 and 4 a.m. the cops violently rushed against the demonstrators who were blocking the opening of the TAV yard. Several people have been injured, some of them have been bloodily hit.

The minister of the Interior, Pisanu, has warned everybody that in the Valley of Susa there were 'subversive groups': probably he was referring to the thousand cops who attacked and clubbed two-hundred sleeping people. Media and politics have started at once to blather on 'clashes and brawls', but this was a premeditated aggression against harmless people who could not run away. This provocation has had the opposite effect, though, and protests are spreading all over.

The inhabitants of the valley are receiving support from Turin and from every part of Italy, not only through demonstrations in several cities, but also with the stream of tens of thousands of people giving rise on Thursday morning to a massive, extraordinary demonstration in Venaus. The demonstrators, determined to win back the post cleared by the State violence forces, have surrounded the yard, dismantled its structures and erected barricades in order to face the police properly.

On the 30th November, CMC, the former left-wing cooperative having specialized in environmental distruction in the Tuscan region of Mugello, started occupying the fields of Venaus, in the Piedmontese Alps, in order to open the yard for a 10 km tunnel, the first step in the contruction of the high-velocity railway called TAV.

On the 29th June and on the 6th-7th October blocks by the people of the valley prevented the CMC technicians, escorted by police forces of alla sorts, from carrying out the seizure. In the face of the umpteenth challenge by the great infrastructure lobby (among its members there is also the Italian minister for infrastructures, Lunardi), the Valsusa population has got ready to resist.

The people in the Val di Susa Region fight against the planned 54-km-long TAV-high-speed-train-tunnel because the work at the tunnel will set free uranium and asbest from inside the mountain.

The proposed rail line would connect Lisbon with Kiev.

Opponents of the tunnel say 300 high-speed trains a day would destroy a peaceful mountain area and damage the environment. They are especiallly opposed to a shorter secondary tunnel under Mount Musine, a place said to be where the Emperor Constantine saw a cross in the sky and also associated with Celtic rituals."

Now all people who care for environment and for the defense against capitalist greed, all people determined to win back their lives seized by the EU, and by the Italian state and regions, express solidarity and follow attentively the Valsusa battle.


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