An update from Italy Calling on solidarity with arrested participants in the no-TAV anti-high-speed rail protests.
Against the arrest of 25 people, last week, NOTAV demonstrations took place in various Italian cities. In Milan, on Friday and Saturday the 17th and 18th of February, about 3000 people gathered for a concert and a march that terminated in front of San Vittore prison. On the 17th a march took place in Genova and other direct actions were reported in Venice and Bologna where activists occupied the Freccia Rossa club, symbol of the contested High Speed trains in local train stations. NOTAV public assemblies have been held in Roma, Napoli, Palermo, Pisa and other Italian cities preparing for the national march that will be held in Val Susa on the 25th of February.
The common ground of a struggle that unifies a multiplicity of political actors across Italy is the protection of local territories and the common goods from property and financial speculations. Political actions demonstrate that the NOTAV struggle has become the national icon of a new grassroots democratic project. Its struggle was born in a small valley in the north of Italy and soon has spread inside Italian biggest cities, Milan and Rome, as an example of territorial organization and political inclusion. NOTAV public assemblies represent an important novelty for Italian urban movements whose internal cohesion has been historically more difficult. These assemblies became important spaces for dialogue where ideas and political practices find a shared space for consensus. Local gathering directly challenge the Italian political life still based on masculine politics and old leadership models.
You can find here more resources about the NoTAV movement.