Since No-Tav activist Luca Abbà was injured on February 27, protests in the Susa Valley have escalated, reaching a new heights. Soon after Luca’s fall from a high-tension pole, the highway was suddenly blocked by No-TAV protesters. More solidarity rallies have since taken place in over 60 other Italian cities.
Campaigners against a high speed rail project have engaged in direct action across Italy. They have occupied nationally significant motorways, built barricades and set them on fire. Over the last two days that have battled with police and the armed forces, who have used, batons, teargas, water cannons, and bulldozers against activists. In other areas of the country there have been several occupations of squares and buildings in solidarity with the NO-TAV campaign.
No Tav activists were not expecting the police to expropriate until the following night, but they came in the morning, after an urgent order by the Prefect. On Monday 27th February they started to build the fences to enlarge the construction site, in spite of the 75.000 people demonstration that took place just two days before.
Update (27 february 2012, 11:00 am italian time):
While we write, police forces are expanding the off-limit area, trying to clear the baita in order to demolish it. Fifteen protesters are resisting in it. One notav protester, chased by police, climbed on an electric pylon, and then fell down (from 10 meters high) after taking a shock. He’s now under surgery in Turin, ambulance transportation has been delayed by police for almost an hour. Roadblocks and rails occupations by notav protesters have started in Valsusa and solidarity actions are being planned in all Italy. More updates later on.
(type #forzaluca on Twitter).
25 activists from all over the country were arrested in the repressive turn against NOTAV , while 15 more people were subject to precautionary measures and one french activist recived a prohibition of residence in Torino’s province, which includes the Susa Valley. Only three of the arrested people are originally from the Susa Valley: Giorgio Rossetto, leader of the Turin-based squatted community Askatasuna and Guido Fissore, 66, member of town council of Villarfochiardo, and Mario Nucera, barber in Bussoleno.
Between November 1873 and July 1874, workers on the Pennsylvania system and at least 17 other railroads struck. Engineers, firemen, brakemen, and track hands as well as shopmen and ordinary laborers resisted wage cuts, demanded salary due them, and opposed such employer practices as blacklisting and the use of iron-clad contracts. None of these disputes was so dramatic or important as the general railroad strike in 1877, but together they prophetically etched the outlines of that violent outburst.