More initiatives and protests being planned by the Italian NO TAV movement against a high speed rail line being built in the Susa Valley (Piedmont).
On November 24, the NO TAV movement held a public assembly in Bussoleno to discuss and plan December’s initiatives and protests. For more than 3 hours participants debated and exchanged views on the present state of the NO TAV struggle and future initiatives. More protests are planned in particular around the date of December 8, anniversary of the great victory of Venaus in 2005*. In 2005, the media pressure and the mobilisations were enough to make a very clumsy and churlish government yield. Today, the big difference is that the political and economic lobby behind the TAV project, after years of studying and observing the NO TAV movement, is much more ruthless. The current military occupation in the Susa Valley doesn’t excel in speed (to this date, no building has commenced, and the excavation sites are still occupied by the NO TAV), but it’s certainly determined: the fortified fences around the excavation sites have become a symbolic show of strength. December 8 2011 comes after 6 months of resistance in the area, where the conflict between the local NO TAV activists and the military is felt everyday.
The assembly opted for a double-protest day: a protest will take place around the fenced areas, while another group will be marching from Susa to the headquarters of Sitaf. Sitaf is a partly public company that manages one of the motorways from Turin and that de facto assisted the militarisation of the Valley by providing a corridor and technical help to the troops transferred from Turin.
Meanwhile, a few nights after the assembly, some NO TAV witches held a night-time coven, armed with very dangerous secateurs to cut the fence down. My favourite chant: “My nan was a partisan and she taught me that cutting down fences isn’t a crime” :-) There was some tension when the security forces started measuring the length of the cut in the fence with their batons (??!!), but they then left, and the witches circle ended unharmed. Watch the video here.
* On 5/6 December 2005 the police and security forces violently evicted one of the permanent lookout posts in Venaus, injuring about 20 protesters. On the 8th the NO TAV had a massive march from Susa to Venaus and managed to establish a new lookout post. Following the clashes and pressure from the NO TAV movement, the government decided to put the works on hold.
Sources: articles from www.notav.info