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.
The custody orders were issued by Preliminary Hearing Judge Federica Bompieri, at the request of Public Prosecutor Andrea Beconi, as a result of prior police investigation.The charges include resistance to officers and they are related to the participation to the clashes on July 3 (2011) in Chiomonte, Susa Valley, where allegedly 200 police officers and dozens of demonstrators were injured (see “Around the fortress” at the bottom of page).
Giancarlo Caselli, the attourney of Torino, well kwon for its anti-mafia work in the 90’s, stated that for each of the arrested there are ‘strong evidences’ of guilt.To many no-TAV activists his ‘strong evidences’ reminded the ‘granitic evidences’ stated from his predecessor Laudi against three notav accused of more than 10 terrorist acts. The ’granitic evidences in the trial resulted in a complete acquittal (Silvano Pellisero was condamned for a robbery and coulpable fire, while Edordo Massari and Maria Soledad Rosas died in prison), this association is reinforced by the fact that one of the arrrested Tobia Imperato is the author of a book on the history of the trial named “The shoes of the suicidal”.
Alberto Perino of the No-TAV movement declared: “They are hitting the movement because it is a leading force in the current political unrest. These arrests are a coded message to all the other movements that are now standing up for their rights.” He has also highlighted that only two of the arrested people are from the Susa Valley (Guido Fissore e Giorgio Rossetto; he forgot Mario Nucera), while the repression hit people from all over Italy, thus misrepresenting the movement as manipulated from outside.
More generally the decision of the judiciary seems consistent with the anti-terrorism policies coming from the Seventies (inidentally, Giancarlo Caselli have been a protagonist of that season), which led to many doubtful judgements, like the ones on the cases of Pinelli and Battisti(see links below). This judgements are so doubtful that Nobel recipient Dario Fo wrote a piece about the death of Pinelli, and Brasil recently refused extradiction of Cesare Battisti to Italy, giving as a reason the unfairness of the trial.
The activists received immediate solidarity from many social movements and from public personalities such as the collective of writers Wu Ming, who issued a short narrative piece in solidarity with the arrested. Paolo Ferrero (leader of the Communist Party PRC) condemned the repression as an attempt at criminalizing the No-TAV movement and as an evidence of the political continuities between the current executive and the previous one. The left-wing autonomous union USB also issued a solidarity statement.
A torchlight walk with about 5000 participants took place in Bussoleno, in Susa Valley, hometown to two of the arrested , while a spontaneous rally was called in Turin. Further initiatives in solidarity of the protesters were called widely across the nation. A rally and a a temporary street blockade were held by radical students groups and collectives in Bologna, while in Rome a symbolic occupation took over the building of the Ministry of Transportation. More rallies were held in Milan, Trieste, Asti, and several other locations in Northern Italy.
More sources are available here.