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Italy: Cops and anti-TAV protesters clash

Gerry Gerbil | 08.12.2005 13:53 | Repression | Social Struggles

Protests against the building of a high-speed rail tunnel through the Alps linking Italy and France have escalated dramatically, following a violent pre-dawn raid by riot cops on a protester camp at Venaus.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Italian riot police violently broke up a protester camp at Venaus, in the Val di Susa near the Italy-France border. Hundreds of protesters had gathered to prevent work starting on the highly-controversial rail tunnel, for the high-speed TAV (treno ad alta velocità) train, to be blasted through the Alps to link Italy and France, which local residents and environmentalists have condemned as highly destructive to the environment and residents of this quiet Alpine valley, as well as inordinately expensive and unnecessary given the extensive rail and road links across the border. In scenes reminiscent of the infamous Scuola Diaz assault in Genoa, the cops waded in with riot shields and clubs on the unsuspecting protesters injuring dozens.

The action, sanctioned by the hard-line Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu, followed a peaceful anti-TAV demo on Monday, attended by over 50,000 protesters, and has drawn widespread condemnation from all Left organisations in Italy, inside and outside parliament. Activists have reacted by occupying and blocking the A32 autostrada (motorway) between Turin and Frejus, and calling for solidarity from all over Italy. Today (Thursday) there's been a 30,000-strong demonstration in Venaus which has attempted to re-occupy the building site, and which has led to more violent clashes with riot cops.

Further information:

ANSA: Police derail Alp tunnel protest (

ANSA: EC seeks to ease rail link protest (

All sites below in Italian:

La Repubblica: la lunga notte della Val di Susa (href=" Includes links to background stories.

La Repubblica: 50.000 alla marcia anti-tav ( Report on the massive anti-TAV demo on Monday.

NO TAV ( Main site for anti-TAV campaigns.

Indymedia Italia: Resistenze no-TAV (

Certi treni è meglio perderli ( Background article.

Gerry Gerbil
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The situation is still changing and dangerous

08.12.2005 15:54

70,000 people today in Val di Susa have clmbed the paths of the mountains and the fields to re-occupe the site of the camp of the NOTAV people that have been before displaced with violence by the police.., a lot of people from the valley and outside, social centres, grassroot unions and so on. They fronted the police in the road in the mornig and after thounsand of them climbed the mountains to occupe back the place pushing away the police...
Now the police mybe want to attack the people that leave there in the cold of the night!!

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