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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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The least of many evils

08.12.2005 23:39

No doubt you no-TAV people are being funded by the oil companies and airlines who are traditionally opposed to high speed rail links.

High speed rail is the only viable alternative to more aircraft, more airports and more greenhouse gas. I know which I'd rather have.


The No-TAV campaign is a popular issue!

09.12.2005 01:21

The campaign had massive support from local people, such a huge area is affected, and it is so beautiful. It is nothing to do with oil companies 'bank rolling' protests! Are you stupid?!


Engage brain before writing

09.12.2005 13:32

P wrote:

"No doubt you no-TAV people are being funded by the oil companies and airlines who are traditionally opposed to high speed rail links.

High speed rail is the only viable alternative to more aircraft, more airports and more greenhouse gas. I know which I'd rather have."

I strongly suggest that you read a bit more about the protests before commenting. It's not public transport that's at issue - Italy's got a pretty good PT system, as I know from personal experience - it's the massive environmental destruction and pollution that will be caused by a multi-billion Euro project, the main rationale of which is to make politicians look good and line the pockets of building contractors and corrupt local and national politicians, a common theme in major construction projects throughout Italy's post-war history. There are already extensive cross-border rail and road links without destroying a relatively unspoilt valley, and the health of its citizens, to build a new one.

I'd advise you to do a bit of searching and learn more about the issue. Go on, pull your finger out instead of sitting there making snap moral judgements. You might even learn something. Right now you're being an ignorant pillock and a self-righteous moralist.

Gerry Gerbil
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Yes the TAV's are being built by ENI/ Snamprogetti

09.12.2005 16:32

Today Italy has become one big building site .
A network of TAV which stands for treno Alto velocita' high speed train (HST), lines are being built.
The main one is from Florence to Milano via Bologna the area known as the muguello north of florence has been declared an environmental disaster after the tunnels built to carry the high speed rail line cut through the water table leaving many wells dry and causing untold damage. The works sites and extra tunnels have been used to dump hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic waste. A large part of the line north of Bologna is being built by Snam progetti part of the Eni group which is based in the
The HST from Milano to Torino has also caused a lot of problems and made travelling by road or rail a nightmare from time.
protests are kicking off against the Genova Milano (HST) and various other problems in the area including inceneritores and other nasties. Since the G8 genova has become a vocal point for protest which is unfortuntely often hijacked by the Delinquanti di Sinistra (DS) and the fake lefties of the Italian opposition.
their site is ? sito Comitato Verità e Giustizia per Genova,

Other big works that are likely to cause widespread protests in Italy include the bridge over the straights of Messina which will be almost entirely built by the Mafia ..
Although Romani prodi and the other leaders of left wing opposition parties are huffing and puffing about the strong arm police tactics leftist/ commie coopertatives have about 50% of the projects to build the high speed line including the Lyon Torino so they won't be doing anything to stop the work.
In left wing controlled regions such as tuscany and Emilio Romagna the old communists coop's have become a mafia unto themselves and are at least as bad as the right wing corporate mafia and the traditional organized crime. talking of which the Italian oil giant ENI, AGIP it's petrol and service station wing and SNAM are amongst 160 companies, all part of the ENI Groups of Companies, registered as BV's (PLC's) in the off shore tax haven of Amsterdam at none other than the WTC all at strawinskylaan 1725 TOREN B 17 1077 XX AMSTERDAM Tel. 020-5722300 perhaps just maybe some cave dwelling arabs would do us all a favour and ..... it seems that there are also twin towers ...