2,000 police mobilised in Val di Susa
At 5am this morning, 2,000 police stormed the protest camps in Val di Susa, northern Italy, to try to start work on the High Velocity Railway (TAV).
They went in using force and vast amounts of tear gas. Some of the ’No TAV’ protesters have been injured and their vehicles and camping gear smashed up.
The people in the area have surged onto the roads and the motorways are blocked with lorries. Workers have been coming out of their factories to join the protesters and defend them against the police attack. The metal-mechanics’ union, Fiom, has declared an immediate 8 hour strike in the area in protest and solidarity.
Please send messages of condemnation of the attack, and in support of the activists, amongst whom Controcorrente (CWI Italy) has a presence and the CWI has important support.
At this stage all messages should go to Marco Veruggio at: firstname.lastname@example.org. He will translate and forward them to where they are needed.
See articles under Italy on this site for further information on the struggle in Val di Susa, the visit of Joe Higgins when he was an MEP etc.
Below we carry protest letters. One is from the Committee for a Workers’ International and one from Paul Murphy, the current Socialist Party (Ireland) MEP.
Committee for a Workers’ International – 27 June 2011
To whom it may concern:
We, the Committee for a Workers’ International, with sections, groups and members in nearly 50 countries, condemn the outrageous, mass attack by police in the early hours of this morning against the peaceful protest camp in Val di Susa.
We support the solidarity action by local people and workers who are also outraged. We are in solidarity with the call by the metal-mechanics’ union, Fiom, for an eight hour strike in the area and similar solidarity action to be taken by other unions.
We demand that the police forces be immediately withdrawn and that damage to protesters and their property be restituted immediately We also insist that the government takes account of the wishes of the people and local movements and listen to their representatives and recognize that they express the will of the majority.
In 2007 a petition was signed by 32,000 local people in the areas affected by the project and taken to the EU in Brussels, expressing their overwhelming opposition to the High Velocity Train line which would slice through this beautiful valley, destroying the environment and endangering the health of local people. Elected parliamentary and local council representatives in the area should abide by this view.
As Socialist member of the European Parliament, Joe Higgins, wrote to the campaigners before his visit over a year ago: “The TAV development you are campaigning against underlines the prioritisation in Italy and across Europe of the interests of big business and the developers over the environment and working people.
In the light of today’s vicious action, we are asking all our affiliates to send messages of protest and support and will be watching closely what happens next.
Yours, for the International Secretariat of the Committee for a Workers’ International,
Paul Murphy MEP – 27 june 2011
Dear friends and comrades,
News has come to me of the recent violent attack on the No TAV campaign this morning. The attack was carried out by 2,000 police officers using tear gas. There are reports a number of No TAV activists have been injured.
I condemn the use of violence against the campaign. This is a campaign with mass support in the Val di Susa region. I believe that the best way in which this state repression can be answered is through mass opposition and a display of people power. I fully support the call for solidarity demonstrations so the local community can express their disgust at the latest police attack. I commend the call by the FIOM union for a strike in the Val di susa region. It is vital now that other trade unions take up this call and organise strikes in solidarity with the campaign.
I and my sister organisation in Italy, ControCorrente, fully support the campaign’s demands, I again demand that the EU stops its funding of the Turin-Lyon High Speed Railway Project. Unfortunately, I cannot join you in your protests against this repression as I am on the ‘Freedom flotilla’ to Gaza, I will be following your struggle very closely. I again wish to assure you that I am happy to offer any political or practical assistance that I can to the campaign.
Paul Murphy MEP.