Italy: Dozens of No TAV activists arrested

The repression will not stop the movement!

On Thursday 26 January around 26 people were arrested and held throughout Italy in relation to incidents that took place during a mass demonstration on July 3 in the Susa Valley The demonstration was organized by the No TAV movement against the expensive and environmentally harmful high-speed train that the European and Italian political and economic establishment would like to build between Turin and Lyon as a source of endless speculation and profit to the detriment of the local community.

The searches took place at 5 am in the Susa Valley, as well as in many other areas of Italy and even an international arrest in France. Most of those affected are in the Piedmont region where the valley is situated and whose capital is Turin. Those arrested have been charged with injury, violence and resisting a public officer.

The movement responded immediately with a march in Bussoleno, Val di Susa and solidarity protests took place in many areas, including 200 in Bologna. A demonstration organised in Turin at the weekend was attended by over 5,000. The mood in the valley is very combattative.

Nicoletta Dosio, spokeperson of the movement and a supporter of ControCorrente, said: “What happened (this morning) is a sign of their arrogance but also their weakness. If the repression is growing it’s because they are trying to stop the struggles that are growing and which are united. The people here in the Valley say that they won’t accept their dirty games, our solidarity with the arrested is not only formal but substantial,. They use repression, we will use our determination and we stand in solidarity with the comrades arrested and charged. Our struggle will continue until victory.”

Nicoletta Dosio

Fabio Mantero, also from ControCorrente and a worker at the Fincantieri shipyard in Genova which is facing closure, spoke in a debate in the valley with other workers from workplaces in crisis. He explained that the Fincantieri workers, like the No Tav movement have had to fight against governments from the centre-right, the centre-left and now the Monti government, supported by both sides. These struggles, including those of the striking taxi drivers and truck drivers show the huge potential which exists. But these forces need to be united in order to stop those who want us to pay for the crisis.

Paul Murphy MEP, who visited Val di Susa in August last year has sent a message of solidarity with the No Tav movement and those arrested.

“I condemn the repression used by the Italian state against the No TAV movement on Wednesday night. I call for the immediate release without charge of the 26 activists from around Italy that were arrested for participating in the protests last summer against the brutal attack on the No TAV protest camp and the militarisation of the Chiomonte site.

This high speed rail project must cease. It is completely unnecessary and environmentally destructive. The only people that will benefit will be speculators, construction companies and the Mafia. During my visit in August I witnessed first hand the mass anger and opposition to this project in the Val di Susa. The Italian state is ramming through this project using brutal repression against the local community and their supporters.

It is a disgrace that this project is receiving EU funding, I call again on the Commission to withdraw the funding to this project.

It is clear that the new government of bankers headed up by Mario Monti intends to wage war with working people and social movements in Italy. In carrying out these arrests the government is trying to send out a signal that opposition to its policies will be met with repression. It is vital that the trade union movement responds and organises opposition to this repression against the No TAV movement. I salute the protests taken to date against this repression. The example of activists in the metal-mechanics union in Italy – the FIOM – that organised a one-day strike against the brutal police attack in June is a fine example of what can be done.”

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February 2012