Category Archives: Environment & Local Communities

Resistance in the Susa Valley goes on

As I wrote a few days ago, the NO TAV movement was planning a huge day of mobilisation on December 8, for the anniversary of what has become known as “The Battle of Venaus” in 2005, where activists managed to defeat police and security forces and take back parts of the valley that had been evicted and cleared up in the previous days. Continue reading

NO TAV: more protests planned for December

On November 24, the NO TAV movement held a public assembly in Bussoleno to discuss and plan December’s initiatives and protests. For more than 3 hours participants debated and exchanged views on the present state of the NO TAV struggle and future initiatives. More protests are planned in particular around the date of December 8, anniversary of the great victory of Venaus in 2005*. Continue reading

The militarisation of the Susa Valley: final act

Berlusconi’s moribund government has finally managed to pass a decree – with the opposition’s approval – that formalises the current state of militarisation in the Susa Valley. The construction site in La Maddalena will become a “site of strategic national interest”, that is, a military area. The consequences for those who trespass will be the same imposed by law for any other military area trespass: a prison sentence between 3 months and one year, or the payment of a fine between 51 and 309 Euro. That’s not it, though! The rock extracted on the site will become a legal construction material, even if contaminated by uranium, asbestos and other chemical products released by the excavation process. This will have a huge impact on the industry of the “great useless public works” beloved by the current government; and it’s a huge present to the construction mafia. Also, it’s another heavy attack to freedom of protest and dissent, and a clear message for the people of the Val Susa: don’t disturb the construction! Continue reading

The A-Team in Val di Susa

NO TAV press conference – “This is the people’s resistance”

In the midst of the riot porn that can be found on the internet about the NO TAV protests of Sunday 3 July – and that I’m not going to post here because a) you can find it anywhere and b) you can have too much of it – I’ve found a story that I think is much more important. On the Monday after the protests, the NO TAV network held a press conference in Chiomonte. So what?, you might ask. Well, it could’ve been a disaster. In 2001, after the ferocious state violence of the G8 summit in Genoa, the Genoa Social Forum made the big mistake of retreating: instead of staying united, some groups left the alliance, others stayed but distanced themselves from the “bad protesters” (namely the Black Block) and blamed them for the violent reaction of the police. The State, the police and the media had won their war: they had wanted to tear the movement apart and they succeeded. So, you can imagine what a joy it was for me to read the NO TAV network statements: Continue reading

Civil war in Valsusa – Repression against NO TAV movement

"Wow, how bold are these young people!" "You should see the elderly!"

After a crowded torchlight march on the night between June 26th and 27th, the Free Republic of the Maddalena in Piedmont was brutally assaulted by a full-scale military operation performed by around 2000 forces that turned the place into a battle site: teargas thrown at eye level, bulldozers and heavy vehicles used to evict the camp, water jets against protesters, beatings, tents and equipment smashed up. In the nearby town of Venaria, a riot police vehicle on its way to the site ran over and killed “by mistake” an elderly woman. Continue reading

L’Aquila is dying

It’s difficult to talk about the situation in L’Aquila. It’s painful. I’ll let the figures do it.

17 months after the earthquake, 50.000 people are still displaced. Of these, only 15.000 have been temporarily accommodated in the c.a.s.e. project buildings – the huge plasterboard barracks sold by the government as a miracle. The “miracle” consists of 19 settlements placed around the destroyed city and far from each other, which cost the Italians 2.700 Euro by square metre, just like luxury flats. The truth is they are sleeping quarters, without public services, shops, community centres. Continue reading