Italy: NO TAV resisters continue the blockades, also in response to the fall of comrade Luca Abbà who is still hospitalized in critical condition

February 28th, 2012
_ 21.00 GMT+1 Luca’s health condition update from live radio: logically reserved prognosis; a comrade managed to stay with him for an hour; today they have woken him up a bit; he responded to limb mobility test; moderate optimism; more 2–3 days of alert _

Antonio Manganelli, chief of Italian police since 2007, seeks to have people dead. After 27 hours of occupation and at least 3 hours of resistance face to face with Manganelli’s servants, the NO TAV people reoccupy the highway: we will go forward to the bitter end. The factual resistance made with barricades, or even with our own bodies, upsets the slandering media and the politicians…

Solidarity manifestations also took place outside Italy, as in Barcelona, Spain, and Paris, France:

In Bologna, the faculty of Political Sciences was occupied:

_ We put a brake in their profit; we block devastation
Communiqué from the occupied faculty of Political Sciences

On February 27th, 2012, the State’s military apparatus attacked the Val di Susa people, expropriating and destroying their land with bulldozers and truncheons, in order to proceed with the mad project of TAV’s construction.

Among the NO TAV activists who stand against the invasion was also Luca, a comrade whose land was expropriated by the industry CMC. Luca climbed an electricity pylon to block the advance of the bulldozers.

In order to escape from the police climbers who wanted to take him down, Luca continued to climb up the pylon until an electric shock of 15.000 Volt hit him, throwing him on the ground.

Despite the fact that help had been hindered for nearly an hour by cordons of riot police squad, Luca is now out of danger, although in very serious condition.

But this is not enough to pacify the rage of our hearts! That pylon had to be cut off from electricity; the police knew so but did nothing, while Luca had been forced to climb higher.

It was just a matter of coincidence that the State did not murder a comrade!

It is, therefore, clear that the statements made some days ago by the police chief Manganelli, who made an invocation of death without many metaphors, are in fact a declaration of war against the Valley and all the people who resist.

The area of the site has been declared a ‘strategic site of national interest’, meaning that apart from military presence, an unconditional use of violence is being legitimized.

The residents and solidaritarians who were present responded immediately by occupying the highway near the site at several points, in order to prevent the access and the shift changes of cops and construction workers.

Since the first hours, solidarity actions were carried out in 26 more cities (now around 80), managing to create significant damage and disruption to the TAV traffic all around the peninsula.

Furthermore, the solidaritarian attack has crossed the sectoral boundaries (in this case the transport sector), as in the case of the workers that went on strike in the very same morning.

We are aware that the high speed line is crossing the country and that the NO TAV struggle isn’t limited in Val di Susa or in solely one project.

So, we have occupied the faculty of Political Sciences of Bologna in solidarity with Luca and the NO TAV arrestees.

We want to create an open space where we can discuss ideas and proposals against the advancement of this devastating works, and organize ourselves concretely also in this city.

Tuesday, February 28th – at 14.00pm: Coffee meeting to face the first afternoon in struggle (exchange of opinions, materials, texts, ideas) / at 19.00pm: Open assembly to trace the perspectives of the upcoming days

NO TAV people in solidarity, Strada Maggiore no.45, Bologna _

Next meeting was scheduled for 18.00pm on the highway’s blockade at the exit in Chianocco. A concentration was called for in Mercato square at 18.00pm in the city of Bussoleno, too.

14.40 NO TAV movement reoccupied the highway. Columns of trucks continued to be blocked. The SITAF paid the price of complicity with the TAV lobby. The movement left access to the national roads open, but ‘controlled’ its territory.

Meanwhile, protesters retook control of the blockades in Chianocco, at the SS25 and SS24 exits and the highway interchange. There was a constant call for people to join these blockades.

13.40 Highway evacuated; cops proceeded with the shift change.

13.00 Police faced difficulty in handling the peaceful (but very determined) resistance by people, who sang, danced and chanted ‘FORZA LUCA’ not letting go.

12.40 NO TAV continued to hold the blockade on the road junction in Chianocco. Some protesters resisted by sitting on the roadway.

12.13 Police used a bulldozer to remove the barricades and fired with water cannons at the NO TAV.

12.04 Fierce attack against the blockade on the highway in Chianocco.

Other blockades and sit-ins on highways and national roads resisted. After several hours, by 12.00pm, the barricades in Chianocco, on the highway A32 and the national roads SS24 and SS25, which the demonstrators set ablaze on the cops’ arrival, were torn down with water cannons and bulldozers. Position was resumed, but occupation forces remained at the spot, yet protesters decided to confront them without fear. At about 12.30pm, while the police operation at the Chianocco blockade was underway, the Valsusini advanced towards the troops delivering up their arms, but the repressive forces dispersed them with the use of truncheons —listen audio testimony on Radio Blackout here

~ Night reports from the barricades at Chianocco here

~ Night reports from the barricades at Salbertrand here

In the first hours of February 28th, on the second day of resistance and after a night of erected barricades along all access roads to the ‘site of national interest’, the repression forces regained ground. Water cannons and tear gas were fired at the barricades on the slope of Salbertrand. For about an hour, police made continuous attempts to break through, with the aid of fire trucks. Resisters were closed between the troops that tried to come down and those that had to take over. Only after 2.00am the demonstrators were dispersed, and blockades in Salbertrand were removed. There were no detentions.

1.55 Extensive use of tear gas against people that were blocking the highway, after water cannons attacked the barricades in Salbertrand. Troops proceeded from Chiomonte. Agents got down from police trucks advancing on foot in riot gear. Also, firemen with their own means attempted to break through the NO TAV blockade.

1.20 GMT+1 Burning barricades in the high Valley; two national roads blocked.

22.30 The barricades built on the highway in Salbertrand were set on fire on both directions, where also two national roads were blocked. The goal was to prevent the shift changes of the occupation forces.

21.00 NO TAV participants’ assembly was called after the morning’s events (audio message available on infoaut).

20.40 Nearly 200 demonstrators in Bergamo reached the railway station.

20.35 NO TAV in Brescia occupied the square in front of the prefecture.

20.32 Nearly 200 NO TAV in Naples blocked the city centre marching from Trieste square along Via Roma.

20.20 Nearly 150 NO TAV in Pisa marched to the railway station and occupied the rails, blocking the station for 45 minutes.

20.18 Nearly 150 protesters in Modena gathered in front of the memorial Sacrario dei Caduti (Shrine of the Fallen) and then moved with the banner ‘It’s impossible to stop NO TAV’. With too much rage, desire to fight and support, the NO TAV Valsusini (demonstrators from Susa Valley) brought downtown the meaning of the struggle and blocked Via Emilia. In front of the prefecture the comrades demonstrated all their solidarity to comrades in prison, to Luca and the entire Valley, which is resisting.

19.49 Anonymous changed the face of the Carabinieri’s website

19.37 The NO TAV demo in Milano started from Piazza San Babila and soon blocked the ring road.

19.20 NO TAV activists in Genova tried to enter the railway station, but the police initially blocked them.

19.16 NO TAV people in Palermo got inside the railway station to block the rails.

19.02 When the NO TAV assembly in Bussoleno finished, a gathering was called for at 20.00 in Chianocco roundabout, as the blockades were due to continue all night long.

19.00 In Bologna police charged at the NO TAV resisters that were blocking the railway tracks in the station, where in addition to other trains a Eurostar was blocked, which departed with ‘NO TAV’ written on the front of the tractor.

18.53 Giorgio Airaudo, the national secretary of the FIOM-CGIL union, asked the suspension of the construction site saying: ‘In regard to the serious incidents of these hours, and especially the NO TAV wounded combatant, we demand the immediate suspension of the construction site and all related law enforcement operations.’

18.45 GMT+1 Anonymous hacks the Italian police website in solidarity with NO TAV people and Luca Abbà.

previous short coverage here