Italy – No TAV: Convictions and tear gas on the motorway

(June 27th, 2011: Eviction of the Free Republic of Maddalena)

The so-called ‘No TAV mega-trial’ has finished its activities at first instance, in which 53 comrades are involved over the eviction resistance of the Free Republic of Maddalena on June 27th, 2011, and for the attack of the construction site of Chiomonte on July 3rd that followed. Charges of causing bodily-harm and aggravated violence, resistance against custodial staff of the public authority, defacement and covering faces (masking up) became sentences which varied between a few months and four and a half years in prison for 47 defendants. Heavy sentences, but less than the requests of the prosecutors Pedrotta and Quaglino—who, on October 7th, 2014, demanded 200 years of prison in total—except for a few comrades, against whom the judge decided to tighten the screw a bit more than what was proposed by the prosecution. On the other hand, six people were acquitted of charges.

When leaving the room, the No TAV supporters present at the trial invaded and blocked the route of Corso Regina Margherita for about twenty minutes in both directions, at the point of the bunker room [the special court of Torino, built into the Vallette jail, near the beginning of the motorway], to protest against the sentences given by the judges.

Another gathering happened the same afternoon at Bussoleno train station at 6pm. This transformed into a march of about 250 people, who at first blocked the main road, then tried to invade the motorway. The police managed to put themselves in the way in time to prevent this first attempt, but then were quickly bypassed by a large group of protesters, who scattered through the meadows, and seized one of the two sides of the motorway. The occupation of the motorway lasted approximately half an hour until the arrival of other police forces that attacked with shots of tear gas and some charges. Five comrades were arrested during these events, two of whom were released shortly after. The motorway was then reopened, well protected by officers, whilst the main road was still blocked. At around 11.30pm, the three No TAV arrested during the police charges on the motorway were then released with a summons to the court.

Translated and (a tiny bit) adapted from Macerie

A large protest has been called on February 21st in Turin to demonstrate that everything continues and that the 145 years of prison-time which were distributed do not diminish the determination of the No TAV struggle.