Italy’s No-TAV Movement Heats Up with Major Sabotage and Court Victory

photo from protest in the forest attacked by police in 2011

from Earth First! News

December 29th, 2014Advocates of the impossibly corrupt and environmentally devastating high speed rail project known as TAV that threatens to cut through the Alps received a double-blow last week in the form of a major court victory for activists, and another large-scale act of arson.

This month, six fires have been set along the TAV lines in Italy, with militant groups like Armed Operational Nuclei (NOA) calling on activists to join them in armed struggle.

Image from the sabotage in Bologna five days ago / courtesy ANSA

Image from the sabotage in Bologna five days ago

As recently as last week, three people wearing hoods set fires at Bologna’s Santa Viola station. Though private surveillance cameras caught their image, they are unidentifiable. According to the Daily Beast, the sabotage was surprisingly effective: “the Bologna fires destroyed the regional train traffic control system, which put the entire rail network in northern Italy on hold until it could be repaired.”

Since the first of December, six fires have been set along Italy’s high-speed rail, causing the fast-moving trains to screech to a halt.

In spite of accusations of terrorism and the controversy surrounding fresh sabotage, three anarchists who were jailed in relation to the blockade of machinery and throwing molotovs at cops had their terrorism charges dropped in court today.

During the action in question, the newswire service ANSA explains, “Police at the time said roughly 30 hooded militants broke into the construction site under the cover of nightfall and tore down fences and blocked machinery. In a nearby incident, several other activists confronted police with fireworks and Molotov cocktails.”

The court victory sends a message that activists fighting the TAV are not simply terrorists pretending to be environmentalists, but members of a diverse and committed movement that encompasses large sectors of the Italian populace.

Investigators are not just out to get activists, either. They are also cracking down on supporters of the TAV—chiefly mafia operatives who have infiltrated the project in order to channel contracts and permits to their syndicates.

Meanwhile, the largest mob of them all, the EU, has made infrastructure a priority, over and against resistant communities and militant groups fighting against the destruction of a simpler way of life.

Diverse crowd of protestors marching from a historical site through the forest set to be destroyed by TAV / by Pietro Bondi