Turin

Third threatening letter sent to pro-high speed rail senator

'No TAV' movement appears to foster new intimidation attempt

Third threatening letter sent to pro-high speed rail senator

Turin, August 5 - A letter threatening Senator Stefano Esposito, known for his support for the controversial high speed rail TAV line between France and Italy, was received on Monday by a local Turin newspaper CronacaQui. The letter read, "Esposito servant to the Mason-led system, is in our sights" with a crude drawing of a target, signed "The Black Spring". It is the third threatening letter to be directed at the parliamentarian from a protest movement that police and prosecutors say has crossed the line into terrorism. Activists opposed to the TAV high-speed-rail project were accused by prosecutors last Monday of committing acts of terrorism. The allegations by prosecutors, made for the first time against the 'No TAV' protesters, came as they ordered searches of their premises in Turin and Val di Susa related to protests at construction sites in mid-July. Police said they came under attack from stones, firecrackers and other explosive devices when they moved to break up protests. Again in mid-May, police said roughly 30 hooded vandals in Chiomonte, outside Turin, broke into a 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 who pushed back with tear gas. The high-speed rail line, which will eventually connect Turin to Lyon, has sparked years of protest from locals and other activists who denounce its high cost and damage to the environment. Several members of the anti-TAV movement have already been sent to prison for 2010 protests. France and Italy argue it will save money and help the environment in the long run by cutting down on automobile traffic.

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