Tension continues over high-speed rail link protests

Motorway in northern Italy reopens after 'No TAV' sit-in

Tension continues over high-speed rail link protests

Rome, August 7 - The planned TAV high-speed rail link between Turin and Lyon continued to cause tension in northern Italy on Wednesday, when the authorities managed to reopen a motorway after the latest in a series of sit-ins blocked traffic. The motorway in Piedmont's Susa Valley was blocked late on Tuesday following the arrest of three protestors and the detention of 17 others. The sit-in ended at about 2am local time Wednesday after protestors learned that the detained people had been released. Some 'No TAV' activists, however, sprinkled hundreds of nails on the motorway and four vehicles suffered punctures. The activists have organized a series of protests against the high-speed rail link throughout Italy over the last few years. Some have included violent clashes with police and disruption of highway traffic. Senator Stefano Esposito, known for his support for the controversial TAV line, received a third threatening letter earlier this week. Last week a group of activists were put under investigation for suspected terrorism offences in relation to protests at TAV construction sites in mid-July. Several members of the anti-TAV movement - who oppose the cost and environmental damage of the railway between Lyon and Turin - were given prison terms for 2010 protests. Supporters of the link maintain that it will save money and decrease pollution by reducing highway transportation.

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