The “No TAV” movement, spontaneously born in the 1990s, is the grass-roots movement of the Susa Valley population against the construction of the tunnel.
Composed mainly of civil society committees and organisations and local institutions, their struggle is motivated by the need to protect the environment but it is also a political and cultural struggle against the development logic of globalisation all over the world.
The train will pass through the Susa Valley, via various tunnels, the longest one extending over 50km, to connect St.
Jean-de-Maurienne (France) to Venaus (Italy), making it the main tunnel to cross the Alps.
The No TAV movement against high speed grew to become one of the strongest in the country, successfully blocking the implementation of the project for nearly two decades by presenting obstacles for Pro TAV advocates.
The struggle against the Treno Alta Velocita (TAV) Turin-Lyon has become one of the most important social movements in Italy in the last 20 years.
In contrast, supporters of the project are mainly found in European, national, and provincial governments and in companies and corporations driven by private interests in infrastructure and trade development.
They argue that the TAV would improve passenger and goods transport, providing a more ecologically sound transport alternative that would also create employment and contribute to economic development.
The Italian section, under the control of the Italian railway network company Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) will be 43 km long passing through the Garvio – Musinè tunnels, respectively 12 and 21km long, with service access points at Condove, Caprie and Almese.
Its economy is based on tourism, as well as on more traditional activities such as dairy production and livestock grazing.
(Leonardi, 2007)The development of transport infrastructure in the beginning of the 1990s coincided with the decline of industry, particularly in the Lower Valley.
The first local committee, “Habitat” was born in 1991 and the first coordinated group of civil society and local institutions was created in 1994.
The decades-long struggle of the Susa Valley people is very complex and cannot be reduced to a NIMBY (Not in My Backyard, see text box below).