From the Lyon-Turin high-speed rail to the global reality
Turin-Almese, 5-8 November 2015

Giudici ad Almese ridotta




The Permanent Peoples' Tribunal grants a positive response to the Petition of the Val Susa Counter-Observatory

We are happy to announce an important success and a substantial acknowledgment of the movement opposing TAV (Turin-Lyon High Speed Train) and, in general, the so-called "Grandi Opere" (major public works).

The Permanent People's Tribunal, formerly known as Russel Tribunal, has judged pertinent our petition which denounces the infringements of the fundamental rights of the inhabitants, as well as of the Val Susa communities, with regard to the planned construction of the Turin-Lyon High Speed Train (TAV).

Following the petition presented by the Counter-Observatory Val Susa and by a large group of administrators of local villages and towns, the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal has decided to open a specific lawsuit to examine in particular "the objectives and the effectiveness of the procedures regarding peoples' consultation, and their impact on the democratic process".

The TPP's document highlights how "more and more often, also in the so-called "central countries" (as repeatedly reported by the TPP in the so-called "south countries", in particular with regard to the relation between power, peoples' participation to public debate, and the degrees of political-economical decisions), there are situations that call into question and put at risk the effectiveness and the meaning of consultations, as well as the rights and the dignity of the populations involved. In this perspective, the TAV case, together with others brought to the TPP's attention, is emblematic of more general processes and mechanisms, which are particularly relevant in the present economical-political European and global evolution...".

For this reason, the TPP has taken the pivotal decision to extend the lawsuit against TAV to similar cases, immediately enacting a procedure which will progress in the next months.
Referring to some transnational companies in Colombia, the TPP has recently sustained that it is a fundamental right of citizens and communities "to be consulted in order to obtain a free, prior and informed consent before adopting and applying any project potentially endangering their lands, territories or resources".
In the 35 years of TPP's existence, the lawsuit set up today is the first one addressing the violation of fundamental rights in relation to the "Grandi Opere" in Europe. This is a sign that there are prerequisites indicating how the Val Susa case represents a laboratory of an advanced research in contemporary colonial politics, different in forms compared to the traditional one, but equally devastating.

Petition from the Val Susa Counter-Observatory
to the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal

The Val Susa Counter-Observatory consigned a petition to the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal (link to the original italian text), signed by the President and Vice-President of the Comunità Montana Valle Susa e Val Sangone and by a large group of administrators of local villages and towns.

Our initiative was shared by many distinguished figures on the international cultural and scientific scene, who wanted to show us their support:

all big


Give us your support too. Sign the petition!

We have addressed the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal because we believe that over the course of the last 25 years, since the project for a new Turin-Lyon railway line was announced, there have been serious and systematic violations of the citizens’ basic rights: the right to good health for current and future generations, the right to live in a quality environment, the right to a dignified life, the right to accuracy and transparency of information, the right to participate in decisions that affect one’s own life.

Over the years, Val Susa citizens have formed committees and, together with the local administrators, have repeatedly exposed the violations; they have provided documented evidence of the uselessness of the project, the risks for the environment and health conditions of local the inhabitants and the waste of public funds. Experts in several disciplines, as well as internationally renowned scientists, have supported their arguments with firmly grounded studies and scientific analyses.

We have put together initial documentation (link to the original italian text) retracing the various steps of the opposition to the Turin-Lyon TAV (Treno Alta Velocità = High Speed Train). We also compiled a list of texts conveying the significant evidence regarding the various aspects we have brought to the attention of the PPT, and a recommended reading of a narrative concerning the connection between democracy, participation and movements, with a special emphasis on Val Susa.


We want to heal our democracy


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