The Voice of the Susa Valley / 9

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The Susa Valley is not alone, and the Valsusini (the people of the Susa Valley) know that. The Susa Valley is a starting point for a country that wants to take back control of public affairs through the direct participation of the citizens.

"1, 100, 1000 Val di Susa".

Today I’m publishing a letter of solidarity to the Valsusini from the Vajont Valley.

“The inhabitants of the Vajont Valley join themselves in solidarity with the inhabitants of the Susa Valley and with the NOTAV campaign.

The reason is easy to say: living in the Vajont Valley, it’s impossible to forget the deep hurt that was felt following the realisation of the “Grande Vajont” project. This affair reminds us of one of the first “great works” carried out in Italy. Starting from the end of the 1950’s in fact, they constructed the highest dam in the world in our Valley, with the idea of making use of the rich water resources for hydroelectric power. Even on that occasion, the directors of the contracting company (SADE) and the State felt that this project was like a trampoline to launch development.

Similarly on that occasion, in the planning and realisation stages, they determined that: a definite push towards economic interests; an underestimate of the hydrological and environmental problems;
a strategic attempt to silence and placate any desire to protest and / or make use of correct information.

All this was in a valley affected by big issues relating to the instability of the hillsides.
One night in 1963 the people and this place were shaken by the sliding of 270 million cubic metres of rock falling off Monte Toc and crashing down without stopping into the artificial basin above the Vajont dam.

A wave of immense proportions devastated centres of habitation and the whole of the territory. This caused the death of about 2,000 people and the injured remained as an indelible witness among the people who survived.
Today all the scientific community maintain that it was a predictable disaster and above all, now, it is known that if it hadn’t been for the lake, the landslide would not have come away from the mountainside with that speed and with that mass. A preventative intervention could have avoided this tragedy and put in place an effective interaction between human beings and the environment instead of the interference that actually happened.

With this action of solidarity, we have the benefit of being able to remember the 40 years of history that have followed this disaster. In fact, this story has been permeated with injustice and bad business even in the reconstruction phases.

For these reasons, we cannot fail to stand alongside the civil non-violent protest of the inhabitants of the Susa Valley against the start of opening up building sites and creating the planned tunnel, whose route relates to rocks made up of the dangerous minerals asbestos and uranium which can open up serious scenarios of public health.

As well as that we protest about the militarisation of the territory in defence of the interests of the State now in Val di Susa.

The victims are always people but the problem remains: too often the faces and the stories are forgotten and the harmony of the locations freely offering themselves to the idols of economic interest and to the thirst for prestige. We rediscover together the possibility to act without party divisions and the generative willingness to express our own opinion and to require the just approach and the correct information to environmental themes.”

The following have made a personal contribution to this letter:

Dario Bossi (Combonian Missionary)
Guglielmo Cornaviera (President of the “Campaign for the defence of the rights of the survivors of Vajont”)
Italo Filippin (Vice-president of the “Association of Vajont Survivors”)
Luciano Pezzin (Mayor of Erto and Casso)
Alex Zanotelli (Combonian Missionary)
and some citizens of Erto and Casso

PS: has won the Premio WWW 2005 del Sole 24 Ore (WWW 2005 Prize of the newspaper il Sole 24 Ore) as best Italian site for the category: news and information.
Citation: “for the interactivity with the public, the ample documentation on the internet and the commitment to tackle topics of use to citizens.”
It’s you who have won this prize, with your votes and your participation in the Blog. Thank you.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:55 AM in | Comments (0)
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