Activists opposed to a probable war in Iraq took advantage of a national train strike to start a series of blockades of trains in several northen Italian cities. On the night of Friday 21st Feb, about 120 Disobbedienti protesters stopped a train in Padova that was moving U.S. military equipment from Vicenza to the U.S. base of Camp Darby near Pisa, forcing the train to take a different route. The protests continued Saturday, with organizers stating that thousands of activists were involved in the actions across the country. Some of the actions and blockades that taken place include Padova, Brescia, Verona, Bologna, Fornovo,Monselice, Ferrara, Empoli, Tombolo, and Pisa [1 | 2], with reports that the protests are rapidly spreading across Italy. Meanwhile the British consulate was also occupied in Torino [Photos]. Other actions are also expected in Ferrara, where police attacked a crowd of 1,000 people, as well as in Udine. At Magdalena Isle near Sardinia, another 1,000 activists were roughly cleared out by police. For breaking news and updates in English language see Global Radio feature and IMC-Italy Trainstopping feature.
The press release announcing the blockades stated that activists were targetting rail stations because "the military are using the civilian transport network to move military equipment. There are 26 trains expected and we want to block them because we don't want this war." Read more
At the same time, since the 23 February, the train personnel has been defined as "military personnel" by the Italian governemt. Although so far the train workers do not get much support from their official labour union, the dock workers' union has announced that they will not load military equipment on the ships.