Last updated 23:40 GMT.
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ITALY: Motorway strike starts tonight.
Disgruntled hauliers and farmers are threatening to ‘paralyse’ the country’s motorway network from midnight tonight (or maybe from 22:00) until midnight Friday. Organised by truckers’ federation Trasportounito and Movimento dei Forconi (Strike of Pitchforks) along the lines of a successful protest last year. The action is now confirmed but the government has put in place measures (see below) to prevent roadblocks, etc.
See #forconi (pitchforks), #sciopero (strike) or – particularly – #9Dicembre on Twitter.
23:40 – 40 minutes in and there are no obvious signs of trouble – apart from second hand reports of blocks at Pordenone near Venice and Frosinone near Rome – so we’re turning in.
22:30 – @Josephi56240181 reports that the first protests have started, in Padua.
21:30 – roads still clear.
21:00 – @newsfromitaly – www.italychronicles.com – tells us, ‘From what I’m hearing, it’s likely to cause problems. Protests may turn violent too some believe. There are fears that extreme right may hijack protest. The consequences of this are unclear though. And there’s been some panic fuel buying in Turin too. Disruption could affect motorways all over Italy. Foreign truckers may be targeted, as may any trucks trying to move. We’ll see soon enough. Southern Italy may be where worst problems occur. Local police on alert. Protesters not afraid of arrest. The intention seems to be to paralyze motorway network throughout Italy.’
@gatoorson adds, ‘I believe that in the Turin area no trucks will be allowed to travel tomorrow.’
20:40 – the organisers of this protest have larger ambitions than just paralysing the motorway network. Not to be alarmist but the word revolution is being bandied about regularly. 9 Dicembre protestors are anti-politicians, anti-EU, anti-Euro. See this (actually quite cool) video. The idea is also to ‘lay siege’ to city centres.
20:00 – roads still clear.
19:00 – the roads currently look normal for a Sunday evening.
18:00 – a note from Trasporto Europa sets out (in Italian) the ‘rules’ for the strike: it cannot start until 00:00 and there must be no roadblocks or infringements of the Highway Code. The fire department is authorised to intervene to clear roads in ’emergency situations’.
17:00 – a map of the action sites has been published here. Some suggest the strikes will start at 22:00 this evening.
12:15 – @AGI_Italy_news tweets that police have warned protestors not to set up any roadblocks. They face fines of over €10,500.
Meanwhile, @Josephi56240181 posts a news story (Italian only) from Savona near Genoa in north west Italy which suggests support for the strike may be building: ‘Will Italy wake up in the morning paralysed?’
10:30 – we understand (Italian only) that trucks over 7.5t, normally banned on Sunday from 08:00-22:00, will be allowed on the roads from 18:00 today.
09:00 – hilarious from Sally Milner @DriveAndPray: ‘They could fill in the pot holes if they have
#sparetime lovely food & wine tho.’