Tree felling causes protests in Rome

Residents in the S. Giovanni area of Rome are protesting over the city's plan to continue chopping down trees on Via Sannio and Viale Ipponio, to make way for the troubled Metro C project.

Local resident associations, with the help of some politicians, had managed to delay the process, originally scheduled to take place in July. However the felling went ahead on 16 September, resulting in a sit-in protest on Via Sannio the next day.

Already over 20 oaks, pines and sycamores have been chopped down, with over 100 facing the axe by the end of this week, in what residents are calling "a massacre."

Monti-based Green party councillor Nathalie Naim has been to the forefront of the opposition to the tree-felling from the start. "It's a mess, an unjustifiable intervention – she said – we entered the site, we saw the knocked trees with our own eyes. A horrible spectacle."

Naim said the operation could be avoided by moving the metro works onto public land granted in concession to private individuals for market stalls and sports fields, with the city providing alternative land, temporarily, in other areas.

"The rules on concessions of public land provide that they can be revoked or suspended at any time in the public interest", she said.