Thousands protested in northern Italy on Saturday against a high-speed rail link being built through the Alps, with lawmakers from a new radical party joining the demonstration. Environmental campaigners, trade unionists, students and lawmakers staged the protest in the Val di Susa, where work is under way on the rail line between Turin in Italy and Lyon in France. The lawmakers were from the Five Star Movement anti-establishment party led by former comedian Beppe Grillo, which made major inroads in elections last month. \"They Will Not Steal Our Future\" read a banner at the protest held up by members of the USB trade union. A delegation of deputies and senators had earlier visited the Chiomonte rail site a few kilometres from the village of Susa in the Piedmont region. Diego Margom, a local trade union activist, said the rail line would have an impact on public health, as well as harming the environment. \"Also it will carry mainly goods. Local production will be sacrificed for products bought in places where they cost less,\" he said. Salvatore Fiori, 63, a retired teacher and a supporter of the Five Star Movement, said: \"This work is useless and absurd.\" His friend Ruggiero Bergamaschi, a 59-year-old doctor, said the Five Star Movement was the only political force \"that supports environmental movements\". The new link would cut the train travel time between Paris and Turin to around four hours from seven. The project was launched in 1991 but has been delayed several times and is now expected to be completed by 2029.