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Home | Friday 24th October 2008 | Issue 652

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Stereotypes about Swedish indifference may have to be rewritten (not that we took any notice of them anyway) as peace activists made simultaneous attacks on weapons factories in Sweden this week.

In the dead of Wednesday night / Thursday morning, activists from peace and disarmament group OFOG/Avrusta (roughly translated as ‘mischief’ / ‘disarm’) used bolt cutters to break into a BAE Systems facility in Karlskoga, about 150m west of Stockholm. Leaving behind a banner saying, “The door is open — you are free to start disarming,” - and they proceeded to do just that, damaging any components in sight, smashing parts destined for Howitzer 77s.

Meanwhile, around a 100km nearer the capital in Eskilstuna, other disarmament experts were breaking into a Saab owned weapons factory where they damaged twenty high explosive grenade launchers with hammers.

Five arrests in total were made, two now remaining in jail after being bailed and returning to the factory to have another go. The arrestees strategy is to make as much media impact as possible and welcome charges being brought against them, with one saying: “I look forward to a chance to ethically and legally argue for our actions in court. I hope one day the arms manufacturers will be charged for the criminal damage that Swedish armaments cause in wars and conflicts around the world.

Maja Backlund, spokesperson for OFOG, said, “Civil disobedience and action are most vital parts of democratic development.” claiming that the weapons damaged were of types used in Kashmir and Iraq."

And as another of the arrestees, also a deacon in the Swedish church, said, “When your government supports an illegal war and sells arms to dictatorships, it’s time for ordinary citizens like us to take action.” Here endeth the lesson.

For more see (plus video of the exploits at

* Back in the UK, the wave of students out to kick morally bankrupt corporations (and armed forces) off campus for peddling their wares at careers fairs continues (see SchNEWS 651, 650). On Monday (20th) fully dressed-up grim reapers showed up at Nottingham Uni to dissuade a rogue’s gallery of criminals (BAE, MoD, BP, Rollys Royce, QuenetiQ and E.ON amongst others) from attempting to confuse innocent young minds with their filthy propaganda. The infiltrators’ mix of reasoned flyers and more simple messages such as a banner saying ‘BAE Kills’ caused such disruption that the second day of the fair saw virtually none of the big bad boys show up.

A glittering career in activism now awaits...

For footage see

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