Tag Archives: sweden

Sweden’s Indigenous Sami in Fight Against Miners

4 Sep

by Malin Rising and David Mac Dougall / The Detroit News

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Per Mikael Utsi, standing, member of the Sami Parliament, takes part in the opening session of the parliament in Jokkmokk, northern Sweden (Carl-Johan Utsi / AP)

Jokkmokk, Sweden — On a dirt road passing through sparkling lakes and spruce woods in the wilds of northern Sweden, a woman belonging to Europe’s only indigenous people — the Sami — chants a traditional, high-pitched tune.

Since the end of the last Ice Age, the Sami have wandered the vast landscapes of northern Europe, herding reindeer and nurturing a philosophy of harmony with nature. This time, however, the woman’s Joik — a Sami chant that involves gliding over notes without lyrics — has a desperate tone to it: Her voice trembles and grows into a scream as four policemen remove her from the road. She had been protesting a British mining company’s plans for an open pit mine on ancient lands.

The woman is one of dozens of Sami and environmental activists who gathered recently on the site, setting up road blocks, burning bonfires and flying the Sami flag, with the aim to block the company from conducting test blasts near the town of Jokkmokk on the Arctic Circle.

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Building and Machinary Destroyed to Protest Proposed Mink Farm

21 Jun
Sweden_mink_Jun13

(photo: P4 Skaraborg Sveriges Radio)

from Bite Back Magazine

According to media reports, a garage and the machines and vehicles inside, were destroyed in a fire late on June 18 outside the city of Lidköping. One day earlier, the owner of the property, Thom Olsson, spoke on local radio about his plans to open a mink farm. Police suspect animal rights activists are responsible for the fire. 

Swedish Riots Rage For Fourth Night

24 May

A car burns in the Stockholm suburb of Kista: Sweden’s capital has been hit by some of its worst riots in years. Photograph: Scanpix Sweden/Reuters

Cross Posted from The Guardian

Hundreds of youths burnt down a restaurant, set fire to more than 30 cars and attacked police during a fourth night of rioting in the suburbs of Stockholm, shocking a country that dodged the worst of the financial crisis but failed to solve youth unemployment and resentment among asylum seekers.

Violence spread across the Swedish capital on Wednesday, as large numbers of young people rampaged through the suburbs, throwing stones, breaking windows and destroying cars. Police in the southern city of Malmo said two cars had been set ablaze.

Media reports said a police station was set on fire in Stockholm’s southern suburb of Rågsved, where several people were also detained. No one was hurt.

Rioters defied a call for calm from the country’s prime minister, going on the rampage after nightfall damaging stores, schools, a police station and an arts and crafts centre in the four days of violence.

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Union of Ontario Indians protest plans to ship radioactive waste over Great Lakes

25 Mar

By Eartha Jane Melzer

The Union of Ontario Indians will battle a plan to ship 1,600 tons of radioactive waste from the Bruce nuclear power complex to Sweden via the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, the group announced this week.

UOI, a political advocacy organization that represents 39 First Nation communities in Ontario, said that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and Bruce Power Corporation failed to properly consult with First Nation communities before approving the plant to ship 16 contaminated steam generators from the Bruce Power complex in Kincardine.

“[M]ost of the Chiefs and Councils who are signatories to treaties all along the Great Lakes were never consulted,“ Southwest Regional Anishinabek Nation Chief Chris Plain said in a statement. “The duty to consult and accommodate must be done with the rights holders and we were never consulted.”

“We will do everything in our power to prevent the Ontario and Federal governments and the nuclear power industry from using our precious waterways as a garbage disposal route,” Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee said. “It is contrary to Supreme Court decisions, our aboriginal and treaty rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the laws of Nature.”

Mayors from more than 70 communities along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway have warned that the proposed shipment has not received adequate environmental review and threatens the water supply for millions people.

The ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan shows that accidents can result in radioactive contamination of water supplies.This week officials in Tokyo warned residents not to let infants drink the tap water because it contains elevated levels of radioactive iodine.

U.S. Dept. of Transportation approval is required for the Bruce shipment to pass through U.S. waters.