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Swedish Christians plant vines and figtrees at Ericsson arms factory

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Monday April 17, 2006 00:31author by Coilín ÓhAiseadhaauthor address Máigh Nuad, Co. Cill Dara Report this post to the editors

Also Les Gibbons and Ulla Röder take part in enacting Micah's prophecy

On Good Friday, six vine- and figtree planters were arrested after planting an orchard at the Ericsson Microwave arms factory in Mölndal [just south of Gothenburg]. The planters came from The Church of Sweden, the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden and the Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation. They planted a vine by the fence, then climbed over and continued the planting of figtrees and vines on a green area by one of Microwave’s buildings. At the same time as a conversation between guards and planters was initiated, the vine- and figtree planting continued.
“We have read the prophet Micah’s vision that each of us should sit under his vine and his figtree, and nobody should threaten him. As Christians, we believe that the prophet’s visions are something we must begin to live here and now, and not wait passively,” says Klaus Engell. “The planting is a way to connect our Christian faith to our resistance to injustices.”

Please read my translation from a Swedish report, and take a look at the photographs published on the Swedish non-violence website,

“Everything went very calmly,” says Ulla from Denmark, one of the planters. “The planting was the beginning of a dialogue between us, the guards and the police,” Annika Spalde, deacon in Gothenburg, adds. The police arrived after a brief interval, six planters were taken into custody and one of them is still being held by the police overnight. [No info as to whether this person has now been released, or not - translator.]
“We have read the prophet Micah’s vision that each of us should sit under his vine and his figtree, and nobody should threaten him. As Christians, we believe that the prophet’s visions are something we must begin to live here and now, and not wait passively,” says Klaus Engell. “The planting is a way to connect our Christian faith to our resistance to injustices.”
“Vines and figtrees are in the Bible powerful symbols for peace, security, freedom from oppression. Through our planting, we want to begin on the transformation of this area that we think must occur, from weapons production to an enterprise that manufactures something that gives people security,” says Annika Spalde.
“This is proactive resistance – not a protest action,” says Les Gibbons from the United Kingdom. “We are not saying ‘No’ or asking our leaders to do the job for us. We want to begin on the change that we want to see and invite others to take part.”
The group consists of nine persons and works with non-violence and civil disobedience.

Contact persons: Annika Spalde, tel. 076-246 1994 (reserve: Per Herngren, tel. 070-88 77 211).

The vine & figtree planters
Annika Spalde, deacon The Church of Sweden, 36, from Gothenburg, Ulla Röder, 51, from Denmark, Pelle Strindlund, The Church of Sweden, 34, from Gothenburg, Les Gibbons, 41, from the United Kingdom, Per Herngren, Mission Covenant Church, 44, from Gothenburg, Klaus Engell, The Church of Sweden, 37, from Tidaholm.

Translated with deepest thanks to the Agency for School Improvement, whose excellent free online Swedish-English dictionary is available here:

Read the original report in Swedish here:
Sex gripna på Ericsson Microwave
Or here:

See pictures here:
Vine & Fig Tree Planting in Ericsson Microwave weaponfactory Good Friday 2006
Or here:

author by Ploughsharespublication date Mon Apr 17, 2006 01:46author address Trial-Alice Springs, Australiaauthor phone Report this post to the editors


Northern Territory chief prosecutor Paul Usher worked overtime to give 4 charged with breaking into top secret Pine Gap base near Alice Springs an unexpected Easter present.

On Easter Saturday Mr Usher emailed the four after keeping them in suspense for four months. He chose this day to let them know that Attorney General Phillip Rhodic had decided to charge them under the never before used 1952 Defence Special Undertakings Act. This law carries a penalty of seven years jail for merely trespassing on Pine Gap land, as well as 2 years jail for taking photos. The members of the group are already charged with a number of more usual charges (also carrying possible jail terms) under the Crimes Act.

The four go to court in Alice Springs on Wednesday to face a committal hearing on all the charges.
The charges all arise from the incident last December when a group of six people calling themselves Christians Against All Terrorism notified the Defence minister of their desire to inspect the Pine Gap base for terrorist activity as they believed it was being used to provide targeting information for terrorist bombing in Iraq. When the minister refused they announced their intention to inspect he base anyhow. Despite the warning and the posting of extra security at one of the most sensitive spy bases in the world, two members of the group managed to enter the base and climb on the roof of a building and take photos before being found. An hour later, in broad daylight two other group members walked through the outer restricted area right up to the high security fence and one member started cutting through it before being stopped by the security.

Group member Donna Mulhearn said, "The government and military are obviously highly embarrassed by the ability of a small group of unarmed, untrained, Christian pacifists to so easily break their security after telling them we were coming. No one can claim the decision to try to punish us severely is not a political decision coming as it does from Phillip Ruddick and not the Public Prosecutor. " "It is quite amazing and perhaps appropriate that they chose the Easter Weekend to make the decision." Donna said. "This is the time all Christians remember the crucifixion and resurrection of the Prince of Peace. We were arrested for peacemaking. We were trying to expose the criminal role of Pine Gap in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands innocent people."

Check link for background & photos of December's Pine Gap action.....

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