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Swedish Ploughshares Disarm Grenade Launchers Used by U.S. Military in Iraq

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Thursday October 16, 2008 17:28author by Swedish network Ofogauthor address Sweden

Weapons used in the American led war on Iraq were successfully disarmed by a group of activists. Early this morning members of the Swedish peace network, Ofog, broke into Europe's leading weapon manufacturer BAE Systems and disarmed 20 grenade launchers of the type used in Iraq. Anna Andersson and Martin Smedjeback used hammers and bolt cutters to begin this disarmament.

At the same time, Cathrine Laskar and Pelle Strindlund went into another BAE plant in Karlskogai. Equipped with hammers and bolt cutters the activists gained access to the manufacturing halls were they found and disarmed warfare material packed in boxes marked for delivery to "US" and "New Delhi".

Annika Spalde, the firth member of the group, will hold a press conference today.

The action is the first disarmament campain in the 21st century in Sweden.

When the American led invasion of Iraq started Swedish arms export increased by 88 percent and has continued to rise. The Swedish government violates it's own policy of peace and neutrality by supplying war waging countries with arms.

-When your government supports an illegal war and sells arms to dictatorships, it's time for ordinary citizens like us to take action, says one of the disarmers, Annika Spalde

The activists left behind holes in the security fence with welcoming signs "The door is opened- you're free to start disarming."

The network Ofog works with non violent direct action against militarism and is open to everyone to join.
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more information on Swedish weapon export is available at www.avrusta.se and www.ofog.org
Videos: http://www.ofog.org/avrusta_aktionsvideo
Images: http://www.ofog.org/avrusta_bilder

Related Link: http://www.ofog.org/avrusta_bilder

Comments (10 of 10)

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author by Jailed Sweden - Plowsharespublication date Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:27author address author phone

Swedish peace activist Anna Alvine Andersson from Ofog is presently doing three months in prison for disarming 14 grenade launchers.

If you want to send her a postcard her address is
Anna Alvine Andersson
Anstalten Hinseberg
Box 1005
71892 Frövi
Sweden

author by Sentencedpublication date Wed Mar 18, 2009 09:33author address author phone

Court Sentence Activists for Disarming Grenade Launchers

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/8973

author by Göran Ytterfeld - Ofog Swedenpublication date Thu Oct 23, 2008 21:08author address author phone

Dear friends,

heartfelt thanks to all who have read and commented. I am a member of the support network for the now six (6) nonviolent civil disobedience actions the five members of the Avrusta ("Disarm") campaign of the Ofog ("Mischief") network carried out between Oct 18 and Oct 20.

First - there should be no hesitation as to how to offer support and encouragement to the group. Two of the five - youth trainer Cathrine and author Pelle - have now been held a week in solitary confinement with Sweden's UN-critisised restrictions, and are looking at another week pending trial. The other three have after repeated actions failed to get held for remand and are presently continuing the campaign from beyond the prison walls. The group can be contacted thru email addresses, phone numbers and a form at this page: http://www.ofog.org/node/1202 (To call or send SMS from outside Sweden, replace the initial 0 with +46).

It should be clear these direct actions are among the most successful in terms of destroyed firepower in the history of the Swedish peace movement. BAE Systems Bofors has admitted to at least some 50 000 euros in damages. Saab has refused to say. To the direct damages should be added increased costs for insurance, guards and of course increased global bad will.

It goes without saying that all five in the group will be affected by any and all messages you can send. Please take a moment.

Second - there should be no confusing the Ofog network with special interest, party-affiliated or ideological groups. Ofog works solely for the replacement of nuclear arms and militarism with positive societal institutions. Those who know Ofog, and Trident Ploughshares, Bomspotting and others can testify to this, remember them for their creative, joyous work style, always remembering and taking time to bring care and love into even the most depressing issues. Ofog works both through opinion building and nonviolent direct action.

Third - of course Ofog would act against all nuclear arms and militarism. It is partly a question of time. But also of priorities. We prioritise local work, because we are those best fitted to clean up our own back yard. And it is no insignificant back yard. Sweden is among the top-three per capita arms exporters in the world! Our state-of-the-art arms and weapons, from hand-held launchers to fighter jets, from IT-warfare software to submarines, prop up militarism across the globe. They are at the finger tips of cynical and genocidal imperialists in Washington as well as in the dusty halls of corrupt and ruthless generals in the developing world.

Fourth -- you are all cordially welcome to Sweden! In June 2009 or so, we hope to arrange the third annual Disarm camp, with lots of workshops, games, seminars, food, camping, demos and even more dialogue and resistance with the Swedish arms industry.

PS. Please check out our awesome videos - with English text - at: http://youtube.com/ofogsweden

Related Link: http://www.avrusta.se
author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/ Ploughsharespublication date Sun Oct 19, 2008 04:15author address author phone

The surprising thing is that we waste the energy we do on the likes of Jim, who is in when you strip it down a contray coward.

Jim does not lead the charge to the sites he suggests to you, Jim sits on his ass sharing his insights and waiting to be treated like a consultant. Jim has the modern Irish malaise of confusing being contrary with being rebelious and being cynical with being wise.

The Swedes who have acted here have a moral clarity and courage, which if made generally manifest might turn this 7 year war around.

In the last few daze. U.S. veterans of the Iraq war ptotesting the war were attacked by vicious "stay at home patriotic" cowardly cops in the U.S....that's had bad things are getting over there!

Our role now is to work out how we can offer as much solidarity as possible to these courageous Swedes in jail www.jonahhouse.org and the U.S. vets injured www.ivaw.org

Related Link: http://www.ivaw.org
author by Lara Hillpublication date Sat Oct 18, 2008 13:58author address author phone

"Could they please break into the Russian and Chinese manufacturering plants that are making the Kalashnikov rifles and RPG rocket launchers eventually purchased and used by Islamic fundementalist guerillas to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan? Or picket mosques where fundementalists are indoctrinating young Muslim men to fight jihad?"

In all my years of activism I have heard comments like the one above. Last Sunday at Shannon a man driving by in a car shouted out "Why aren't ye at the American Embassy, ye should be protesting up there!" I never cease to be amazed by all the people on the side lines ready to advise me and tell me what I should be doing. Whether I am using my finite time to dig wasteland and grow vegetables, to stand at a vigil for Ken Saro Wiwa outside Shell Head Quarters, to protest at Shannon, to march down O'Connell Street on some peace demonstration or any action whatsoever, there are no shortage of people telling me what other action I should be doing. What I say to Jim and all the people shouting advice is that my time as an activist is limited. No doubt the time of these brave Swedish activists is also limited. I earn an income, do my laundry, grow my own food, cook my dinner from scratch, spend time with my loved ones, volunteer at the food co-op. Yet when I can, in the time that remains at weekends and in the evening I try and take action to make the world a better place. So to Jim and to all the side line advisers, I say " Do It Yourself"!

author by Mike Novackpublication date Fri Oct 17, 2008 17:49author address author phone

Jim - Lemuel

Lemuel, I think Jim realizes that you can't just go do an action AT a Russian or Chinese or .... armsmaker. But you need to be careful being snide in response because Jim has a somewhat valid point --- are you doing ANYTHING to make it perfectly clear that you aren't just opposed to certain "Western" arms makers? Have you considered what you COULD do as well as eliminating what is impractical?

As things stand the actions are certainly open to misinterpretation, especially if many/most of the activists are folks of the "left" without absolutely clear long standing "peace" credentials. In other words, when Quakers or Catholic Workers or ......... do one of these actions there isn't the doubt raised, they WOULD go after other arms makers if present.

Personally, I think a few banners might satisfy Jim (since anything except verbal protest impratcial against arms manufacturers that are remote). But you should be doing SOMETHING.

author by Lemuel Gulliver IVpublication date Fri Oct 17, 2008 13:10author address author phone


Jim, I can't promise any decommissioning actions, but if you can provide the addresses of Chinese and Russian arms manufacturers in Ireland, I will speak to some politicians about having them shut down. It there are any in Derry, I will ask members of the Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign to organise a march from Raytheon to the other two factories, maybe spray a black shamrock on the road outside each one, etc.

author by Jimpublication date Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:53author address author phone

Could they please break into the Russian and Chinese manufacturering plants that are making the Kalashnikov rifles and RPG rocket launchers eventually purchased and used by Islamic fundementalist guerillas to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan? Or picket mosques where fundementalists are indoctrinating young Muslim men to fight jihad?

author by lulupublication date Thu Oct 16, 2008 18:50author address author phone

Courageous & admirable work; keep on with waking people up.

author by updated 5th. arrestedpublication date Thu Oct 16, 2008 18:12author address author phone

20 Carl Gustaf antitank launchers and other armaments were damaged Thursday as Swedish peace activists broke into plants belonging to BAE Systems and Saab in Sweden. In two simultaneous non-violent actions, four activists hammered on arms bound for export to among others the US, UK and India.

Two activists entered the Saab Bofors Dynamics production unit in Eskilstuna, near Stockholm, Sweden, at 00.30 am on Thursday morning. They hammered and scratched 20 Carl Gustaf launchers, one of the most widespread weapons of the world, before they alerted police of their presence inside the supposedly high-security establishment.

Simultaneously, two other activists entered the BAE Systems plant in Karlskoga, Sweden, in the Western part of the Nordic country. At 2.36 am, they forced open a door to an assembly building and proceeded to damage parts for the Howitzer 77 and the Archer, a high-precision grenade used in the illegal war and occupation of Iraq.

"When your government supports an illegal war and sells arms to dictatorships, it's time for ordinary citizens like us to take action," said Annika Spalde, a deacon in the Swedish church and the fifth member of the group. On Thursday noon she held a press conference in Karlskoga and was also arrested upon attempting to enter arms manufacturing facilities there which previously belonged to famous Swedish Bofors.

The action is the first disarmament campain in the 21st century in Sweden. When the American led invasion of Iraq started Swedish arms export increased by 88 percent and has continued to rise. The Swedish government violates it's own policy of peace and neutrality by supplying war waging countries with arms.

The activists left behind holes in the security fence with welcoming signs "The door is opened- you' re free to start disarming."

The Swedish peace group Ofog works with non violent direct action against militarism.

For images, video and text resources, as well as links to Swedish news media, see www.avrusta.se and www.ofog.org Spokesperson for Ofog- Maja Backlund, telephone +46-733-815361 mail backlund_maja@hotmail.com


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