Friday, September 01, 2006

International easterplanting of vines and fig trees at Ericsson arms factory in Sweden

Translated by Coilín ÓhAiseadha, Indymedia Ireland,   See pictures.

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 fig trees 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 fig tree planting continued.

“We have read the prophet Micah’s vision that each of us should sit under his vine and his fig tree, and nobody should threaten him or her. 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-Nielsen. “The planting is a way to connect our Christian faith to our resistance to injustices.”

“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 was still being held by the police overnight.

“Vines and fig trees 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 person: Annika Spalde, tel. +46 (0)76-246 1994 (or Per Herngren, tel. +46 (0)70-88 77 211).

The vine & fig tree 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-Nielsen, The Church of Sweden, 37, from Tidaholm.

Read the original press release in Swedish.

See pictures.



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