Friday, May 25, 2007

You are wanted for civil disobedience in Sweden

Welcome to plant vines and fig trees

on the premises of the weapon factory Microwave

with civil disobedience, nonviolence training, swimming and walking in beautiful nature

Gothenburg, Sweden 4-9 August 2007

 “ Every man and woman will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree,
 and no one will make them afraid” - Micah 4:4

Non violence for a world where people can live in safety
Together with you we would like to plant a garden where people can live in safety. We want to build the world that the prophet Micah speaks of (Micah 4:4); where vines and fig trees give shelter, food and drink. Where everyone can sit in safety under their vine and where oppression is no more. This is a part of ”the Vine and Fig Tree Planters”, which started in 2005 and has planted in Holland, England and Sweden.

Non violence training and planting

We will start on August 4 with two days of nonviolence training. We will practice and plan in friend groups. A friend group consists both of support persons and of those who will conduct acts of civil disobedience. The group will be a support during action, trial and sentence.

After the training we will start laying a vine- and fig tree garden on the premises of Saab Microwave in Mölndal (close to Gothenburg), Sweden, who makes radar systems for weapons. This will be done as a proactive action, where we initiate constructive change without using negative messages of protest. All our actions are conducted in the spirit of nonviolence: we take responsibility for our actions and we treat everyone with respect. 

Civil disobedience means a breach of the law in a spirit of sincerity and nonviolence where we take the consequences of our actions.

We will also have time for prayer, reflection and conversation. We plan to reflect on nonviolence as a liberation theology for the rich part of the world, with the book “I vänliga rebellers sällskap” by Annika Spalde and Pelle Strindlund as a point of departure.

After the civil disobedience action we will have time for stillness and meditation, as well as time to reflect on our actions and on how we can support each other during trial and sentence.

Lodging will be arranged in Rosa Huset, which is accessible for wheelchairs. Rosa Huset is situated close to a beautiful nature area in Gothenburg, Sweden, with swimming possibilities in a lake. Vegetarian/vegan will be served.

Expected personal consequences of the planting are a fine or a short prison sentence, as well as reparations. In case of prison sentence you’ll automatically get a leave from your work without using your vacation, according to Swedish law. The employer is not allowed to fire you because of your sentence.


Fellowship of Reconciliation Gothenburg, Black Smith Fellowship of Reconciliation, The Fig Tree Resistance Community – Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, Speak Civil Disobedience & Nonviolence.

Registration and/or questions

or call Jonas at +46 735 97 09 58. Registration latest by 1 July, 2007

Mention address, telephone, e-mail and special requests regarding food or lodging. 

Transfer at the same time the registration fee to bank account: 9020 41 413 99 (9020 is clearingnumber), name of bank: Länsförsäkringar, Sweden. Mention your name.

The registration fee is at cost price and is 1200 SEK for employed and 900 SEK for students, unemployed and retired. The fee includes lodging and food for six days, as well as action costs. If you engage in the preparation of the event, you will get a reduction of the fee. Contact us!


Gathering and breakfast at Rosa Huset, Gothenburg @ 9.00 AM, Saturday 4 August 2007. Non-violence training and the creation of friend groups: Saturday 4 August and Sunday 5 August. During the week we will also have time for reflection, swimming and walking in beautiful scenery. Support and trial preparations: Thursday 9 August. End: 4.00 PM, Thursday 9 August


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The difference between postprotest and positive resistance

For analytical reasons, I think it is important to see the difference between positive resistance and postprotest resistance. At the Disarmament Camps 92, 93 and 95 in Sweden, we had a rule against all protests and negative messages, which we felt made the resistance camps more constructive and attractive for both locals and the workers from the fighter-bomber company. But it wasn't until the Vine & Fig Tree plantings 2005; the Swedish plowshares started to experiment with a more consistent postprotest/proactive approach.

The narrative and symbolic strength of proactive/postprotest resistance, from what I understand, is that one is directly solving the problem (for a moment, or in a specific place, or by disarming a few weapons, or by dismantling some machines). The focus for proactive resistance would be: How do we solve the problem (at least for a moment)? This is actually the same technique they would teach in creative writing for writing a good book: Show, don’t tell!

Positive resistance, on the other hand, is not actually solving a problem, it is promoting a solution. It doesn’t show us what it wants, it tells us. Then positive resistance is indirect like the negative protest (which is being against something). The focus for positive resistance, which also makes it different from negative protest, would be: How do we as clearly as possible articulate our visions for a better world?

Postprotest doesn't contradict the positive approach; we are not constructing a dichotomy; it is more of an analytical distinction. Postprotest/proactive resistance includes the positive message, but positive resistance doesn't have to include the proactive part: be “doing the solution”.

Ok, this is a quick reflection which helps me understand the dynamics of resistance.

Per Herngren

First published May 15, 2007, at Resistance Studies

Monday, May 14, 2007

How we should prioritize resistance

This map shows where the nonviolent movement should escalate civil disobedience. The size of a territory shows how much that country spends on war, weapons and soldiers.

Military Spending
Mapped here is state military spending. This covers the costs of military personnel, including recruitment and training, supplies, weapons and equipment, and construction. Also included is spending on military assistance to other territories.

In 2002 state military spending was estimated at US$789 billion worldwide. In 2002 the United States was the largest military spender, spending almost 9 times more than the second biggest spender, Japan. In that year the United States spent US$353 billion; 45% of all state military spending worldwide.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Play about Carl Kabat - 15 years in prison

Something about father Carl Kabat who spent 15 years in prison for different plowshares actions. And watch a video about the play that is about him.