Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dual disarmament in Sweden - final verdict

Press release 5th of November 2010

Historic peace action received final verdict yesterday

The striking double disarmament action in Sweden on Oct 16, 2008, when 12 grenade launchers and parts to 9 howitzers at two different facilities were damaged beyond repair, yesterday got what will probably be its final sentence from the courts.

A local judge in Eskilstuna town, where the € 2 645 (£250bn) arms and aerospace corporation Saab AB is headquartered, ordered yesterday peaceniks Anna Andersson, 28, and Martin Smedjeback, 37, to return the arms giant expenses equivalent to € 50 586 (£4,720) in costs interred in one of the nightly civil disobedience acts two years ago.

The couple, who say they took action to prevent the greater evil of the transfer of arms to the US military, which would employ them in the carnage in Iraq, have earlier been sentenced to four months imprisonment.

"I regret our court was not yet ready to rule on the level of its counterparts in Ireland, England and Germany, who have all vindicated peace activists following disarmament and ploughshares actions," said Martin Smedjeback, a nonviolence consultant since many years.

Smedjeback's and Andersson's co-activists Catherine Laska and Pelle Strindlund received a   20 682  (£2,000) in reparations and one of them served three months in jail for their act against a Saab Bofors and British Aerospace
enterprise, where they broke in and damaged inter alia nine howitzer coolers, bound for India.

The peace campaigners of the Disarm effort all refuse to pay the damages, instead calling it a reminder of Western privilege that they despite such arrears will continue to lead lives of relatively high standard. They intend to continue their nonviolent struggle against war profiteers.

"Arms made in Sweden cause wanton destruction overseas, hence it is the manufacturers who ought to be paying repairs," said Anna Andersson, a web designer, in a comment from her prison cell.

This coming summer, a multinational peace action camp will be held at an aerospace test range in northernmost Sweden, where Nato and Israeli military aircraft test weapons and systems.

Interview Anna Andersson in prison (Call Hinseberg correctional
facility, +46-581-79 78 10, office hours, and ask for her to call back.

Contact Martin Smedjeback, +46-70-2579097,
smedjeback(-at-) and

See also: - all the press releases from the disarm campaign - an action camp in July 2011 against training grounds for war in northern Sweden. - The Disarm ("Avrusta") campaign was launched in September of 2008 and has been condoned by i.a. the Arch Reverend Desmond Tutu, Howard Zinn and Francis Boyle. - The Anti-Militarist Network Mischief ("Ofog"), has been working against nuclear arms and militarism, thru civil disobedience and peaceful direct action, since 2002.