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Police fear disruption at NATO military exercise

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 8 Jun 2009, 11:35

Published: 08 Jun 2009 11:35 GMT+02:00

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NATO's Response Force (NRF) will be in the northern reaches of Sweden on June 8th to begin an eight day exercise involving over 50 fighter jets and 1,000 soldiers from ten countries.

Sweden is not a member of NATO and peace activists from Germany, Finland and the UK are expected to descend on the country for demonstrations to protest against the exercise which has been given the name "Loyal Arrow."

The police force has now appealed to the armed forces for assistance in coping with the demonstrations and warned of direct action aimed at disrupting the exercise.

Police fear that the anti-militaristic activities will include bomb threats, "serious" demonstrations and sea-based direct actions targeting the British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious which will be stationed outside of Luleå during the exercise.

The Swedish non-violent anti-militaristic network Ofog, which works for a world free of nuclear weapons and militarism, declared their position in a statement on Monday.

"Just like NATO we will be in the air, on the land and in the sea. We will do everything in our power to show NATO that their business is hideous and deadly."

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The group argued that "NATO is not a defensive alliance. It is the world's largest nuclear weapons club and war machine."

While Swedish forces are not participating in Loyal Arrow the country is a designated host country and is providing logistical support including air space, airports and areas to bomb.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:34 June 8, 2009 by magic1964
Those no violent and environemental activists always make trouble and leave the scene with tones of garbage including plastic and botles........
15:58 June 8, 2009 by GefleFrequentFlyer
Peace activists are funny. They think peace keeps itself.

Thier message gets lost in thier huff.
16:37 June 8, 2009 by unkle strunkle
The world is much better off with NATO as "the world's largest nuclear weapons club and war machine" than the OIC.
18:41 June 8, 2009 by slarti
Can I just point out that the last para of the article is wrong. Sweden is taking part in the exercise (as well as hosting it) despite them not being a NATO member. So is Finland, which is also not a NATO member.
20:00 June 8, 2009 by lingonberrie
Unfortunately, this is the nature of the beast when the United States props open Pandora's Box of Strife and unleashes the dogs of war.

They have been doing this since they pillaged what is now known at the United States over 500 years ago, and they have never stopped.

This is the brutal and necessary facts of reality and life in a world dominated by war-mongers.
22:05 June 8, 2009 by slarti
Magic1964: that's just not true. We don't.

To the other comments, I don't know anyone who thinks the peace keeps itself. Peace is hard work. The only people claim to who have "easy" solutions are those who think that if we just keep killing people (preferably from a great height / a long way away so that not too many of "our" people die) then we will somehow magically have peace at the end of it.

I don't believe that peace automatically breeds peace, peace takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but I do believe that violence breeds violence and that if we want actually peace (as opposed to maintaining our current exploitation of much of the worlds resources) then we have to practice it as a first step. That means refusing to choose between a rock and a hard place, unkie strunkie, but approaching the world in a different way, with a long term view and seeking a sustainable, fair and peaceful solution to problems we face today and the problems we will face in the future
06:39 June 9, 2009 by Uncle
If I remember correctly, nobody bombed anyone from anywhere when Napoleon decided to become an Emperor and kill 10 million people in the world. Then nobody bombed Germans (twice) but they cumulatively killed around 50 million in the 20th century Europe. From the establishment of NATO people "magically" stopped dying in packs in Europe. But some forget really fast.
08:14 June 9, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
NATO is an outdated concept and should go the way of the Warsaw Pact and should be replaced by a European Military structure. The US should be told that the war is over (WW2 & Cold War), thanks for you help and now you can pack up you bases and leave Europe.

Now days the biggest treat to Europes peace and security (besides the terrorists) is NATO itself. Aggressive expansion policy has caused at least on European war (Georgia).

Of course the demise of NATO will leave Europe under powered and therefore the European countries need to increase their defence spending in areas where they have two heavily relied on the US. Europe should be able to fight unassisted something like another Balkans war.

As for the peace protestors, they should be used as target practice as their call for unilateral disarmament is so "head up their own arse"
11:20 June 9, 2009 by Nemesis
If the peace activists think that the world will be wonderful if Sweden has no military, tell them to move unarmed and unescorted to Bagdad, Gaza, Kabul or any other beacon of peace and hope, outside Europe.

As for the Swedish police. If they fear violence, tell them to step aside.

The police could not handle a couple of kids in Rosengard, which the rioters in Northern Ireland would have dealt with in seconds, for embarrassing them, by there pathetic attempt at rioting.

The police should step back. There will be enough warplanes, carriers, soldiers and tanks to deal with the demonstrators.
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