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Activists arrested during NATO exercise

TT/David Landes · 10 Jun 2009, 10:58

Published: 10 Jun 2009 10:58 GMT+02:00

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Police say those arrested are between 21- and 27-years-old and include four men and one women, reports the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Ofog, a network of peace activists committed to demilitarization, confirmed in a statement that at least four of its members had gained access to a bombing range near the Vidsel Air Base in Norrbotten.

The base is one of two Swedish bases involved in Loyal Arrow, a NATO-led military exercise involving forces and equipment from ten countries, including Sweden.

“Yes, it was members of Ofog who were in the area,” said Ofog member Kajsa Sjöblom to the TT news agency.

“And we have new groups on the way to the area.”

The point of the Ofog action was “to stop the preparation of war crimes” and “prevent NATO from bombing the area further”, the group said in a statement.

After the Ofog activists had entered the bombing range, the group informed officials at the Vidsel base that civilians were in the area and that bombing exercises should be halted as a result.

According to Ofog, the activists were in the restricted area for five hours before being apprehended by security guards at the base and handed over to police.

Story continues below…

“They are on their way to Luleå for questioning. We don’t know any more at this time,” said Norbotten police spokesperson Ulf Suup to TT.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:22 June 10, 2009 by hpunlimited
Not sure why some people are against the protection of Europe, maybe they want it to be easier for Russia to invade Sweden? If that is the case then it is treason,

which is a very serious offence. In wartime Treason = firing squad.
12:15 June 10, 2009 by slarti
Can we please stop assuming that anyone who criticises NATO must be in league with Russia and move beyond the 1980s?

NATO is not training to keep NATO out of Sweden this week. They are training to bomb poor/arab/awkward/oil-rich/"other" countries back to the stone age. The modern NATO tactics, especially with aerial operations (the focus of this exercise) is to drop a lot of bombs from a long way away in order to ensure no western pilots get killed and damn the consequences for the local population.

NATO is a military alliance in search of a role in the world. The only way a military alliance creates work for itself is by being aggressive, not defensive.
15:15 June 10, 2009 by Grippen
It takes two to tango.

That is, if one has a feeling of superiority of being "moved beyond 1980s pacifist", that does not imply that Russia feels the same way. Russia is serious military power which should not be ignored. And, mind you, russian tanks have rolling and killing people in Georgia last year, not in 1980s. In 1991 they did same just across Baltic sea - in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

And speaking about pilots - they could just as easily safely train in many other countries, but during this exercise they learn how to protect specifically Sweden.
15:59 June 10, 2009 by hpunlimited
I have to agree with Grippen here. If you live in Scandinavia then Russia is a constant threat. Even though we are not a NATO country, Norway certainly are and NATO will protect Sweden even though we are not full members and only Partnership In Peace members. Russia currently holds Karelia which is Finnish territory and could easily roll into both Finland, Sweden and Norway very quickly since St.Petersburg is just a stonethrow away from us.

We are in serious needs of having NATO as an ally. These treasonous "treehuggers" needs to focus on something else.
16:30 June 10, 2009 by sebseb
Quite easy to recognize Americans here. Quite funny guys, still fearing Russia while the rest of the world actually fear the USA for demencia. LOL
16:38 June 10, 2009 by Brugge
Yeah, Sweden is really afraid of a massive American invasion, I'm sure.
17:02 June 10, 2009 by mkvgtired
"committed to demilitarization". We should drop them off in North Korea and they can lecture Kim Jong-il on demilitarization. They can work next to the reporters that worked for Al Gore. Slarti, those countries are already in the stone age. Even the wealthy ones still are at heart and in policy. One exception: Bahrain and to a lesser extent UAE. They realized they gave people too many freedoms and are working on taking them away as we speak. Sebseb, if you believe it is more likely America will attack Europe before Russia I think you are the one who should be checked for dementia.
18:47 June 10, 2009 by Grippen
sebseb - whom are you considering americans?

FYI I am Lithuanian :)
20:26 June 10, 2009 by Lars J
I am very sceptic of NATO after their unprovoced aggression against Yugoslavia in 1999. After the Hague tribunal proved that the Racak "massacre" was staged I became even more sceptic. They used the Racak false flag as reason to start bombing Yugoslavia. Just as they used "weapons of mass destruction" as reason for invading Iraq. And just as they used the 9/11 attacks as reason to invade Afghanistan.

Why should Sweden join an organisation that doesn't even have a reason to exist after the fall of the Berlin Wall? They have to stage events to provide them with reasons and keep the military industrial complex rolling.
23:12 June 10, 2009 by Nemesis
If there beliefs are so srong, why are they not in Afghanisatan, Iraq, Somalia or North Korea, telling people to live in peace, plant daisy's and live happily ever after.

teh reason is they know the moment they get of a plane they would be shot or put in a mental institution.

In Sweden they will be treated like heroes, where'as they should be sent to a psychiatrist for trying to go into a live fire zone.
23:20 June 10, 2009 by Kaethar
So true.
00:36 June 11, 2009 by Kibiri
How Racak was proved to be false again?

Also it wasnt Nato, it was USA and its minions that invaded Iraq.

I personally am not a NATO fan and Sweden joining would just piss off the Russians without any real benefit. Selling arms seems going pretty well (except the gripen failure to be) so why join.
17:54 June 12, 2009 by spy

I am NOT American and I fear Russia more that the US. I also think that Obama has made great strides in reaching out to those nations who have previously felt alienated. In recent months the US foreign policy has taken an upward curve and I feel that the administration is easier to predict than that of Russia.

Lars J

I was in the British military in the former Yugoslavia (in Bosnia) and served under both the UN and Nato flags. The UN had no real mandate and we could not intervene to protect citizens who were being slaughtered (literally). Under a NATO mandate that changed, thankfully. A good measure as to how successful a campaign was is to speak to the civilians - I know many Bosnians and the vast majority were affected by the war - all (that I know) were grateful of international intervention.
19:02 July 6, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Nato should go the same way a the Warsaw pact, it is not needed.

Europe should put together a European military structure that will make them capable of doing much of what Nato does now but without the need of the US.

The US is the country to fear (although much less now the the idiot Pres is gone).

With Nato gone and and the "old enemy" no longer in their backyard, Russia will not feel the need to remind everyone that they still have a powerful military like they did in Georgia.
20:09 July 6, 2009 by Kaethar
Close enough. The UK is closer to the US than you are to the rest of Europe.

Both Russia and the US are power-hungry but I find Russia to be far more diplomatic and tolerant than the US. Unlike the US Russia is not known for attacking people merely for disagreeing with them.
20:17 July 6, 2009 by jack sprat
[quote name='Kaethar' Russia is not known for attacking people merely for disagreeing with them. [/quote]I can only presume you are recently arrived from another planet...
20:20 July 6, 2009 by CTIDinÅrsta
Hmmm, what was the name of that Ray Charles song?...

Ah yes, Georgia on my mind.
20:39 July 6, 2009 by Kaethar
Ad hominem.

Hmm? Yes, that's one example of Russia playing world police (at least it was with a neighbour). Want me to start listing the American examples? It's a very long list, to be sure. I think I'll start with Iraq.
20:43 July 6, 2009 by CTIDinÅrsta
I'll see your Iraq and raise an Afghanistan.
20:54 July 6, 2009 by jack sprat
Plus the various Soviet Bloc prisoner/hostage countries where many innocent civilians were crushed,shot and peresecuted just for requesting their rightful freedom and independance.

Yes,they sound really nice and friendy,I dont think!
21:02 July 6, 2009 by BillyB
why did they waste time and money arresting them?

their own choice to enter the exercise area.

if they are dumb enough to do it then its their tough luck if they get hurt

plus surely these moving targets would have proven to be great practice?
01:18 July 7, 2009 by Kaethar
The Soviets helped the Afghani government with their fight against the rebels at the government's request. It was the US who suddenly got involved in the war fighting against the government. In an ideal world neither the Russians nor the Americans would have been there and Afghanis would have solved their own internal problems. But the world is how it is. I have a greater respect for the party defending the government than the ones trying to topple the government though... And yes, you can go on a rant about how "the people did not choose the government." True, but they didn't choose the earlier government either. Afghanistan is not a democracy. It was arrogance on the US's part to enter the war simply because they disagreed with the vision of the current government.

I could say the same about the US...

But this is rather irrelevant - what we're discussing now is foreign policy (and no one actually has it as a foreign policy to torture and persecute people). Human rights abuses should be dealt with through international channels. Preferably something like the UN (although they need more power) or possibly an EU-power along with other regional powers.

This is not what this is about. This is about the US's foreign policy and their view that there is their way or the highway. How many governments have US-led forces toppled because they disagree with their views? How many assassinations have they been behind? I believe this arrogance stems from the US constitution and the fact that the US state was created based on an idea. I find Russia to be power-hungry, yes, but they are far more tolerant of different cultures, differing value systems, and differing political opinions than the US is.

What does friendliness have to do with this?
19:21 July 7, 2009 by jack sprat
What on earth are you rambling on about Kaether?

Has anyone in the recent posts inferred that the US is blameless?

YOU raised the point that Russia is not known for attacking people.

The previous posts listing various occasions that they have, clearly shows that you dont even have a clue what you are talking about.

Wonder also if you ever heard of a little country called Chechnya.

Possibly not, just recently,...as the whole country and most of its people were almost wiped off the face of the earth, by your non-attacking Russkies in one of the worst atrocities since Hitler and Stalin were on the loose.

Trust the Russians?...I think not.

I'd sooner trust my balls to a Baracuda!
23:04 July 7, 2009 by Nomark
Wow, I didn't know NATO wasn't needed - I must have been walking around with my eyes closed. Can you tell me when Russia removed all of its nuclear weapons ? Were the western allies mistaken when they reported that Russian war planes have stated to buzz western air space again ? I know its already been mentioned, but its worth repeating that the Chechnya and Georgia wars remind us that the Russians aren't always the friendliest of neighbours. Ditto the cyber attacks on Estonia.

As for Nato, why shouldn't a group of Western democracies which have been bound in a successful mutual assistance treaty carry on in this vein ? It ensures that competition takes place only in the economic sphere.

I know its fashionable to hate America but this really is a rather short sighted attitude. Furthermore, its a little unfair since the critics judge the USA against standards which are ridiculously high in comparison to the way they judge every other nation on earth (or in history).

America and NATO have played a large role in ensuring that we in the west (including the Swedes) have enjoyed the longest period of uninterrupted peace and prosperity in modern times. It may be unfashionable to acknowledge this but its nevertheless true and we shouldn't take it for granted.
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