Sabotage in Norway is not unthinkable

Sabotage in Norway is not unthinkable
Sabotage in Norway is not unthinkable

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The climate crisis is in itself a major and long-term security threat. But it also brings with it some security challenges in the short term. In the past six months, three Norwegian activists have told the media that they will not rule out the use of sabotage.

The statements led to strong reactions in the climate movement, and a number of organizations moved quickly to distance themselves from sabotage and violence. Then it became quiet.

Lars Magne Hovtun (Photo: Moment Studio)

Now the question is whether there are still people in Norway who believe that sabotage is necessary in the fight against climate change, and whether they are willing to carry out sabotage actions.

This is exactly what the new feature film “How To Blow Up A Pipeline” is about. After experiencing that traditional measures fail, a group of climate activists join forces to try something completely new: A form of “kind” sabotage in the name of the climate. For example, they blow up the pipeline in a way that causes minimal oil spillage, and are very conscious that they should only damage the infrastructure – not people or animals.

When “How To Blow Up A Pipeline” premiered in the US at Easter, the FBI reportedly sent out a warning about the increased risk of terrorism.

The film premieres in Norway on Friday 26 May. The Business Security Council sees no reason to warn of an acutely increased threat of sabotage because of the film alone. You don’t become a bank robber just by watching “Heat”. But unlike “Heat” and other films, which are primarily made to entertain, the director and team behind “How To Blow Up A Pipeline” have a clear agenda. They want to influence the climate debate, and they want radical change.

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The film therefore has a sort of underlying moral theoretical framework, which is based on the Swedish activist Andreas Malm’s book of the same name as the film. This book should be read by anyone who wants to understand radical activism.

It is clear that the film is an instrument for reaching a larger audience with the ethical and moral discussions about the use of sabotage in the climate fight.

Back in Norway, there is no doubt that the three previously mentioned activists, who do not rule out sabotage, have read and discussed Malm’s book for a long time. Their argument clearly bears that mark. The film will probably help to make the idea of ​​sabotage less controversial. It will be able to create greater sympathy and increased recruitment for the radical flank of the climate movement.

In that case, this will probably happen in secret, because after the massive condemnation they received after the NRK Debate last autumn, it is unlikely that any of them have the appetite to take up new discussions in public.

It is also important to be aware that radical activists are already carrying out various forms of sabotage in several places in the world: It ranges from slashing car tires and vandalism, to shutting down oil pipelines and vandalizing industrial plants.

If there are no radical changes in climate policy, it is very likely that the activists’ frustration and desperation will only increase. Then the risk of sabotage will probably increase further – also in Norway.

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The Business Security Council’s concern is that there is now an impression among radical activists that it is possible to carry out “kind” and morally acceptable acts of sabotage. That is, a notion that it is possible to destroy infrastructure and materials without harming people, animals and the environment.

If you cut a power cable, close a valve on a pipeline, or in the worst case blow something up, the probability is extremely high that the consequences will be much greater than what you had imagined. There is no “safe” way to sabotage.

Fortunately, Norwegian climate organizations strongly distance themselves from sabotage and violence, and are very concerned about safety when they carry out legal and illegal actions. There is therefore no reason to single out anyone who engages in civil disobedience as possible saboteurs because of the statements of a few individuals.

On the contrary, we shall greatly appreciate the Norwegian climate organisations, which challenge the business world within a safe and sound framework. Because we completely agree with them that the really big security threat we face is the climate crisis, not the climate activists.(Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and/or our suppliers. We would like you to share our cases using links, which lead directly to our pages. Copying or other forms of use of all or part of the content may only take place with written permission or as permitted by law. For further terms see here.

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: Sabotage Norway unthinkable


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