Dual Disarmament in Sweden Billed at €70k
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, on the 4th of November (2010) got what will probably be its final sentence from the courts.
A local judge in Eskilstuna town, where the € 2 645 bln arms and aerospace corporation Saab AB is headquartered, ordered peaceniks Anna Andersson, 28, and Martin Smedjeback, 37, to return the arms giant expenses equivalent to € 50 586 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 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
"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.
For interviews, contact Martin Smedjeback, +46-70-2579097,
email@example.com and Anna Andersson (at Hinseberg correctional
facility, call the guard at +46-581-79 78 10, office hours, and ask for
her to call back).