War starts here – about Northern Sweden as a training ground for war
The vast unpopulated areas in Northern Sweden are increasingly used for war preparation and trainings. North European Aerospace Testrange (NEAT) is Europe’s largest overland test range and consists of an area 360 by 100 km of restricted air space and 1,650 sq km of restricted land area (expandable to 3,000sq km). It is a cooperation of the Swedish organisations FMV (the Swedish Defence Material Administration) and SSC (the Swedish Space Corporation). NEAT is used as a training area for bomb dropping, for testing drones and AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile), which could be carried by drones, and for other weapon testing and war exercises. This summer the U.S. Air Force used the area for a bomb dropping exercise and last summer NATO used it for their largest air exercise that year.
Ofog actions against US bomb training
During two weeks in early August this summer, 20 fighter aircrafts and 250 soldiers from the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) came to Northern Sweden to practise bomb dropping and to do a joint air exercise with the Swedish Air Force. Antimilitaristic direct action network Ofog organised an action camp to highlight the fact that Northern Sweden is used as a training and preparation area for war and to disturb the bombing exercise.
In the city of Luleå, Ofog held speeches, performed street theatre and visualised alternatives to military exercises, Direct actions took place at the military airport F21 outside of Luleå, where Ofog activists protested at the entrance as smaller actiongroups went into the airport where bombplanes arrived. Groups of Ofog activists also entered on to the area of Vidsel which is used for bomb training, where the activists went into the area to prevent the bomb training with their presence on the ground.
To view pictures from the action camp and the actions visit Ofog at Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ofog
Read more about Ofog's direct actions at http://www.ofog.org/war-starts-here-action-camp-against-us-air-force-bo…
Welcome to an International action camp in 2011
Sweden, widely known for its neutrality and as a 'voice of peace', has managed well in hiding the truth: increasing participation in war on all levels and silencing voices that differ. People in Sweden need to wake up, and we are the wake-up-call. We won't be fooled or passified and we can set an example. Together we're able to show people in European countries that these are not internal but international matters that we need to deal with all of us. We can not leave it up to our goverments and those in power to make the decisions, they are the ones who wage war and prepare for it.
The military exercise areas in Northern Sweden are used permanently all the year around for weapon testing, bomb dropping exercises, drones testing and training, and other kinds of military exercises. Wars fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, among other places, are prepared and trained for here, which means we have a possibility to stop them here! Therefore we meet next summer in Northern Sweden for an international action camp against the war exercise areas. The camp will include a seminar on NATO and US military bases and a mass action against the area of NEAT.
We are very much looking forward to see you all next summer. This is a great chance to make a direct impact on the largest training ground for war in Europe and also an opportunity to meet as organisations and activists to exchange experiences and knowledge and to coordinate our resistance and solidate our future plans.
For more information contact Ofog:
+46 (0)733 815361
Website on next summer's action camp: http://www.warstartshere.com