Friday, November 14, 2008

Three months for Swedish disarmament activists

From: Joel Kilgour <>

Fri, Nov 14, 2008




Below is an update on the Swedish Avrusta action. I heard from one of the disarmers... he's in good spirits & a bit surprised by the short sentence.


- Joel Kilgour


P.S. BAE = British Aerospace, which bought out the Swedish arms merchant Bofors a few years ago. The wordy "crime against the law of protection of establishments important for the society" (a direct

translation) applies to government or military-related sites. There is no general trespass law in Sweden.



From: "Pelle Strindlund" <>

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 14:14:58 +0100


Three months in prison


Press release November 13, 2008


The sentence for the two BAE disarmers came the 12th of November: three months in prison and 20 000 Euros in damages for "Criminal damage" and "Crime against the law of protection of establishments

important for the society.”


Cathrine Laska and Pelle Strindlund spent almost three weeks in custody before the trial which was held the 5th of November at Karlskoga district court. The court room was quickly filled by around 20 supporters of the accused and by the press. The trial was over in less than three hours. The only witness called was Leif Gren, security director of BAE Systems Bofors. He said that BAE had lowered the

assessment of the damages from 50 000 to 20 000 Euros because they were able to repair some of the weapons parts the the activist had worked on. Earlier in interviews he admitted that the non-violent

action disturbed their production and relationships with clients and that "this will have an effect on our deliveries."


Before the trial Cathrine Laska said: "We stand accused of criminal damage, but we intend to show in the trial that it is BAE Systems Bofors who should be accused of criminal damage in India and Iraq. The

weapons exports from Karlskoga fuel the armed conflict between India and Pakistan and helps the US kill Iraqis.”


In the early hours of October 16 2008, Laska and Strindlund cut open a fence at the Bofors industrial area in central Karlskoga, a town some 240 kilometers from the Swedish capital of Stockholm and ancestral home to the Nobel and Bofors industries. The activists broke into an assembly hall belonging to BAE Systems Bofors, Europe's biggest weapons producer. They proceeded to scratch and dent parts of the Howitzer 77, currently under export to India, and the state-of-the-art Archer artillery system, not yet exported to any conflict area. At the same time, Andersson and Smedjeback, broke into a Saab plant in Eskilstuna, some 110 kilometers from Stockholm, and rendered about 20 Carl Gustaf recoilless rifles useless. They still await a court date.


"Three months in prison. I think about the people who are killed and maimed by Swedish weapons in Kashmir and Iraq and realize that I am very fortunate," says Pelle Strindlund, author from Sundsvall.


For more information:


Catherine Laska, +46-735-618 342 and Pelle Strindlund, +46-735-813 926

(the campaign Avrusta)

Karlskoga district court +46-586 - 67400


The campaign Avrusta has been under preparation for more than a year and is supported inter alia by prominent historian Howard Zinn and legal expert Francis Boyle.


The Swedish network Ofog ("mischief") has been working against nuclear weapons and militarization, using inter alia civil disobedience, since 2002.



Frank Cordaro

Phil Berrigan CW House

713 Indiana Avenue, Des Moines, IA  50314

(515) 282-4781


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