Image credit: Neptune Network
From Climate Camp targeting offset companies, to a renegade protester single-handedly shutting down an entire power plant, the TreeHugger has seen some pretty dramatic direct action protests. But when activists in Norway decided to stop an 80-ton freight train in the far-North of Norway, they chose an interesting tool for doing it - the diminutive 2-seater Buddy electric car. Richard over at Electric Aid reports that the blockade of Sydvaranger Mines in Kirkenes, Norway was orchestrated by Norwegian activist group the Neptune Network after it was revealed that the mine was illegally releasing a toxic chemical called Magnafloc LT37 into a nearby salmon-fjord.
Watching the video of the incident, one can assume that the Neptune Network was not expecting heavy resistance to its efforts. Whether not the blockade was successful remains a little unclear at this stage—my rudimentary understanding of Norwegian tells me that the blockade of Sydvaranger Mines has been called off, and that discussions are ongoing both with the mine owners and the Climate and Pollution Control Directorate (KLIF) to ensure that the company follows the necessary permits.
It's certainly an innovative method of protest, and one that manages to both draw attention to the specific problem at hand, and also points a finger to one part of the solution to the myriad of environmental crises we face. I'm not sure the tactic would work everywhere—it wouldn't take many police officers, or mine workers, to move a car that size (read more about the Norwegian-produced Buddy here). But it looks like in this part of Norway at least they manage to handle such matters with civility and restraint from all sides.