1700 are on the list for civil disobedient actions for clean fjords against Mining Company Nordic Mining. Foto: Amanda Iversen Orlich / Natur og Ungdom

Ready to break the law to secure The Førde fjord

03.08.2015 av Even Olai Østvik Mjaaland

During the last two days over 250 young people from all over Norway have trained on civil disobedience actions to be used against the potential mining waste fjord disposal in the Førde fjord.

250 young people by the fjord

This week 250 young people from all over Norway are gathered in Vevring, Norway. They are gathered here, in the heart of the Norwegian fjords, to protest the plans to dump 250 million tonnes of mining waste into the pristine Førde fjord, home to several endangered species and spawning grounds for cod and salmon. For the last two days they have, in addition to skill sharing and workshops, been training on civil disobedience actions.

– We are doing this to show how far we are willing to go if the Norwegian government lets these plans go forward, and allow Norway, as one of five countries in the world, to continue letting the mining industry use the fjords as waste dumps, says Arnstein Vestre, president of Young Friends of the Earth Norway

Civil disobedience training

The youth have been training with Greenpeace and experienced activists from the Norwegian environmental movement. The training has consisted of a lecture on the principals of civil disobedience actions, followed by practical training.

– Non-violent actions have stopped environmental crime several times in the history of Norway. In 1986, we stopped a mining company from dumping mining waste into the Jøssing fjord, and in 2000 we stopped an oil exploration rig headed to the pristine islands of Lofoten. The rig never got to finish its mission, and the Norwegian government ordered it to retreat, since leaving the areas closed for oil activity. This shows that young people can make a difference in deciding their nation’s future. We are prepared to do it again if necessary, says Vestre

Mining waste is Norway’s shame

Norway is one of 5 countries allowing the mining industry to dispose of mining waste into seawater, according to the London convention. Of the other countries, Indonesia, Turkey and Papaua New Guinea are discussing or have issued a stop to new mining activity with waste disposal into the sea. In the world, Chile and Norway are the ones pressing the issue, Norway being alone in dumping waste into shallow fjords.

– Norway is not only in the band of mining waste dumping bad-guys, we are turning into the leader of the gang, and by opening for new environmental disasters, we are leading the world in the wrong direction, Vestre says

The mining company in possesion of the rights to the mine is Nordic Mining.