Friday, May 17, 2024
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Home » Norway Activists Renew Protest Against Wind Farm on Land Used by Herders

Norway Activists Renew Protest Against Wind Farm on Land Used by Herders

by Calvin Smith

Dozen of activists protested Wednesday at Norway’s parliament to express frustration over the Norwegian government’s failure to shut down a wind farm they say endangers the way of life of Sami reindeer herders.

At the center of the dispute are the 151 turbines of Europe’s largest onshore wind farm, which is located in central Norway’s Fosen district, about 450 kilometers (280 miles) north of Oslo. The activists say a transition to green energy shouldn’t come at the expense of the rights of Indigenous people.

They have demonstrated repeatedly against the wind farm’s continued operation since the Supreme Court of Norway ruled in October 2021 that the construction of the turbines had violated the rights of the Sami, who have used the land for reindeer for centuries.

”The trust of Sami in the state is at a breaking point,” activist Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen said Wednesday. “It is absurd, because the reindeer owners of Fosen won in court. The government simply does not respect the democracy.”

A group of about 20 Sami, many dressed in traditional garments, entered the parliament building and started chanting in a central hallway. Norwegian broadcaster NRK said some protesters chained themselves outside the building and hundreds had gathered on the main street leading up to Norway’s parliament, the Storting.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre has acknowledged “ongoing human rights violations” and the government has repeatedly apologized for failing to act despite the Supreme Court ruling.

Energy Minister Terje Aasland wrote Wednesday on Facebook that it was the Norwegian government’s responsibility to find a solution.

“However, the demolition of all wind turbines at Fosen now, as the protesters demand, is not relevant,” Aasland wrote. The protesters want the wind mills removed from their land.

Source: Toronto Star

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