Summer of 2012, attention was drawn to the protests against mining on the island Gotland – near Stockholm -, where a large number of people protected the Ojnare forest with their bodies. The summer of 2013, protests against another mining project started on site in Gállok (Kallak) , Jokkmokk– which is traditional Sámi territory and reindeer grazing lands. Protesters from Ojnare came to support the local Sámi reindeer herders as well as other local Sámi and non-Sámi inhabitants who had fought without much success through legal procedures and manifestations. Since then the protests have continued, in different forms and different actions. It is likely that more protests will take place, as the current mineral policies in Sweden (as well as Norway and Finland) is challenged by an increasing number of organizations.
The common denominator of Ojnare and Gállok is a struggle for the protection of lands and water against destructive mining exploitations and also are intimately linked through its actors involved. The case of Gállok also continues a tradition of Sámi agency and resistance against colonization. This tradition has come to the forefront in different ways, where rebellions form one important part of Sámi history and memory. I will discuss the Kautokeino rebellion in 1852, via the protests against hydropower exploitation in Alta in the 1970s and 80s, to Gállok. I argue that these rebellions – where civil disobedience is an important ingredient – is a strategy for the creation of ‘human security’ and enables the vision of sustainable futures in Sábme – the land of Sámi.
Seminar on Cultural Resilience and Human Rights - Perspectives of Northern Indigenous Peoples