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How long could the protests over the Fosen wind farm in Norway last? 

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
How long could the protests over the Fosen wind farm in Norway last? 
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (3L) together with young climate protesters from the "Nature and Youth" and "Norwegian Samirs Riksforbund Nuorat" groups block the entrance of Norway's Energy Ministry to protest against wind turbines built on land traditionally used to herd reindeer, in Oslo, on February 28, 2023. - Climate activist Greta Thunberg and dozens of indigenous Sami activists expanded a protest on February 28 against contested wind turbines in Norway by blocking entrances to several government ministries. (Photo by Olivier MORIN / AFP)

Protestors in Norway, including indigenous Sami and Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, have been demonstrating against the Fosen wind farms deemed illegal by the country's Supreme Court since last week, with no end to the protests in sight. 

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Activists in Norway expanded their protest against a contested wind farms in Fosen to several other government buildings on Wednesday morning. 

Since last week, the activists have been blocking the entrances to government ministries to mark 500 days since the Norwegian Supreme Court voided building permission for wind turbines in Fosen as their construction infringed upon the human rights of indigenous Sami reindeer herders

On Wednesday, the activists blocked the entrances to the Ministry of Climate and Ministry of Business after blocking the energy and finance ministries earlier. Police later removed activists from the Ministry of Trade and Fisheries while also being requested to remove demonstrators from other government buildings.

 "We have said that we are shutting down the state of Norway, department after department. What increases the will to fight is seeing how many people join the campaign. There are people visiting from all over the country, from abroad, all over Sapmi (the Sami's traditional lands) - so there are more and more of us who stand together on this," Singer and activist Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen told public broadcaster NRK

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Protestors and the government appear to be in a stalemate. Yesterday, activists turned down the opportunity to talk with Energy Minister Terje Aasland. Instead, protestors are holding out for talks with the PM or immediate action from the government. 

"We are a bit busy now, but register that the minister is trying to entice (us with a meeting). We are not interested in hearing that he needs our help with a so-called knowledge base. He has had 505 days to follow up on the Supreme Court verdict. We have lost trust in him and demand that the prime minister clean up," Elle Nystad from the NSR-N group said. 

"I have a sincere desire to find a solution to this matter, and then it would be an advantage if we could talk together. However, I take note that the campaigners do not want dialogue," Terje Aasland told the Norwegian newswire NTB. 

Protestors themselves want to see the wind turbines pulled down. Meanwhile, the government has argued that the ruling from the Supreme Court did not say what should be done with the turbines and has said that it needs time to evaluate the best course of action for all parties. 

The government's stance on wanting to find a way the turbines and Sami people can exist, combined with the indigenous reindeer herders wanting the wind farm removed immediately due to their presence being a human rights violation, means that a quick resolution to the dispute remains unlikely.

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