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Police break up Norway wind farm protest by indigenous activists and Greta Thunberg

AFP
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Police break up Norway wind farm protest by indigenous activists and Greta Thunberg
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) joins young climate protesters from the "Nature and Youth" and "Norwegian Samirs Riksforbund Nuorat" groups as they 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)

Activist Greta Thunberg and indigenous Sami activists were forcibly removed by police Wednesday as they blocked access to Norwegian ministries in protest over wind turbines on reindeer herding land.

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Police started to break up the demonstrations by physically carrying away members of the group, who were protesting against the use of wind turbines on reindeer herding land in the Fosen region of western Norway.

Thunberg was carried off by two police officers while she was blocking a door at the finance ministry, according to footage on Norwegian television.

The turbines are still in operation despite a landmark ruling more than a year ago by the Norwegian Supreme Court that the project violated the right of Sami families to practise their culture of reindeer husbandry.

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The protest began last Thursday when a handful of Sami activists, dressed in their traditional blue and red costume, occupied the entrance hall of the energy ministry.

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

A growing number of activists then began blocking access to other ministries this week, gradually expanding to more official buildings. They were joined by Sweden's Greta Thunberg on Sunday.

"This fight is important because it is about human rights being violated," she told broadcaster TV2.

An indigenous minority of around 100,000 people spread over the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, the Sami have traditionally lived off reindeer herding and fishing.

Norway's highest court unanimously ruled that the expropriation and operating permits for the construction of the 151 turbines were invalid.

However, it gave no guidance on what should be done with the turbines, which were already in operation.

The Norwegian authorities have so far held off taking action and ordered further assessments, hoping to find a way that the turbines and Sami people can coexist.

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