Press release June 26 2008
Ploughshares action in Sweden
With blacksmith hammers, Ulla Røder and Per Herngren disarmed a military radar and parts of the Test Range at SAAB Microwaves in Sweden, Tuesday June 24 and Thursday June 26, 2008.
The Ploughshares group calling themselves, SAAB Microwave Becoming2 Ploughshares were arrested inside SAAB Microwave after half an hour. Beside the disarmament they also planted figs and talked with workers and guards.
The word of the prophet Micah makes us move, explains Ulla Røder. We beat swords into ploughshares. We do not protest against the missile firing system of SAAB Microwave or the military radar system. We choose to drop the protest as it becomes reactive and negative. The time has come to intervene and become creative.
See the side bar for the words of Micah.
We do have the ability of direct intervention, Ulla Røder believes. It becomes a duty when there are violence and suffering in the world. We use nonviolence. Contrary to my friend Per, I do not believe that we are practicing civil disobedience, but rather upholding international law. It is SAAB Microwave which breaks the law delivering the missile firing system used during the war in Iraq.
Becoming2 (like a mathematical ‘becoming-squared’) in the middle of our name might look strange, says Per Herngren. During the ploughshares action, we worked together with Deleuze philosophers from Gothenburg University in Sweden. We were during one day plugged into each other. Together we examined how resistance and Deleuzes philosophy will intensify each other. Deleuze highlights the double becoming rather than being: To become becoming, rather than to become something. To produce production rather than isolated actions! Resistance and philosophy are ongoing processes giving no final result. Deleuze forces us in the ploughshares to avoid thinking in “means and ends”, or the Big Action. An action are not the destination, but rather where we get on the train. For Deleuze resistance is about movement, speed, rest, slowness and intensity.
Contact and information
Innovation 1: Use the fence to make a ladder with a few sticks!
Innovation 2: Ulla and Per used Pelle Strindlund’s innovation from 2006, cardboard for the barbed wire. Fold it and stick it to the barbs.
Innovation 3: Since their first disarmament 1980 the ploughshares learned to use blacksmith- or metal hammers. Not carpentry hammers, they break too easily.
In custody by the guard waiting for the police to arrive, and Sudan customers waiting to get into the factory.
Beating swords into ploughshares
“they will hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they train for war. Each of them will sit under his vine And under his fig tree, With no one to make them afraid”, Micah 4:3-4
This quote is found in the text traditions from Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
Ulla Røder, 53, from Denmark, disarmed a test laboratory for the nuclear submarine Trident system at Loch Goil, Scotland in 1999 together with the Trident Three Ploughshares group. They won the trial. In the week before the war on Iraq in 2003 Ulla Røder disarmed a Tornado jet going to be used for the attack in Iraq. Ulla has spent more than a year in jail for these actions and other non-violent direct actions.
Per Herngren served 15 months of a eight year sentence in the US having 1984, together with seven others in Pershing Plowshares, disarmed a Pershing II nuclear missile. During the first war on Iraq 1991, he and Gunfactory Plowshares disarmed two Carl Gustaf bazookas at FFV, Eskilstuna in Sweden. Together with people from Sweden and Germany Per Herngren initiated the Ploughshares movement in Europe in the mid eighties. He is 46 years old and lives in Fig Tree a Jona House resistance community in Hammarkullen, Sweden. His books have been published in Swedish, Polish, and English.
The Ploughshares Movement
The Ploughshares have since 1980, disarmed hundreds of weapons, airplanes, helicopters, nuclear weapons, trident submarines. According to the estimated, and not scientific account of Per Herngren, the ploughshares movement has with blacksmith hammers disarmed more explosive powers than what have been used during all wars from the stone age until today.
More on ploughshares and civil disobedience
Ploughshares trial 2009
Hammering on military radar
Aspects of Visuality and Power
Nuclear Resister’s Becoming Ploughshares
Deleuze and becoming resistance
Pictures of the plowshares action
Classical theory of resistance
Postprotest by Per Herngren
Manual for civil disobedience