AKP(ml) and IRA to the rescue

Norway have our own stories of ethnic oppression, of forced sterilization of Romani's and Gypsies, resettlement of their children, as well as cultural imperialism (the genuine kind) against the Sami's, a nomadic people that lives in northern Norway, Sweden and Finland. We weren't much worse than other Western countries, but not much better either, and some of this was still practiced in the 1960's and 70's. In recent years, the full story of the oppression of the travelling peoples has been brought out in the open, and the Sami's now have limited self-rule, with their own parliament since 1989. Not sure I see the point of a Sami parliament, but at least it reflects a dramatic change in attitude to the better from a time not long ago when Sami's were banned from using their own languages in schools.

One turning point in the relationship between Norwegians and Sami's was the (eventually successful) attempt to build a hydropower plant in Alta, in the late 70's and early 80's. The Sami's who lived in the area protested, and got the sympathy of many Norwegians, especially the growing environmentalist movement. Protesters used civil disobedience to delay the construction of the plant, and as far as I know there was little or no violence. But this could have turned both ways. In Nordlys today, a leader in the Alta protest movement reveals that they had offers from both AKP (ml) and the IRA for aid with sabotage and terrorism, but turned them down:

- We were contacted by Norwegians we knew were far out on the left, who I knew were members of AKP. They told us they had people who worked in positions that enabled them to cut off the power supply to Oslo, among other cities. It was talked about sabotage against trafo stations, and in Pasvik to cut power masts so they would break in bad weather. We turned down these offers because they violated our no-violence line. [..]

During the hunger strike in Oslo, the Sami Movement's leadership was contacted by an elderly, gray-haired Irishman, who worked with the Stockholm information office of Sinn Fein, the IRA party organization. - He was very concerned that our contact should not be revealed. We were unsure what they wanted, but rejected any form of contact. It violated our non-violence philosophy, and we did not want to be associated with the IRA. Despite our rejecting the contact, he tried again later, this time too with a wish for some kind of political cooperation. [..]

- We didn't want to enter discussions about anything concrete, but it was obvious that they could assist us with violent activities. There was also talk about harming Norway's infrastructure, and more concrete about explosions with the intent to cut off the power supply to Oslo. [..]

Store Jakobsen explains that leftist radicals he knew were AKP members also came with another offer of sabotage. - There were concrete plans to blow up the police boat "Janina", which was in Alta, and housed about 800 policemen. [..]

AKP members were also active in attempts to infiltrate Sami organizations, such as the NSR. - We took this very seriously. We saw it as yet another attempt to control the Sami's, that again we would be ruled by others.

Good for them and us that they felt this way. I'm not sure why some ethnic conflicts spawn terrorism and others don't, but it was obviously no thanks to AKP(ml) and the IRA that this went as well as it did. I'm not sure how much AKP(ml) and the IRA had in common, politically, and AKP(ml) has always denied cooperation with the left-wing terrorist organizations of the time, but it is suspicious that both groups had thought of the same idea, to sabotage Norway's power supply. The article mentions a find the police made in 1979, of concrete plans to blow up 35 vital power plants in Norway, so we know such plans existed, and it seems plausible that there was a connection between these plans and the offers the Sami protesters received.


It's to AKP's credit, I suppose, that they never acted on any of their violent fantasies. Here in the States we experienced some scattered outbreaks of insanity -- the Weather Underground and the Symbionese Liberation Army, for instance. But leave it to the Germans to do things in a serious and systematic way. I read in this week's edition of the Economist that the Baader-Meinhof Gang (Red Army Faction) still enjoys a certain vogue in Deutschland. T-shirts imprinted with the Gang's logo are apparently stylish in some circles. A retrospective of the group's "contributions" to German culture has, however, stirred considerable controversy. Some would rather forget about youthful indiscretions. An ad for a recent BBC documentary about the group had this to say, though, about some former members of the gang:

"BBC Four: Did you detect any remorse or regret in any of the surviving members you interviewed?
Ben Lewis: Not really. One guy, Horst Mahler, is now a lawyer for the German NPD, which is a far-right, latter-day Nazi Party. So he obviously thinks it was a bit of a cock-up. But the rest of them, they're against violence now. Not because they think it isn't justified against the imperial-capitalist conspiracy of America against the rest of the world, but that the forces of imperialism are too strong to be overcome. They have recanted. The trouble is, once you ask them about their political beliefs it's quite clear that logically most would support violence. The theoretical framework is still there for most of the people I talked to."

- Gill

Pål Steigan was on NRK yesterday and claimed that AKP(ml) actually stopped Rote Arme Fraktion from getting a foothold in Norway. They were approached by RAF to create a Norwegian branch, but rejected it. I can believe that, though it's probably an exaggeration to take the whole credit for stopping them. And this Sami business shows that there were at least some elements in AKP(ml) who were itching for a more active line.


Just wondering what ml in AKP (ml) means. I know the AKP was the communist party in Norway, but I never heard of anything-(ml).

Marxist-Leninist. It's a funny word. You don't say "jeg er marx-leninist", but "jeg er marxist-leninist", and not "ifølge marxist-leninismen ... " but "ifølge marxismen-leninismen .. " and "det der er ikke så veldig marxistisk-leninistisk av deg". They could probably tell police spies by their failure to bend their tongues around "marxismen-leninismen".

Actually, a Finnish researcher made a thesis some years ago where she compared Norway, Finland and Germany and concluded that the way the AKP ((ml) ditched in 1991) was a major reason why RAF-like groups never got a foothold in Norway.


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