1997 and '98 there has been an upswing of activities against animal abuse in Sweden.
Large raids on vivisection breeders, arson attacks, mink liberations and smashing
up fur shops is happening all the time. Not only has direct action seen an upswing
but there is also a new movement being born, an animal liberation movement consisting
of grassroots activists determined to achieve the liberation of animals. In late
1997, a new group made themselves known. They call themselves Animal Rights Militia
and they seem to have picked out vivisection as their main target.
they broke into a vivisection rabbit breeder in Enkoping and found 40 rabbits.
They liberated 13 of them and destroyed the breeding cards for the others. They
continued their excellent work in December when they carried out a raid in solidarity
with English animal rights activist Barry Horne, who was recently given an 18
year sentence. They raided another breeder of rats and mice for labs owned by
the Eklund Brothers. ARM liberated 48 rats and 9 mice from that hellhole and placed
them all in loving and caring homes.
In '98 the successful work of ARM continued
when they raided another animal breeder, BioJet Services, outside Uppsala. They
went into the premises through open doors and their intention was to liberate
50 guinea-pigs but when they only found 92 guinea pigs in there, they emptied
the place. According to media, the owner is thinking about closing it down. And
to mark World Day for Animals in Labs, ARM raided the Eklund brothers a second
time and managed to liberate 121 rats from their breeding units on April 23rd.
Also in April, a new group called the real "Djurens Befrielse Front"
(ALF) (see commentary) made themselves known when they liberated a beagle named
Angel from the veterinary school in Uppsala.
The new DBF carried out their
second raid when they raided a battery unit in Kil and liberated 28 battery hens
on May 2nd. Battery hens had been rescued before in March 1998, when 23 hens were
liberated from their cages by a group calling themselves "Commando Astrid
Lindgren." (Astrid Lindgren is a famous author opposed to battery hens) and
the new group claimed that their acts would continue until all animal abuse was
Also, in February, 2 mice decided to move from a vivisection lab in
Stockholm to a new friendly person that would never harm them.
also been lots of fur farm raids in 1997/98. Since the beginning of 1998, a total
of 35 raids have been carried out against fur farms and thousands of mink and
foxes have been released, empty farms burned or trashed, breeding cards stolen
and machines destroyed.
Most of those actions have been carried out by a
group calling themselves "The Wild Minks" which has really had an impact
on the Swedish fur industry. No one can deny that!
Unfortunately, 3 people
were arrested at a fur farm in March (see separate article and interview) for
raiding 2 mink farms but their arrest did not scare people - it made them even
more determined to destroy the fur trade. In 3 days, a support demo with 40 people
was held at the court and at the fur farm where the three were arrested and solidarity
raids were carried out all over Sweden; in Ostersund, 70 foxes were freed by the
ALF from a fur farm; in Forsheda, 300 minks were freed and in Stockholm, 11 fur
shops lost their windows and had their locks glued... all in one night!
April, the first national weekend for animal liberation was organised in Stockholm.
It was called "April 24-26, 3 Days of Actions Against Vivisection."
About 250 people from all over Sweden met up in Stockholm and had several civil
disobedience actions and several large demonstrations against vivisection laboratories
where windows were smashed and fences torn down.
Grassroots activists are
carrying out civil disobedience actions against local fur shops all the time and
more and more people in Sweden are turning vegans. There are two main groups for
local activists. There is "Animal Rights Alliance," that works on all
issues and there is "Eliminate the Fur Industry," a group helping local
activists fighting the fur trade by assisting and giving them leaflets. "Eliminate
the Fur Industry" is an organisation that will be remembered in the history
for being the first group in Sweden to openly support direct actions for the animals.
words "Animal liberation" have a new meaning. They are not just empty
words anymore, it is happening... all the time, for hundreds and hundreds of animals...
for them, animal liberation comes overnight in Sweden.
Swedish Fur Wars
Escalate with Arrest of Three Activists on Mink Farm
KUMLA -- Early
in the morning of March 8, three animal liberation activists are spotted by the
fur farmer at Skyberga Mink Farm in Kumla, Sweden, after they had already released
230 mink from that farm. After being chased for eight kilometers by both the police
and the farmer, the trio of activists are eventually caught and Henrik Seger,
Kristofer Aberg and David Zachridsson are arrested and remanded at the police
Unfortunately, when the car used by the activists is searched,
a map from a farm in Skara is found. Even more unfortunate for the activists,
that same farm had also been raided that night, resulting in the release of 800
Immediately after the three activists' arrest, the Mink Liberators
Support Campaign was set up to help the trio. After four days in custody, a court
hearing was held to determine whether the three would remain incarcerated. Forty
friends and supporters made their way to Kumla. Their first stop was a visit to
the farm where the trio had been arrested. And, even though the police harassed
and searched the activists in attempts to stop them, the forty made it to the
farm and held a loud protest.
After leaving the farm, the supporters traveled
to the court and managed to sit in on Kristofer Aberg's hearing. Noisy in allegiance
with their comrade, they were thrown out of court. Not deterred, the support demo
continued outside the courthouse for several hours. Support protests were also
held in Gothenburg, Boras and Karlstad.
Additionally, in support of the
three, the ALF raided a fox farm in Brunflo and released 70 foxes and the Wild
Minks raided a mink farm in Forsheda and liberated approximately 300 mink. In
Stockholm, a new group called the Avengers of the Fur-Bearing Animals, attacked
11 fur shops in one night, smashing many windows, spray-painting slogans and gluing
After a few days, David was released. He not only admitted his involvement
in the raids but also fingered Henrik and Kristofer. A few days later, Henrik
began a hunger strike with two demands: the abolition of the fur trade and the
release of Kristofer and himself.
Four days after announcing his hunger
strike, Henrik was released with Kristofer following a few days later. Both have
also confessed their part in the raids.
LATE BREAKING NEWS:
men had their trial on May 29 and were sentenced on June 5. Kristofer and David
were given 4 months in jail and 16 year old Henrik will be turned over to the
social authorities for "treatment". They are not in custody now and
will likely be free while appealing to a higher court. We'll be sure to stay on
top of this story in our "Urgent Updates" Section. For a more in-depth
story, check out our Interview with Kristofer and Henrik.