COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway’s energy minister was told Tuesday he was speaking “nonsense” as he met with activists protesting a wind farm they say hinders the rights of the Sami Indigenous people to raise reindeer in Arctic Norway.
The activists, mainly teenagers, are blocking the entrance to several ministries in the Norwegian capital. They are protesting a wind farm that’s still operating despite a ruling by Norway’s Supreme Court in October 2021 which said that the construction of the wind turbines violated the rights of the Sami, who have been using the land to raise reindeer for centuries.
Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland told the activists – some of whom donned the Sami’s traditional bright-colored dress – that the government will make a “new decision” on the wind farm, but he could not give any specifics “until we have a sufficient knowledge basis for it.”
“I fully respect the rights of indigenous peoples,” Aasland said to demonstrators sitting outside the entrance to his ministry.
Activist Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen told Aasland, “I can’t stand you sitting here talking the same nonsense.”
“We cannot start talking about the future until you acknowledge the past and the ongoing violation of human rights that is going on right now,” added Isaksen.
Police said that they had removed nine people from the front of the Norwegian Finance Ministry on Tuesday.
The activists have been protesting outside the Energy Ministry since Thursday. But they began blocking the entrances to other ministries on Tuesday. On Monday, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg briefly joined the demonstrators.