World (AP)

Norway activists press on with their protest against wind farm on land used by herders | AP News

Norway activists press on with their protest against wind farm on land used by herders | AP News

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Dozens of activists in Norway on Thursday blocked the entrance to one of the main operators of a wind farm they say hinders the rights of the Sami Indigenous people to raise reindeer,

At the center of the dispute are the 151 turbines of Europe’s largest onshore wind farm, which is located in central Norway’s Fosen district, about 450 kilometers (280 miles) north of the capital of Oslo. The activists say a transition to green energy shouldn’t come at the expense of the rights of Indigenous people.

They have demonstrated repeatedly against the wind farm’s continued operation since the Supreme Court of Norway ruled in October 2021 that the construction of the turbines had violated the rights of the Sami, who have used the land for reindeer for centuries.

On Thursday, the activists sat down on the ground outside the building in Oslo of Statkraft, a state-owned company that operates 80 of the wind turbines at Fosen.

”We expect to block all visible entrances, ”activist Gina Gylver told the Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen.

Police spokesman Sven Martin Ege told Norwegian news agency NTB that the about 100 protesters have said they want to prevent employees of Statkraft from entering their workplace after which it was decided that they will work from home.

Late Wednesday, a group of about 20 Sami, many dressed in traditional garments, staged a protest in a central hallway inside the Norwegian parliament. They were removed by police after refusing to leave the premises. Hundreds more had gathered on the main street leading up to Norway’s parliament, the Storting.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre has acknowledged “ongoing human rights violations” and the government has repeatedly apologized for failing to act despite the Supreme Court ruling. Energy Minister Terje Aasland has said that the demolition of all wind turbines at Fosen now, as the protesters demand, was not relevant.

According to activists, Greta Thunberg of neighboring Sweden, is set to join them later Thursday.

On Wednesday, Thunberg was fined 2,250 kroner ($206) by a Swedish court once again for disobeying police during an environmental protest in July. Thunberg, 20, has admitted to the facts but denied guilt, saying the fight against the fossil fuel industry was a form of self-defense due to the existential and global threat of the climate crisis.

In June, activists protested outside Gahr Støre’s office. They occupied the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for four days in February, and later blocked the entrances to 10 ministries.