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We are the climate activists who climbed onto a ledge at the entrance of Rosenbad- the Swedish government- to put up a banner saying “We keep the coal in the ground” this Wednesday morning. We believe in peaceful protest and used no violence, as can be seen in the raw video footage of the action below.

Expressen’s footage of the events:

We are an independent, diverse group of people of several nationalities, who felt we needed to make a statement and communicate directly with Löfvén and the government.

Why did we create such a fuss and risk time in jail for coal? Because this is one of the biggest decisions Sweden will ever make affecting the fate of all. We did this in order to raise media and public awareness of the issue at hand, to demonstrate we are watching the decision and that ordinary people care.

The fate of Sweden’s largest source of emissions- the sale of Swedish coal assets- is to be determined. The buyer? A Czech private equity company, with history of tax fraud and nonexistent climate records. The sale wouldn’t solve anything; it’s shifting responsibility to people who take no responsibility for our common ecosystem. Making Swedish emissions look better on paper and pushing the dirt onto others is not going to help the planet we are rapidly destroying.

Sweden has an unprecedented chance to demonstrate leadership in climate issues across the globe. This- specifically this- is the type of decision we are indirectly talking about at our grand Climate Leadership Conferences. Green choices matter the most when the stakes are high- leaders can’t just make them when it fits neatly with all other objectives. They must be made despite being inconvenient. They must be made in reality, and not just imagined during conferences.

So why did we do it? Because we’d like to be able to tell our children that we did what we could to stop climate change while there still was time. As Stefan Löfvén said in his inauguration speech - It is possible to halt climate change, if we want to.

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As to the criticisms of our actions:

1. Violence. There was none. The medial portrayal of the action as violent is either an attempt to discredit peaceful activists in order to keep discussion away from the real issue- the threat that this deal presents to the climate. Or it is simply looking for some scandalous angle where there isn’t one. We are all fully committed to non-violent civil disobedience.

2. Illegal activity interfering with democratic process. Which democratic process is that? The one where the government of Sweden is making a decision that is in opposition of the wishes of the lion’s share of the voters? (See Or the democratic process where the decision is made behind closed doors in the ministry, without allowing the public access to information about the decision?

This action was an attempt to help the politicians to raise their gaze and to see the sale for what it is- a serious threat to the global efforts to stop climate change.