Category: Civil disobedience

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Central laws

The Constitution’s § 108

The paragraph was adopted in 1988 and is colloquially known as the “Sámi paragraph”:

The authorities of the state shall create conditions enabling the Sami people to preserve and develop its language, culture and way of life.

International and Norwegian law

The Sámi people are protected by international law on indigenous people’s rights. The UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and ILO’s no. 169 Convention concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries are especially important here. These conventions give indigenous people the right to preserve and develop their own culture. According to the Norwegian Human Rights law from 1999 the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political rights applies in Norwegian law.

The Finnmark law, 2005

The law facilitates the management of nature and ground resources in Finnmark in a balanced and ecological way. This for the benefit of the inhabitant in the province, and especially as basis for Sámi culture, reindeer husbandry, uncultivated land usage, commercial activity and community life. Norway has also made commitments to the Sámi people, including through the Planning and Building Act, the Cultural Heritage Act, the Reindeer Husbandry Act, the Kindergarten Act, the Education Act, and the Place Names Act.

Acts of civil disobedience

Civil disobedience

Civil disobedience is an illegal act committed openly. The illegal act is an attempt to change a law or political decision. These protests are shaped by the activists’ moral convictions that they are doing the right thing. The illegal acts are non-violent. They must also be limited to a specific case. Those who commit civil disobedience must conform to all other laws and regulations.

If you break the law, for example by not following police instructions, thereaction can be serious. If the protest devolves into vandalism or violence it is no longer considered civil disobedience. These actions are punished much more harshly.

The Alta controversy’s reprecussions
More than a thousand Alta activists received more than 5 million NOK in fines. Four of the leaders for the People’s Campaign were convicted of sedition, receiving suspended sentences or high fines. Per Flatberg was one of them. In 2008 Per Flatberg was awarded the King’s Medal of Merit in gold. The medal is awarded for meritorious achievements.