Police clear away protestors to allow mining machinery through. Photo: SVT Nordnytt

Sami protesters arrested at mining site

1:50 min

Several protestors have been arrested in Kallak, near Jokkmokk in northern Sweden as they attempted to block a British mining company from test drilling in the area, reports Sami Radio.

Police have removed blockades put in place to block bulldozers and other heavy equipment.

About 20 protestors are at the site, many of them Sami reindeer herders who say that the planned iron ore mine is a threat to their traditional way of life.

It is the third attempt by British company Beowulf to test drill in the area. Last week an attempt was abandoned when six demonstrators chained themselves to concrete and blocked the route. In July a similar protest was held.

According to local media the new mine could provide up to 400 jobs and public opinion in the area is divided.

In an opinion article today in Dagens Nyheter newspaper several Sami organizations, including local reindeer herders wrote that the Swedish state is supporting foreign companies in a colonial-style takeover of their lands.

“Colonialisation is not a thing of the past. It’s happening today,” they wrote. “When Swedish police go in and clear the way in Kallak and put our livelihoods on the line.”


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