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May 1st
A wee May 1st report from Trondheim, Norway.

We wrote a tiny piece about free time, available in its entirety here: It's in Norwegian. It's kind of difficult to translate because of the poetic elements. The gist of it is that we need a free time (which is different to "free time", as in leisure, non-work for the sake of work) before we're out of time. In Norwegian these are kind of wordplays—fri tid (a free time), fritid (leisure, fri for tid (out of time). If you don't know Norwegian, I guess you just gotta trust me when I say that it's pretty good.

It was printed in one of the biggest national papers, called Klassekampen (Class War), but it was edited to hell, unfortunately.

We also made a nice banner—see the picture below—which parodied one of the main slogans of the Norwegian confederation of trade unions. The original is "Shorter working hours—start introducing the 6 hour work day", whereas ours reads "Shorter No working hours—start introducing the 6 0 hour working day". We got yelled at various people walking with the anarchist communists—one threatened to light the banner on fire if she ever sees us again. However, a very nice old lady from Besteforeldrenes Klimaaksjon (The Grandparents' Climate Action) came up and asked us a bit about our banner, and told us we were doing good work, and to keep it up.

Interesting this anarcho-comunists, to they actually support 6 hour work day ?
and apparently not very tolerant people.
I don't know if they were ancoms themselves, just that they walked with the ancoms. But they were angry because, according to them, 1) we are making them look bad, and 2) we were suggesting people just sit on their arse, and then disabled people would die, so therefore we want to kill disabled people. It was pretty stupid. At least one of them weren't interested in talking to us, they just shouted at us.
Alexander, would love to know more about the anarchist scene in Norway. What is it like there? Is it mostly leftist? How big/small? What are its influences? Is it radical? Is it environmentally based? Is there any affinity between anarchist groups in Norway and other Scandinavian countries? Is there any literature available in English about the anarchist scene in Norway?

Maybe you could write a little piece about it on anti-civ sometime.

I am somewhat familiar with the anarchist scene in Denmark (where my family is from), but not Norway. I'm curious about Scandinavia in general.


Late reply—I know. I don't know much about the anarchist scene as I'm not a part of it. But I have several friends that are involved with the anarchist scene in some way. In Oslo and Trondheim you will find a lot of anarchists. Mostly leftist (communist, syndicalist, platformist) anarchists, but also a few green ones. In Trondheim, a big part of the town was squatted, and is now a city-ecological experiment: There's an anarchist café, a Food Not Bombs "people's kitchen" (free food), and an anarchist youth house in Trondheim as well. In Oslo there's Hausmania, a self-governed culture house: Neither of these scenes are huge, but they're big enough, and well enough tolerated.

Historically, there's been lots of anarchist writers. The most well-known are Knut Hamsun (who later became a Nazi of sorts), Henrik Ibsen, and Jens Bjørneboe. There are many others that will likely be unknown outside of Norway—Hans Jæger, Arne Garborg, &c. These were rather bohemian people. There was also the typical socialist working class journals around 1850-1900 with anarchist influences. Then it kind of died off in favour of less radical socialism. Then WW2 happened (Emma Goldman visited a bit before that.) Since then it has mostly been sleeping, with some exceptions, like Jan Bojer, and, notably, Jens Bjørneboe. Today there isn't that much "action", as far as I can tell, except for the above-mentioned things.

If any Norwegian anarchists are reading this, and feel that I am underestimating the Norwegian anarchist scene, please correct me. This is just an outsider view after all.

I don't know anything about Scandinavian affinity.

I don't know anything about literature in Norwegian—let alone English. Although I'm sure there is some in at least Norwegian…

It could be an interesting thing to look into more in-depth, although I'm not going to promise that I will do so. I am also interested in Norway's treatment of the Sámi people, a topic I've found surprisingly little about. I even asked some people via the Sami Parliament of Norway, and got into contact with some culture preservation people… who never replied to my emails.
Well, you are being generous Alex! I'd say that we are in something of a lefty paradise.
But you also mention Ibsen and Bjørneboe. I think it was Svein Olav Nyberg who wrote about whether Ibsen had read Stirner. If I remember correctly, then he concluded that Ibsen read Brandes, and Brandes had read Stirner so at least Ibsen knew Stirner second hand. A bit geeky there perhaps, sorry! 

I'd say that besides the trad stuff, there is also something of an individualistic/lifestylist thing going on up here. Quite a few social misfits and freaks going around, especially in the country side. People who opt out, as far as it goes in their particular situation, of the rat race or mass society. Many forest/mountain/fjord bums, homesteaders,bandits and the likes. I've met quite a few who agree with @ on principle, but who don't much like the lefty stuff. So it is not an indivualistic tradition like you see in the Mediterranean countries, but perhaps more shaped from a sparsely populated country where most the land is forest, and still is (I think it is something like 2% of the landmass which are used for houses and roads, including cities).

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