Direct action against 4×4’s in Sweden

by Tracy Stokes on September 8, 2007

in Activism

stockholm4×4deflating.jpg

An activist group calling themselves “The Indians of the Concrete Jungle” have emerged in Stockholm and are temporarily “disarming” SUV vehicles in the city by letting down one or more of their tyres and leaving a letter for the owner of the vehicle. Here is a statement from their blog:

A newly formed activist group, calling itself The Indians of the Concrete Jungle, has struck repeatedly against SUVs in the centre of Stockholm over the last weeks. Some 300 of those killer machines have so far been temporarily disarmed. The Indians deflate the tyres of the SUVs and leave a letter to the owner on the windscreen, wherein the action is explained (translation attached below). Considerable fury has arisen among the SUV-owners of the city, as evident in the lynch atmosphere in countless comments on the website of the group as well as in various army, car and sports communities on the web. In one incident, an owner chased an Indian for 20 minutes. Three Indians have been nabbed by the police – apparently giving high priority to stemming this crime – and face various criminal charges. However, the group is determined to continue taking direct action against SUVs, as they constitute one of the most provocative and insane sources of unnecessary carbon emissions (insofar as conspicuous consumption of monster vehicles is not deemed a genuine human need).

Update: New Indian tribes have appeared and have struck against SUVs in Malmö, Gothenburg and Sundsvall.

The Indians would like to recommend this form of direct action to all like-minded groups. If selective SUV-disarmament is done repeatedly and on a massive scale, it will develop from a slight annoyance in the eyes of the owners into a real obstacle for driving the things, thus putting an end to perhaps the most obnoxious aspect of bourgeois carbon addiction. Imagine waking up to a car without air in the tyres every morning, or even once a week! It’s not a complicated manoeuvre: just unscrew the cap of the valve, insert a grain of gravel or stone in it, and screw it back on. The grain will push down the peg in the middle of the valve, making sure the air is gently released. The whole manoeuvre will take about 10 seconds. Leave the SUV, and listen to the beautiful sound of the air petering out.

Letter to SUV owners:
Your SUV kills!
We have deflated one or several tyres of your SUV. Don’t take it personally. It’s your car we don’t like. You are certainly aware of the large amount of fuel it consumes, so we don’t have to enlighten you about that. But either you are ignorant of, or you don’t care about the fact that all the gas you consume by driving around in your SUV in the streets of the city has devastating consequences for others. Scientists are entirely sure that we are very close to pushing climate change over a threshold, into a phase where it will be totally out of control.

When the glaciers melt, people’s source of water disappear. When the deserts spread, agricultural fields become uncultivable. When the sea level rises, homes are inundated. Result: billions of refugees, countless deaths. It’s already estimated that 160 000 people die every year due to the effects of climate change, according to the WHO.
As an affluent Swede you will survive longer then most. Those most vulnerable, and already worst afflicted by the global warming caused by Northern affluence, are the people of poor countries. In the end, however, climate chaos will affect us all, poor people as well as rich.

This does not have to happen if we impose a radical cut on carbon emissions. Now.
Not tomorrow. That’s why we have disarmed your SUV by deflating the tires.
Since you live in a city with a functioning and accessible public transportation system you will have no problem going where you want without your SUV.

The Indians of the Concrete Jungle

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob Wa September 9, 2007 at 1:35 pm

IMO, this is not helping as they are just angering people that they need as allies.

Do they go after local commercial delivery trucks that can use Electric cars?

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Bob Wa September 9, 2007 at 1:35 pm

IMO, this is not helping as they are just angering people that they need as allies.

Do they go after local commercial delivery trucks that can use Electric cars?

Reply

Bob Wa September 9, 2007 at 1:35 pm

IMO, this is not helping as they are just angering people that they need as allies.

Do they go after local commercial delivery trucks that can use Electric cars?

Reply

Me September 9, 2007 at 3:07 pm

Do these CHILDREN consider that maybe the “inconvenience” could end up having serious consequences?

I hope that when one of them is caught, and is about to go to trial, that their lawyer ends up not being there because some other jerk-off flattened their tires.

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Me September 9, 2007 at 3:11 pm

By the way, the word isn’t “activist” it’s “terrorist”. “Activists” hold peaceful marches and sign petitions. “Terrorists” commit crimes, believing the ends will justify their means.

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SUV Owner September 9, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Many SUV owners are stuck with their legacy investments in their vehicles. I would love to have a high MPG green plug-in hybrid but cannot afford one. There is no public transportation infrastructure in American Suburbia.

This kind of prank is counter-productive and dangerous to the Indians of the Concrete Jungle punks doing it – their action is criminal and could lead to violence against them if they are caught. Plenty of Americans own guns (90 guns for every 100 Americans)…

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Carmiser September 9, 2007 at 5:45 pm

Do you, Bob?

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DirectAction September 9, 2007 at 5:58 pm

This is a great example of non-violent direct action. The argument about winning the SUV drivers over is limp wristed. This is non-violent and doesn’t even involve property damage. You can’t get much tamer than that and still effectively reach the moronic mindset of a zombie jerk-off brainwashed ecoterrorist that would buy an SUV in the first place. Talking to them is obviously not enough. This is non-violent and not even involving property damage. That’s about as tame as you can get and still break through to someone who would be so stupid as to buy one of these things.

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Will September 9, 2007 at 7:15 pm

They should’ve just left the letters on the cars and been on their way. Who came up with the bright idea to also immobilize the vehicles? What a great way to gain respect.

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unity September 9, 2007 at 9:13 pm

excellent idea – well done

hey @me – get over it – when people refuse to acknowledge the obvious – peak oil – climate change just as two major examples – when people refuse to start making changes in their lives – and when they continue to buy these huge idiotic vehicles – then direct action is the only means left to force change on those who refuse to change in the face of incredible looming world crisis – so good on you activists

terrorism and terrorist are products of government controlled activity – evidence is everywhere – activists are as the name implies active in brining about change – throwing around the terrorist label is to miss the point of this activist action totally – letting down your tires is more an inconvenience than a terrorist act no matter which way you spin it – there are more fuel efficient cars out there than hybrids, there are bikes there is car pooling there are so many alternatives to the SUV

stop complaining and start changing

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Aridela September 9, 2007 at 10:50 pm

the angry reaction of the SUV owners shows how childish there are, they only care for their own ass. They will never change their minds and even when they are friendly treated.
So that´s the best way to encounter them and they reaction is like childish toddlers when someone took away their toy.
These people are not aware and never take responsibilty for their way of life. I recommend to change Nike Co. and other Companies which never take care for minimal social standards or ecological standards to boycott them and never buy products of those companies. The biggest fear of this companies to loose profits but not to loose people.

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Aridela September 9, 2007 at 11:34 pm

@me
so peaceful marches and signing petitions has not changed so much, but letting air out of tyres is much more sucessfully, you think they are terrorist only for letting air out of the tyres, but they damaged nothing. But you get upset when someone touches your stupid egomaniac toy you grown up toddler and you want to kill someone who lets air out of the tyres and who is now the terrorist? Killing someone for only letting air out of the tyres, you must be insane, pleace get to your brain doctor you must be crazy.
They must be so many American SUV owners who are really insane.

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john September 10, 2007 at 12:42 am

its all fun and games for these criminals. and fooling with someones personal and expensive property is criminal.next you’ll read the story about one of these yahoos getting badly hurt by someone.it will be their own fault.

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Live TV September 10, 2007 at 6:32 am

They went about this wrongly. You shouldn’t actually cause destruction or damage to someone you’re trying to educate. They’ll most likely take offence to what you’ve done and your entire message becomes ignored and meaningless to the person.

Instead they should have made some stickers that are transparent and look like cracks or bullet holes. Then put some of them on the wind shield and on the body of the car. The owner will come back and take notice and then see the message and realize they’re just stickers – so in the end
1) you got their attention
2) you delivered your message
3) you didn’t cause any damage, but you still maintained respect to the owner while getting to inform them.

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TJ September 10, 2007 at 7:49 am

RESPECT to the owner – you are PATHETIC they do NOT deserver any respect!!!!
what damage – flat tire.
they do damage every day – real damage to real people.

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aridela September 10, 2007 at 10:55 am

@ tj
so why respect the owner if he or she does not respect the nature or planet earth? Th owners don´t respect anything of planet earth but only want respect for their garbage car this show their deep neurotical addiction to their car toys or whatever toys their own.

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aridela September 10, 2007 at 10:59 am

@ tj

all the car owners damage the planet and so many people and other lifeforms every day, with driving a car you kill everyday at least billions of insect
and flat tires are damage ?

Car owners are life killers, planetkillers
They only want pleasure for their little tiny EGO

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TJ September 11, 2007 at 8:45 am

@aridela
thats what I meant.
my stronger worded post did not make it through the censorship
or you would see that my reply to LiveTV is exactly what you are saying.
I detest these “mild mannered” “OMG lets not offend anybody” people. He (LiveTV) shoul put a sticker on his forhead.
This action is the gentlest there could be. flat tire is not damage it is a weak attention getter.

And their SUVs make me drive a car, with decent economy but still, I dare not ride a scooter on the same road where they yap into their cell phones while searching for the lipstic/joystick under the seat.
SUVs/owners do deserve much harsher treatment !!!

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? September 22, 2007 at 11:26 am

How many times does someone have to say it. LETTING DOWN SOMEONE’S WHEELS IS NOT DAMAGE! It is simply temporary inconvenience. The argument that we need to educate is poor, everyone in cities knows that SUVs are bad for the environment, yet they turn a blind eye. Also, you may not be able to affford a Hybrid, but SUVs are very expensive and can easily be sold for enough money to buy a smaller, less destructive car.

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bender September 26, 2007 at 3:45 pm

There is one slight problem with this tactic. The easiest way to get a tire re-inflated (in the US at any rate) is to call a tow-truck. Then a large vehicle with only one occupant will be dispatched to your location. It will sit next to the SUV, running a compressor to inflate the tire. The compressor will either have a gas motor, or run off the motor of the tow truck. Alternatively, you can carry a small compressor in your vehicle. Since running it off the battery will drain the battery, you have to idle the vehicle while it’s running, again wasting fuel. Don’t even get me started on the inefficiency of disposable tire refill cannisters.

In short, every tire refill will generate more emissions and waste than just leaving the SUV alone would have generated.

If this gets widespread, people will probably just buy locking valve stems or non-pneumatic tires.

It’s amusing, but in the end it’s only that.

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stonemonkey November 30, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Great job you idiots. Lets kill any good will people may feel towards the green movement by being an idiot. I wonder how many of these liberal minded activists would react if I came to their house and threw out all their clothes. EVERYTHING damages something. Can I punch you in the face for breathing out carbon? Can I break the chain on your bike because it was made in a polluting factory in China? Can I burn down your garden because you are killing innocent vegetables and fruits. If you are so concerned about this, stop being an impotent protester, get an engineering or science degree and fix the problem.

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sil-chan December 2, 2008 at 5:35 am

@me
terrorism: one who commits an act to cause terror among the general populace.

activism: one who attempts to change the mindset of other individuals through demonstrations, protests and CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.

This is civil disobedience. Sometimes it is necessary to get people to wake up.

Oh, and as one last aside, America wouldn’t exist if you and people like you were around in the late 1700’s (Boston Tea Party anyone?).

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piedpiper December 5, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Ok….do any of you friendly activist have kids? Do you guys have strollers to haul around? Do you have money to buy an eco friendly vehicle? Now I have to take my child everywhere go because i cannot afford to take her to day care. And also this is a 1 yr old toddler who needs extra clothes and a big diaper bag to carry all of her things. Also I need to go grocery shopping. If I had a little tiny car to haul around the stroller, baby, diaper bag, emergency kit aaaand groceries to last 2 weeks…i dont think thats going to happen, and believe me before we got the SUV, it was such an inconvenience. Now, if during my trip into town, which is 20 miles away, someone decided to let the air out of my tires while im in the store or any other errand, my blood would boil. Some inconsiderate little punk has left me and my child stranded for a while just so they can get their point across? Screw that punk, is he going to come by and give me and my daughter a lift with his eco friendly car? if he has a car? no. Tow trucks rape you with their fees. And like all of us, i cannot afford that inconvenience. And also we live on a dirt road…your eco friendly car is crap on that road.
I agree with stonemonkey. go make something out of yourselves and make a difference. Your tactics are childish. Dont waste your money on your art and political courses. Take a course that is more constructive. help create a cheaper and eco friendly vehicle that all of us can benefit from. Dont get me wrong, i want this planet to last. My SUV was used when i bought it from my step brother for $2000. that was all i can afford. $2000 is not enough to buy a hybrid. And its a great car. Wish it were better for the planet, but i cant rely on buying a horse to go grocery shopping.

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franklin d. December 11, 2008 at 10:07 am

great idea.

deflate peoples’ tires, so that when their kid gets sick and needs to go to the hospital, they can walk there. eco-friendly, right? of course, don’t actually CURE the kid, because all of those plastic IV drip bags won’t bio-degrade to well. neither will the bandages.

i’m sorry, but as much as i am FOR the environment, i am AGAINST something like this.

before criticising the actions of others, maybe these “activists” should look at the consequences of their own ideas, i.e. someone getting fired for being late to work due to a flat tire, or someone not realizing they have a flat tire, driving on it, then having to buy a new tire, while the old tire goes into the trash, thereby defeating the eco-friendly purpose of this whole idea.

i understand the call to action and the yearning for people to make lifestyle changes, but pissing people off won’t get them to join your side.

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BG December 13, 2008 at 7:12 am

In America people like this would wake up in the hospital.

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Xooxer December 14, 2008 at 10:15 pm

I don’t care if they think they’re saving the world or not. If anyone touches my property without my permission, or worse, renders my vehicle “inoperable”, they’ll find just how inoperable it is when I crush their bones under my flat ass wheels. Some people own SUVs because nothing but a truck will make it home. I did decades exclusively on a bike or on foot, and I’ll not have some pretentious terrorists telling me I’m wrong because I choose to drive something they think is evil. Go deflate some cops’ tires and see how far that flies.

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Clegg March 19, 2009 at 1:52 am

This is clever, direct activism!
@me
Terrorism is idiotic SUV drivers destroying the environment, creating smog, and depleting a major resource carelessly.
@piedpiper
“Inconsiderate little punk”? In terms of nature, all of us are little punks. And apparently you are inconsiderate for driving around a gas guzzler, destroying nature. Therefore, you are the inconsiderate, little punk.

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Bill April 15, 2009 at 3:33 am

That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard!!! Yes it creates pollution. You do know china is the number one place where pollution is? Why don’t you do something about that? Then start worrying about little cars polluting the streets. Oh and by the way global warming is a load of shit. You know what it is right? It’s a scheme to make money. If global warming was real why did oregon have the coldest weather it has seen in years? You all are dumbasses who think that it is real. when are you going to pull your head out of your ass, and look around?

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Tracy Stokes April 15, 2009 at 6:49 am

Nothing like a bit of flaming in the morning before breakfast. Bill, you got some anger going on there, can I recommend a therapist? She’s eco-friendly.

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Turbz January 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm

@piedpiper

Nice hypothetical, but your argument is invalid. People got along and around for thousands of years without petrol guzzling vehicles. And all the shit you need to carry is a farce too. Why would you buy groceries for two weeks it you lie 20 miles from a store. By the sound of it you live in a place where you can GROW lots of food. If you live in such a rough place you probably should get a horse, if you are not doing more to sustain yourself in your locale.

My family (4) growing up got along just fine with a single 2 door honda civic hatchback. We went camping everywhere, on road trips to the store and lived in and outside of cities and farms.

Try to be a little more resourceful in your living, limit trips, combine errands, grow as much fresh food as possible, and teach your children to cherish and nurture our planet.

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doubting trout November 11, 2011 at 5:09 pm

when the ignorant wealthy few threaten the lives of the poor majority it’s time to take direct action. Keep up the good work.

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