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Tracy Stokes

Tracy Stokes is a mixed media artist living & working on the slopes of Devil's Peak in Cape Town. She likes to paint on re-purposed surfaces and recycle creatively in all aspects of her life.

Tyres on over 1000 SUVs deflated in Sweden

You may recall a post here a while ago about a group in Sweden who call themselves The Indians of the Concrete Jungle. Their campaign involves deflating tyres on 4-wheel drive vehicles and is spreading across Sweden like wildfire, stirring up a national debate and bringing out the worst in 4×4 drivers.

Here is a message from The Indians of the Concrete Jungle to the rest of the world:

Everyone knows it: action on climate change is a matter of utter urgency. Nonetheless, carbon emissions continue to accelerate, powered by the uncontrollable machines of the world economy. One eminent sign of this rush to disaster is the trend of SUVs, clogging the streets in our Western cities, emitting up to three times more carbon than cars of average size on the market. SUVs have become a symbol of the irrational destruction of the most basic conditions of life. Attached to no human need whatsoever – only to the conspicuous consumption of an affluent class, feeling the ”need” to flaunt monster vehicles – they constitute perhaps the most insane source of unnecessary carbon emissions. Everyone should know it: if we can’t deal with SUVs swiftly, we can’t deal with any other emissions either. And nothing less than our survival is at stake.

Armed with this analysis, and with mung beans or grains of gravel, a group called The Indians of the Concrete Jungle has struck against hundreds of SUVs in Sweden in recent months. The first action occured in the poshest part of innercity Stockholm in June. Tyres on 60 SUVs in Östermalm were deflated. A weblog was posted on the internet, and since then, the campaign for disarmament of SUVs in Sweden has spread like wildfire. To this date, approximately 1000 SUVs have been temporarily disarmed in at least nine Swedish cities, including the three largest (Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö) as well as several smaller cities; new tribes are popping up by the week. The Indians of the Concrete Jungle have appeared in virtually every major media outlet in the country – from a prime time debate on national television, to a very sympathetic report in the company of Indians in action published in the biggest morning newspaper, to an op-ed piece in the biggest evening paper and countless news reports in local media. Thus, in a matter of months, the issue of unnecessary carbon emissions in general and SUVs in particular have risen to the top of the agenda in Sweden – something that never happened before – and ownership of the vehicle has become all the less convenient.
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