Asfaltsdjungelns Indianer

Escalating deflation of SUV:s in Sweden | oktober 5, 2007

– One thousand SUV:s disarmed by The Indians of the Concrete Jungle

In recent months, a climate action group calling itself The Indians of the Concrete Jungle has struck against SUV:s across Sweden. Tyres on one thousand cars have been deflated. The campaign is spreading like wildfire, prompting national debate and furious aggression among SUV-owners.

(This is a message from The Indians of the Concrete Jungle to 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 SUV:s, clogging the streets in our Western cities, emitting up to three times more carbon than cars of average size on the market. SUV:s 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 SUV:s 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 SUV:s in Sweden in recent months. The first action occured in the poshest part of innercity Stockholm in June. Tyres on 60 SUV:s in Östermalm were deflated. A weblog was posted on the internet, and since then, the campaign for disarmament of SUV:s in Sweden has spread like wildfire. To this date, approximately 1000 SUV:s 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 SUV:s 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.

Sweden is unique in Europe in its addiction to SUVs. Carbon emissions from new cars on Swedish roads are some 20 percent above the European average; no males in the EU emit as much by driving cars as Swedish males do. This is largely due to the success of Volvo’s SUV model XC90, as well as other cars from the consistently climate destructive company. The Indians of the Concrete Jungle have decided to change this situation.

The action performed by the Indians is simple. The cap of the tyre’s valve is unscrewed, a bean or a grain of gravel is inserted, and the valve is screwed back on the tyre. The little thing will push down the peg in the middle of the valve, making sure the air is gently released. The whole manoeuvre takes about 10 seconds, after which follows the long sound of the air petering out. A letter to the owner is left on the widescreen, wherein the action is explained (see translation attached below). Instructions and the letter are available on the weblog, for all like-minded activists to use and spread lavishly. The Indians refrain from targeting SUV:s used by handicapped drivers, health care institutions and company workers.

Though the response has, in general, been positive among the public, considerable fury and aggression have arisen among SUV-owners. A counterforce calling itself ”The Cowboys of the Concrete Jungle” has appeared, threatening to deflate the lungs of the Indians, presumably with knifes. On various internet communities run by motorists and soldiers, plans are made to guard SUV:s and beat or even kill Indians; public supporters of the cause have been subject to threats of attacks on their homes. Undaunted, the Indians of the Concrete Jungle have continued and escalated the campaign, and so far, no one has been hurt. Only one Indian has been nabbed by Swedish police, though it has not even decided what kind of criminal offense deflating tyres actually constitutes – if indeed it is a crime at all.

The conflict surrounding the actions is considered a success in itself. There are real, social contradictions in the field of climate change between those who emit carbon relentlessly and those who suffer the heaviest losses, and bringing these to light is crucial for any progress. Not everyone will fight climate change. Not everyone will give up their lethal privileges voluntarily.

The Indians of the Concrete Jungle are determined to continue their campaign of disarmament. If it is done repeatedly and on a massive scale, deflating tyres will develop from a slight annoyance in the eyes of the owners into a real obstacle for driving SUV:s. Imagine waking up to a car without air in the tyres every morning, or even once a week! The campaign is poised to spread further in Sweden, and now the Indians are looking forward to tribes taking up the cause in other countries as well. In the pursuit of spreading the word, all declarations of recent actions will hereafter be posted in English as well as Swedish.

The weblog is:

The Indians are happy to answer any questions. Just write to this email adress.

Letter to SUV owners:

Your SUV kills!

We have deflated one or several tyres of your SUV. Don’t take it personal. 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 across 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 humans 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 tyres.
Since you live in a city with a functioning and accessible public transportation system you will have no problem getting where you want without your SUV.

/ The Indians of the Concrete Jungle

Publicerat i In English

9 kommentarer »

  1. I came across this article using StumbeUpon. It will definitely be getting a ”thumbs up” from me! Well done, all you Indians of the Concrete Jungle. :o)

    Kommentar av James — oktober 8, 2007 @ 3:46 e m

  2. Brilliant! Love you Indians;)

    Kommentar av Luke — oktober 8, 2007 @ 8:26 e m

  3. Nice move indians. You have everything to gain from global exposure.

    Kommentar av Otto — oktober 8, 2007 @ 11:01 e m

  4. It is just a little bit amusing how these people are playing the game staged by politicians to be able to inforce tax on C02 emissions. If this was not the case, law inforcement should have stopped this circus long ago…

    Kommentar av SM — oktober 9, 2007 @ 6:34 e m

  5. På Finska:
    Citymaastureiden renkaiden tyhjentämiskampanja Ruotsissa laajenee

    Kommentar av A.P. Nikkola — oktober 19, 2007 @ 5:44 e m

  6. I challenge you to publish this comment…

    My friend works with horses. As such, pulling horseboxes cannot be done with a trumpted up piece if shit car, so a small old 4×4 is used and is probably smaller in engine size than most luxury saloon cars. It is not even used around the city.

    Your indiscriminate targeting of all SUVs is completely pointless. You say it isn’t personal? Bullshit! Put a bit of thought into what you are doing for f*cks sake!

    Sure, looking around Östermalm at some of the larger SUV’s used by mother’s who ”brunch” is a complete waste and restrictions should be placed on them.

    However, this indiscriminate targeting will only turn normal people such as myself against your cause.

    If I see anyone near my mate’s car?… I’ll kick the f*cking face off them – Environment or no environment.

    Kommentar av JB — november 6, 2007 @ 3:04 e m

  7. rääääspekt

    Kommentar av djuret — november 16, 2007 @ 12:35 f m

  8. Good job indians!

    As your indian brother who lives in Canada and still remembers when mountain air was clean to breathe and you could practically walk across the backs on salmon in our rivers, I leave you with some wise words.

    It’s better to burn wagons than to fade away!

    Kommentar av Crazy Coach (foremrly known as Sane Coach) — november 21, 2007 @ 2:23 f m

  9. I’m with JB. How do these ”Indians” come to think they are above the law? Lock them up!

    Kommentar av Ardvaark — november 21, 2007 @ 11:26 f m


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