Climate activists try to glue themselves to Norway’s ‘The Scream’

Climate activists from Just Stop Oil were apprehended by security at Norway's National Museum when they attempted to glue themselves to the frame of Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' on Friday.

Pictured is the scream.
Three activists were apprehended on Friday after trying to glue themselves to The Scream. Pictured is the scream while on loan in Holland in 2015.-Photo by Bas Cxerwinksi / ANP / AFP

Climate activists tried to glue themselves to Edvard Munch’s masterpiece “The Scream” in Oslo on Friday to protest against Norway’s oil industry, but guards intervened and the artwork was undamaged, police said.

“We are at the National Museum after a report from guards there. They have taken control of three people, two of whom tried to glue themselves to a
painting”, police wrote on Twitter. “They did not succeed, but there are traces of glue on the glass case. No reports of damage to the painting.”

The iconic painting from 1893, now a symbol of existential angst, depicts a humanlike figure standing on a bridge, clutching its head in apparent horror against the backdrop of a swirling sky.

The organisation Stop Oil Exploration told Tidens and, a Norwegian culture magazine, that its intention was to “snap people out of their apathy” in order
to “arrive at the conversation we want to have”. Norway is the biggest oil producer in Western Europe.

Protesters have targeted numerous priceless pieces of art in museums across Europe in recent weeks to protest the lack of action against climate change.

Dozens of the world’s top museums issued a joint declaration on Thursday saying environmental activists who attack paintings “severely underestimate” the damage that could be caused.

Scientists told the UN climate summit in Egypt on Friday that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, the main driver of climate change, are on track to rise one percent in 2022 to reach an all-time high

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Norway moves to ban motorcycle club linked to violent crime

Norwegian police have moved to ban the Satudarah Motorcycle Club as the authorities believe the organisation has a predisposition to serious crime.

Norway moves to ban motorcycle club linked to violent crime

Internationally, the club is often connected to drug dealing and organised crime. Authorities in Norway believe the perpetrators of a recent stabbing in Lillestrøm and a shooting in Oslo could be connected to the Satudarah MC (SMC).

The police now want to take Satudarah to court and ban them completely.

“We believe that the main purpose of Satudarah in Norway is to engage in crime,” Anders Rasch-Olsen, the head of the Special Operations Section (SO) in the Oslo Police District, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

In 2021, a new law was introduced that allows courts to ban criminal gangs. The Satudarah motorcycle club is the first organisation that the authorities want to use the law against.

“We now want to test this law for the first time. We believe it is the right tool for us to prevent expansion, further participation and recruitment into certain gangs,” Rasch-Olsen said.

Taking the case to court

State prosecutor Ingelin Hauge wants to take the case to court.

“We believe it’s a criminal gang,” she told NRK.

However, for it to be a criminal offence to participate in Satudarah activities, the association must first be banned. 

Lawyer Usama Ahmad has been asked to represent the club. Ahmad is the lawyer of a 38-year-old man who the police believe is the leader of the Satudarah MC in Oslo.

“He disagrees with the claims and believes this association is not illegal. He, therefore, wants to present counterevidence in court against a possible ban,” Ahmad said.

“We believe that the information the prosecutor’s office relies on is not corrected and up-to-date. He believes the association’s purpose is not linked to crime,” Ahmad added.

If the court decides to implement a ban, it will become illegal for the MC club to carry out its activities and recruit new members.

Fighting organised crime

The Special Operations Section in the Oslo police works on fighting organised crime in the capital. Together with other departments, they have led the investigation of the MC club in Norway.

In collaboration with several police districts, they have mapped members and supporters in the Oslo area and the crime they believe they have committed.

“Drug crime, violent crime, extortion and kidnapping. Things that create fear in society,” Rasch-Olsen noted.

According to media reports, the Satudarah organisation in Oslo consists of a core of 12 people.

In the Oslo police’s report “Trends in crime 2018-2021”, the police stated that the MC club was more characterised by crime, violence and the use of firearms than by motorcycle riding.

“We can safely say that the majority in the Oslo chapter has not shown any particular interest in motorcycles,” Rasch-Olsen said.