Vandalism at Northvolt: “eco-sabotage” approaching “eco-terrorism”

The incendiary objects found on the site of the future Northvolt battery factory during the weekend could amount to an act of “ecoterrorism” if the aim was to destroy property, according to an expert.

• Read also: Incendiary objects placed on the tires of certain equipment at the Northvolt site: “It’s a handful of irresponsible people”

“Ecoterrorism is most often the destruction of property or infrastructure with the aim of protecting the environment and preventing its degradation and destruction. The people who do this want to protect the environment,” explains John Gilmour of the Canadian Institute of Global Affairs.

Yesterday morning, incendiary objects were discovered on the tires of certain machinery on the site, denounced the president and CEO of Northvolt North America, Paolo Cerruti, at a press conference. However, the trigger devices did not work, suggesting that the objective was to scare, adds Mr. Cerruti.

An invention?

For Francis Dupuis-Déry, these acts are more akin to “sabotage” or “vandalism”.

“The word “terrorism” has serious implications, and the word “ecoterrorism” is an invention of the police and intelligence services, to disqualify rather simple acts of vandalism or sabotage, very little “violent” if we compare them to other forms of political violence,” he said by email.

The actions committed against the Northvolt project are defined as “eco-sabotage”, given the absence of violence and human victims.

John Gilmour agrees and recalls that the term “terrorism” allows for a negative connotation. However, if the triggering devices had been functional, this could then have been considered ecoterrorism, believes Mr. Gilmour.

“And if their objective had been to injure or kill people, it would have been a big, very unusual change of course, because in 95% of cases environmental groups only attack property and infrastructure,” continues – he, recalling that we will have to wait for the conclusion of the investigation to know the real motives.

Fourth time

This is not the first time that the site, currently under construction, has been targeted by citizens or groups. Several acts of “eco-sabotage” have already taken place, notably when opponents of the project inserted steel bars and nails into several hundred trees, making them dangerous to cut without endangering the machinery or their operators. They must have been cut up to have a second life.

– With Chrystian Viens and Yves Lévesque


January 23, 2024
Nails and steel bars are driven into trees to be cut down and reused.

Screenshot TVA News

February 27, 2024
Nail mats were laid on the site of the future Northvolt factory to prevent trucks and machinery from filling in wetlands on the land.

Screenshot TVA News

May 3, 2024
The offices of the Urban Wood Valorization Center, which has a contract with Northvolt, were sprayed with paint.


Photo taken from Facebook

May 6, 2024
Incendiary objects were found on the wheels of machinery used on the site of the future factory.

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