Jacob Oscarson’s Nordic Rebellion speech: “I am not a criminal – I am a messenger”

Jacob Oscarson glued to the street during the Nordic Rebellion in Oslo. Photo: XR

During the Nordic Rebellion on 21 to 29 August 2021, 129 people were arrested for their protests against the Norwegian oil extraction. The trials in Oslo are still ongoing and one of the accused is Jacob Oscarson. Here is his plea in court in Oslo on 22 September.

“My name is Jacob Oscarson, I am 48 years old and I have worked as a programmer for about 27 years. Now I will explain why I did what I did.

We already know everything we need to know about this issue. But I thought we should still hear some witnesses: I call on the 97 percent of all the world’s climate scientists. Fortunately, we already know very well what they are saying, so we do not need to have them physically in the room. You can simply download them in order to hear them say what you have already heard them say so many times.

I admit that I committed civil disobedience. I’m not the first to do that. I admit the act, however I do not admit that it was a criminal act.

116 years ago, Norway sought its freedom from Sweden. The Swedish Parliament mandated the Armed Forces to use military action to stop them.

In Sweden, there was an activist in the labor movement named Zeth Höglund. I have named one of my sons after him. Zeth Höglund published a pamphlet which he called “Put the weapons down!”, and with a sub-slogan underneath: “Peace with Norway!”.

Partly due to this pamphlet, public opinion in support of Norwegian independence became too strong for the Swedish government to handle, and so, Sweden withdrew its threat of military action, and there was no war.

Zeth Höglund was sentenced to six months in prison for publishing the pamphlet, but that didn’t discourage him. Eleven years later he was convicted again for another anti-military pamphlet. This time he was sentenced to one year in prison on Långholmen in Stockholm.

In chemistry, there are some chemical reactions that may need a catalyst to get started. It is a substance that can be used to start a chemical reaction. Zeth Höglund was a human catalyst for starting a reaction to create a good result for humans.

I performed my act because I hoped that afterwards, maybe, maybe, public opinion will continue the process of preventing the insanity which is oil extraction.

Therefore, I am not a criminal but a messenger.

Unfortunately, I have poor health. As you can see, I have scars on my head. I was diagnosed with a suspected fatal brain tumor when I was 23 years old. I went through three brain surgeries and two radiation treatments. I will probably have a shorter lifespan than average. This makes me think a lot about the concept of time and what I can do with the one life I have.

Sometimes I just want to pinch myself in the arm and hope that all this is just a nightmare. Mankind is tinkering with the chemical composition of the atmosphere itself. It is not only stupid, it is suicidal.

So since I may not have that much time, I have to choose the strongest form of pressure I have on hand: civil disobedience.

I am a messenger. Not a criminal.

Furthermore, I would like to comment on what my lawyer just said about the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11, paragraph 143. It mentions that states should not crack down too hard on protesters who address “pressing social needs”.

The concept of what are “pressing needs” must be expanded in the context of the time we have available. Roughly estimated, there have been people living in Europe for some 55,000 years. If we were to compare this with a life expectancy of 80 years, it means that people have been around here for 687.5 times our modern life-spans.

Should a time span of 1 [human life time] out of 687.5 not be considered as “pressing”? Here I have only calculated the time during which today’s type of humans lived in Europe. We know very well that humans as a species is far older than that. Also, considering that if we calculate when the climate crisis will become really serious, say at 2100, then we have 2100 minus 2021 = 79 years left. That is one year less than the modern lifespan of 80 years. Still not “pressing” – or what?

[Here I was interrupted by the judge]

If you want to help in any way, then the best thing you could do is to get involved in the climate movement. If you can’t do that right now, but have the opportunity to support financially, including helping us to pay our fines, you can contribute, (see details below). I can afford to pay a possible fine, but there were many young people who participated in this action. They may not have the same financial opportunities as I do.”
~ Jacob Oscarsson

Nordic Rebellion’s fine fund: Swish 123-1600063 Bankgiro 306-1116

Translated to English from the Swedish magazine Internationalen

Pre-COP26 actions in Milan, Italy

→ The Guardian – 7 October 2021:
Gina Rinehart takes issue with climate change ‘propaganda’ in speech to private girls’ school
“Mining magnate complains students were made to watch Al Gore documentary in video that was edited by her former school.”

The Australian Greens wrote in a newsletter on 9 October 2021:

Do you ever wonder, “How do fossil fuel magnates sleep at night?”

Here’s your answer: Soundly in denial.

This week, Australia’s richest woman and fossil fuel bazillionaire, Gina Rinehart, told a classroom full of school children that “humans do not cause global warming”.

Then she warned the kids against “climate change propaganda”.

Fossil fuel corporations have hijacked the narrative on science and truth. They’ve polluted our environment, our parliament and now our classrooms.

If you saw this absurd story in the news this week, you’ll know that Gina Rinehart told the students at her former school, St Hilda’s, that they’d been “overwhelmed by media and propaganda” regarding climate change.

Then she urged them to “research for the facts”.

She told the girls that they should consider “other causes”, like “the sun’s orbit”, “volcanoes” and “other scientific facts that I had the benefit of learning when I was at school”.

As you can imagine, the school and climate experts have responded swiftly to say Gina is “shockingly wrong on every single issue she mentions.”

Yet she still had a platform in that classroom.

Just as she holds court in our Parliament and in the offices of MPs who are making the decisions affecting our lives, our future… and our very survival.

So long as fossil fuel magnates like Gina have captured our parliament, we are not safe.

We have to kick this fossil-fuel captured government out. And we can at the next federal election, but it’ll take all of us. We need climate champions now.

This election is our best and maybe last chance to save our future – can you help us get over the line?


Our Climate Champions have already been the powerful voice behind our calls to declare a Climate Emergency in parliament. And they’ve helped us stop the government using the taxpayer-funded Renewable Energy Agency to fund more coal and gas.

We know that when we work together to fight fossil fuel magnates’ stranglehold on our parliament, we can win.

The latest polls suggest we’ll hold the balance of power after the next election. This means we can push the next government get out of coal and gas now – not in 2050. Not in decades to come. Now, before it’s too late.

When you chip in $4 a week as a Climate Champion, you’ll help us grow our climate movement until it’s so big and so loud, that not even Gina Rinehart can drown out the truth with her lies.

With you alongside us, change is closer than you think.


Yours in solidarity,

Your Greens Team

P.S. With you alongside us as a Climate Champion we’ll keep telling the truth about fossil fuel and fighting for the action we need to save our future. Join us today!

→ The Guardian – 6 October 2021:

Fossil fuel industry gets subsidies of $11m a minute, IMF finds

Trillions of dollars a year are ‘adding fuel to the fire’ of the climate crisis, experts say

Read the article