On 2 October 2010, Gandhi’s birthday, CPTer Martin
Smedjeback received the non-violence award of the Swedish Fellowship of
Reconciliation (SweFOR). He has worked as secretary of non-violence for SweFOR
and is now non-violence facilitator and a peace activist.
In an interview, Smedjebak said, “I am incredibly honored to
receive this award. And I was
moved when I understood that it was my parents, who don’t share my views on
civil disobedience, who had nominated me.
I would never have thought that they would do such a thing.
“When I was released from prison some weeks ago my aunt told
me I might have burnt my bridges.
That made me a bit nervous, thinking that people might distance
themselves from me because of my peace actions. But the responses to my actions and subsequent prison time
have been overwhelmingly positive.
I have felt that my activism has opened doors rather than burnt any
bridges.” (Smedjeback was
sentenced to four months in prison as a consequence of disarming fourteen
bazookas in October 2008 at Saab Bofors Dynamics in Eskilstuna, Sweden,
together with Anna Andersson.)
Smedjeback says he will use the 500 Euro award for the
disarmament campaign against Swedish weapons export.
Statement from the board of SweFOR concerning this year’s
award: Martin Smedjeback shows what non-violence can mean as a way
of life with consequences of all aspects of life. Everyday decisions can be parts of a radical way of life and
non-violence can be a force that permeates every encounter with others, here
and now. More than most people Martin shows this by meeting every
fellow human being, regardless of opinions, with respect and warmth, without
compromising his own values. Through
personal courage, but also by transmitting knowledge and attitudes, Martin is a
role model for many. Martin Smedjeback’s non-violence trainings have given, and
still give, many people tools to reflect on the meaning of nonviolence and to
take a stand on their own. When
the road of nonviolence is at its strongest, it makes the world around us a
little bit warmer, happier and a more human place to be in, and makes us want
to spread these experiences to others. Martin Smedjeback lives and radiates nonviolence in a way
that few of us do.
SweFOR has been giving out the nonviolence award since 1993.
The 2009 award was given to the
organization Swedish Muslims for Peace and Justice; 2008 to the disarmament
campaign of Disarm08, and 2007 to Jehan Perera who works with the National
Peace Council on Sri Lanka.
For more information on Martin Smedjeback – see www.ickevald.se
For more information on SweFOR – see https://www.krf.se/en