Demanding that all countries center climate justice as they take steps to transition away from fossil fuel-sourced energy, Fridays for Future leader Greta Thunberg joined dozens of Norwegian Sami people and their supporters Monday at Norway's Energy Ministry to protest wind turbines that have been constructed on Indigenous lands.
"Indigenous rights, human rights must go hand-in-hand with climate protection and climate action," Thunberg toldReuters. "That can't happen at the expense of some people. Then it is not climate justice."
Thunberg was among hundreds of people who blocked the entrance to the ministry, with many participants chaining themselves together as they displayed a sign reading, "Land Back."
The Sami people are demanding that the ministry abide by a 2021 Supreme Court ruling which found that two wind farms in central Norway violate the Samis' international rights.
The Indigenous group has traditionally herded reindeer on the land used by the Roan Vind and Fosen Vind farms, and the Sami protesters said the wind turbines used disturb the animals.
Despite the Supreme Court ruling handed down 16 months ago, the two farms remain in operation.
"It is absurd that the Norwegian government has chosen to ignore the ruling," Thunberg told the Associated Press.
The Swedish climate leader joined the protest days after Sami demonstrators began occupying the ministry's reception area last Thursday. Police forcibly removed about a dozen Sami people at about 2:30 am on Monday, before the group assembled outside the ministry and participants chained themselves together.
By using chains, "we make it practically more difficult to move us," Sami activist Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen toldNRK.
The Supreme Court did not specify in 2021 what the companies should do with the 151 wind turbines constructed on the land, and Reutersreported that the ministry is "hoping to find a compromise."
"We understand that this case is a burden for the reindeer herders," Minister of Energy and Petroleum Terje Aasland told Reuters. "The ministry will do what it can to contribute to resolving this case and that it will not take longer than necessary."
After the ruling was handed down, Sami Parliament president Silje Karine Muotka told Reuters that the decision "must have consequences."
"The consequence is that the wind farms need to be removed," Muotka said. "This is an opportunity for the minister to make right the wrongs of many others."
The wind farms—which are owned by Germany's Stadtwerke Muenchen, Norwegian utilities Statkraft and TroenderEnergi, and Swiss firms Energy Infrastructure Partners and BKW—say they are waiting for a decision from the government about how to proceed.
"We trust that the ministry will find good solutions allowing us to continue the production of renewable energy while maintaining the rights of the reindeer owners," said Roan Vind in a statement.
This content originally appeared on Common Dreams and was authored by Julia Conley.