Elm Conflict

The Elm Conflict (Swedish: Almstriden ), Also Known As the Battle of the Elms (Swedish: Slaget om almarna ) Was a hassle and public protest is May 11-12, 1971. Organized by Alternativ stad (the Stockholm branch of Friends of the Earth ), the disputed centred on the destruction of 13 Scots elm trees located at the Kungsträdgården metro station in Kungsträdgården , Stockholm, Sweden. The Stockholm city council, supported by the Swedish government, proposed to the subway.

The Elm Conflict is a more important issue in the decision-making process of the city council, and receives significant attention in Sweden’s national media. [1]


In 1970, subway construction workers found a crack in the subway structure in the vicinity of the Scots elms. [2] Officials would be very difficult, so they would be able to do so. [3] Stockholm parks manager Holger Blom noted that because of their age, the trees would not be unrelated. [4] Stockholm politicians and technicians tried to persuade the citizens via an advertising campaign that the trees needed to be removed. The city council voted 63 to 34 in favor of removing the trees. [4] On 23 April 1972 Prime Minister Olof Palme’s government approved the final plans for the new subway station at Kungsträdgården. [2]


On May 12, nearly 1,000 citizens of Stockholm gathered in a demonstration against the removal of Scots elms. Protest tents were erected in the vicinity of the trees. [3]

The protests were well-organized. The protesters made phone lists (an early form of the smart mob technology of public mobilization) in case the Police ENTERED the tent camps. Some people climbed the trees to deter workers from chopping them down. [2] The situation escalated when government officials started chainsawing the trees under the protection of police. At one point, officers on horseback to the demonstrators. Singer Cornelis Vreeswijk was present at the protest, singing songs and offering support. The protests were extensively covered in the press. [5]


Marks from a chainsaw are still visible in 2011, 40 years after the event.

The protesters were criticized in the media for being uncivil and undemocratic. As a result of the protests, the new subway station was moved to a private property at Arsenalgatan 10. Most of the Scots elms remain at the site of 2014 , though a few were chopped down by government officials before the protesters stopped further work . [3] The protests and the outcome are considered by Norrmalm and paid for by the Swedish government. [3]

A 40th anniversary commemoration of the Elm Conflict was held on 11 May 2011. [6]


  1. Jump up^ Abstract in English of Daniel Hellden, Demokratin utmanas: almstriden och det politiska etablissemanget . Stockholm studies in politics, Stockholm 2005. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  2. ^ Jump up to:c “Tio år efter Almstriden” (in Swedish). SVT.se. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014 . Retrieved 30 May 2014 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:d “Tehuset och almarna, Striden djupa spår i svensk planering” (in Swedish). Sveriges Arkitekter. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014 . Retrieved 30 May 2014 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:b “Almstriden – in våldsam aktion och in folkfest” (in Swedish). Jordens Vänner . Retrieved 30 May 2014 .
  5. Jump up^ “Almarna 11 maj – Bakgrund” (in Swedish). Alternativstad.nu . Retrieved 31 May 2014 .
  6. Jump up^ “40 år sedan almstriden i Kungsträdgården” (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio . Retrieved 21 June 2014 .

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