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Unofficial American intervention
The CIA, or at least informal American power interests, seemed to dive into the Swedish duck-pond to plummet around and create chaos. Unambiguous evidence is always difficult to present when it comes to interference from expansive intelligence services.
In any case, no denials have been made in the face of the allegation that preparations were closely followed from that point of view and during the June weeks efforts were made to divert and confuse unpleasant criticism, for example against the ongoing American war in Vietnam (one of the major environmental crimes of the day. was poured down over the Vietnamese forests to make it difficult for the guerrillas to move).
Although this did not succeed and this criticism came up both at the official conference (among others by the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme) and at the alternatives, various attempts were made.
One could e.g. scent this diversionary force behind a demonstration against the eradication of whales that was organized (in itself an important issue, but one of the few environmental problems where American interests were not involved) and behind the tent camp at Skarpnäck where the colony Hog Farm had been flown to spread dilute ”Love and Peace” message to the cannabis fumes.
The initiative created some confusion because hard-line Marxist forces used this interference to try to push the People’s Forum further to the left and only allow the participation of groups with a pronounced socialist profile. However, this was only partially successful, but created frustration and split during the course of this project.
Below: Hog farm activists at Skarpnäck field are courted by UN Conference Secretary General Maurice Strong
This whole picture included a circumstance that later became known, namely that one of the closest advisers to then-President Nixon, John Ehrlichman, was secretly in Stockholm to lead the operations, both in the official and in the alternative arenas.
This was an example of how international big politics had come to Stockholm these June weeks. Other circumstances were that the Soviet bloc boycotted the conference (due to West Germany being allowed to participate but not East Dito / GDR) and that the People's Republic of China just before the event became a member of the UN (before that only Taiwan).
The latter aroused some curiosity. The Chinese delegates were still some of the odd birds in the international crane dance, when they appeared in their Mao jackets and it was uncertain how they would act and vote, etc. They mainly joined the so-called 77 group<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_of_77>, ie the Independents developing countries (today much larger and more heterogeneous). From there, the overarching theme – now and then – was that the environmental crisis was created by the early industrialized powers in the West and that this would not hinder the developing countries’ pursuit of decent living conditions.
which, however, did not obscure the view that, in parallel with
the UN conference, sharp alternatives to the environmental crisis
were formulated and a number of committed forces emerged that want
to push them further on a global stage.
A major mercury disaster in Japan was of great importance to the Japanese environmental movement, which was run by researchers and representatives came to Stockholm to tell.