The Society Party is one of Norway’s micro-parties and it has been around since 1985, started by party leader Øystein Meier Johannessen and its still going strong in 2018. Mr. Johannessen has had a history of odd ways to promote his anarchist party politics and this article will cover my top 5 favorite moments. Enjoy the ride!
1. Protesting with a horsehead.
The fairly unorthodox way to protest the European Union sneaking in its influence over your country is to put a decapitated horsehead on a pole outside of parliament.
That is exactly what Mr. Johannessen did outside the Norwegian parliament back in 2011. The protest was permitted beforehand by the capitals police force but got abruptly ended by law enforcement officers after complaints had been phoned in about the macabre scene.
The poor horsehead got confiscated and its owner, Øystein, was forbidden to come within 200 meters of the parliament after the incident.
“If we can stand the Israelian military killing kids, we can stomach a severed horsehead” was a famous reply Mr. Johannessen did to the press in the aftermath.
2. Staging his own murder.
Micro parties usually have Micro Budgets and the Society Party is no exception. So, what to do to get attention to your freshly started party 1985 with a budget that is too modest for TV or newspaper ads?
Well, if you are a destined for greatness you get the help from a couple of friends and set up your own fake homicide, of course! The merry gang of anarchists fired some fake shots and the “lifeless body” of Øystein Johannessen got put into a car and driven off the scene.
The theater act generated a lot of media attention and when the police found out it was just an act, they threw Mr. Johannesen into jail for 40 days for wasting police resources.
Nothing helps you punish squandering of taxpayer money like using more of them, right?
3. Parking for Propaganda.
“Allah Akbar, the holy war continues until the Jews leave Palestine. Earth to Earth,
ashes to ashes, dust to dust”
That was the text translation of the Arabic on the black flag, nailed to an old model ambulance that stood suspiciously parked outside the office of Norwegian State Television.
Journalist inside the office got terrified when they saw the car and called the Police that promptly investigated with the bomb unit for any explosives. When none was found the ambulance got impounded.
Mr. Johannessen later confessed that it was his vehicle and said it was a PR stunt to draw attention to his party and their cause. This earned him a 30-day stint in prison.
The Society Party later set the ambulance on fire outside a government building in Øystein Johannessen’s hometown in an unrelated protest. Rest in peace, sweet band-aid wagon.
4. A friend of Magic Mushrooms
In the Norwegian nature, Psilocybe semilanceata (or liberty cap if you will) is growing in the wild. The problem? Its classified as a narcotic drug by the government. The solution? Well, if you are Øystein there is only one thing to do: Pick it up and use it “In protest and for partying purposes“.
He got in trouble with the law for doing this and while the investigation was ongoing he was an elected member of the government council in his home commune Hemnes. When asked if this would be a problem for his position as an official he simply replied:
“I am not entirely sure, I’d have to ask the council if they still have faith in me.”
Øystein has admitted to having used magic mushrooms at least 100 times and has taken it in front of Norwegian state television camera, watch the video here (fast forward to 1:45 for when its ingested and take-off is happening. Video in Norwegian).
5. Massage and striptease shows for votes
In 2009, Norway introduced a country-wide ban on prostitution, making it illegal to sell your body for money. Unless you do it in front of a camera, with the intent to distribute the production. If that is the case, it is totally fine.
Being a man that knows how to use controversies to make political statements; Øystein Meier Johannessen hired 5 Nigerian ex-prostitutes, that just got their jobs outlawed, to massage locals in Hemnes to kick off the Norwegian election campaign.
The purpose? To make a statement against the freshly made law and hope to gain some voters in the election.
“Just like in [the amsterdam] red-light district, people will have the opportunity to have a good time with some nice ladies”, Øystein told a newspaper.
The Nigerian ladies toured with the Society Party campaign. “There will be striptease show and massage for anyone that wishes. We in the party do not concern ourselves with what kind of massage that will be going on”.
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Society Party on Wikipedia (English)