VKS – News from Valkyria


Hystaiga cleared of responsibility for nightclub attack, jet shootdown

“The people responsible for the attacks are still out there and pose a significant threat”

Tove Jakobsdóttir (she/her), Chief politics writer
Tuesday, 14 November 2023

Austral | Valkyrisk | Austurmál | Fjellspråk | Läntinen

Warning: This article contains discussion of graphic violence, harassment, and suicide.

Ravneby — For the first time, the Valkyrian government has cleared the Hystaigan government of any responsibility for two 2019 events that then-Prime Minister Stella Kaufman gave as a pretext for the Kalkara War, one of the bloodiest wars that Valkyria had ever fought.

In the early morning of 13 June 2019, more than 200 people, mostly university-age Valkyrians, were enjoying prewinter festivities at a Ravneby nightclub. It would not be long before 192 of them would perish in an act of terrorism. With many of the building’s exits barred shut, the perpetrators released sarin, a toxic nerve agent, into the building, killing almost all of the building’s occupants.

In the late evening hours of 14 October, Captain Kaia Simonsen and Specialist Kalervo Mäkelä took flight near the Hystaigan–Valkyrian border. It would be the last time they would ever fly again. An unidentified rocket fired from the ground on the Hystaigan side of the mountainous border that is called Mount Kalkara struck their jet, instantly killing the two pilots and sending their remains and the aircraft itself crashing into the mountain.

By 28 October, the Valkyrian government led by Kaufman reached the conclusion that Hystaiga was responsible for both of these events, steering the nation towards a conflict with its western neighbour that would last nearly three years, the duration of her term as prime minister.

Smoke rising from where the Valkyrian jet crashed near Mount Kalkara, 15 October 2019

Valkyrian Prime Minister Steve Bennett gave an address on the floor of the storting, opposite of Kaufman, who now serves as the Leader of the Opposition. In it, Bennett looked straight at Kaufman and accused her and the Kaufman government of “irrational governance” and “jumping to conclusions” about the two events without having conducted a thorough inquiry into each of them.

The Socialist prime minister stated that the National Police have concluded that both of these events were committed by parties that did not involve the Hystaigan government or any person with ties to Hystaiga. In the case of the nightclub, the National Police determined that a Valkyrian militia group called Svartedauden (Black Death) was responsible for the attack, targeting the nightclub’s occupants for their perceived opposition to the group’s political goals.

As for the fighter jet, a Valkyrian man associated with a cultist movement in the nation’s northern reach has been arrested in connection to the shootdown. Based on the information provided by the National Police, the person in question fired a rocket at the jet from the Hystaigan side of the border to provoke an international conflict between the two central Cordilian nations.

The prime minister stated that the National Police have begun manhunts for the perpetrators of these attacks. The Office of Cultist Movement Investigations (Kontor for undersøkelser av kultistbevegelser, KUKB) and Centre for Organised Crime (Senter for organisert kriminalitet, SOK) within the National Police will respectively conduct the searches for the cultist and militia groups responsible for the attacks.

In his address, Bennett was also critical of the nation’s security services, particularly the Intelligence Directorate-General (Generaldirektoratet for Etterretning, GDE) for their failure to detect the rising threat posed by cultist movements and militia groups operating within Valkyria, which had been growing in popularity in the mid-2010s.

When Taeler Shaw became home minister in 2022, she initiated several reforms that saw the GDE open a task force with the National Police to conduct intelligence gathering on cultists and militias, the Domestic Counterterrorism Task Force (Innenlandsk arbeidsgruppe mot terror, IAGT). So far, the intelligence collected by the IAGT has been useful, resulting in the March 2023 arrests of more than a thousand suspected cultists, including the controversial arrest of Northern Party leader Jake Marshall.

Propaganda still from a Svartedauden recruitment video shot in Hystaiga, 2021

However, the IAGT’s intelligence-gathering activities regarding militias within Valkyria have been sparse. While the task force was successful in accumulating information on suspected cultists, the investigation into militias has proved difficult for Valkyrian security services. According to the home minister, militias have been more defensive of their operational security compared to cultist movements, making intelligence gathering on militias a more cumbersome task.

Very little is known about Svartedauden, a militia group that largely operates on encrypted networks, using overlays and virtual private networks to hide their tracks. Groups such as Svartedauden have made extensive use of encrypted messaging services to hide their communications from internet service providers, mobile network operators, and law enforcement.

The difficult task presented by militias like Svartedauden has been reflective of the arrests the National Police have made related to suspected militia activities, which has been less than 40 in 2023 alone, compared to the thousands of arrests made in connection to suspected cultist activities.

What is known about Svartedauden is its ideology and activities. The militia is overtly fascist, taking on imagery, symbols, and slogans from the fascist dictatorship that ruled over Valkyria for almost half of the 20th century, and glorifying Marshall Fallen, who served as the Chief of the Valkyrian Empire from 1923 until his death in 1966. The group does not consider the governments that succeeded the fascist regime since 1970 as legitimate.

Formed in 2004, Svartedauden was initially a group chat for six former students from the University of Gullkysten who were expelled after they attacked a socialist student. They spent 10 years in prison for the assault but reconnected after their release in 2015. The six co-founders of Svartedauden have not been seen in public or communicated with their relatives since, making it difficult for the National Police to locate them.

Today, the GDE estimates that Svartedauden has more than 2000 members across Valkyria, which was made possible due to the extensive social media campaign that the group has waged since its leaders’ release in 2015. Their ability to recruit was compounded by the political success of social democrat Margaret Harrison in 2016, who was the furthest left-wing leader elected in Valkyria at the time.

In its initial years, the group operated in the shadows, undetected by the Valkyrian security services. During this time, Svartedauden concentrated on recruitment and radicalisation, targeting disenchanted youths in secondary schools, universities, and workplaces. The election of Harrison as the president of Qvait and later as the prime minister of a united Qvait and Austurland – Valkyria – was an inflexion point for the group.

Harrison’s leadership tilted the nation to the left more than it had ever been with social democracy, feminism, and internationalism – all ideologies antithetical to Svartedauden – taking on a newfound role in Valkyria. According to University of Ravneby politics professor Magnus Djupvik, the rise of Svartedauden is attributable to the sociocultural backlash that ensued following Harrison’s rise to power.

Indeed, after Harrison’s election in 2016, alleged cultist movements grew in popularity at the same time and rate as militia groups. However, only the former caught the attention of the National Police, which was possible due to the persistence of the Populist Left, a party composed of mostly northern rural, agrarian social democrats who faced a greater threat from cultists. The militias that gained traction at the same time did not catch the attention of the Valkyrian security services.

In 2017, Svartedauden was responsible for the suicides of at least 19 people, 17 of whom were Valkyrian, after engaging in online harassment campaigns against them on social media. At the time, the National Police were unable to connect Svartedauden to the suicides until 2023. The harassment campaigns are thought to be the first criminal actions committed by the group.

Eventually, the group started leaving propaganda posters on university campuses and tagging dormitory doors with left-facing arrows to signify that the occupant was a leftist. In 2018, Svartedauden engaged in street fights with left-wing activists on university campuses, though they remained masked to maintain the secrecy of the group.

Members of the Valkyrian Special Forces near Dystalia, January 2022

The 2019 attack on the Ravneby nightclub represented a new level of crime for Svartedauden in terms of the organisation and planning necessary to execute the attack. Some former police investigators and intelligence analysts have told VKS that it would take highly-trained soldiers to execute the attack without a single member being arrested or killed, leading to speculation that those within Svartedauden who carried out the attack were current or former members of the Valkyrian Defence Force who had access to the military’s chemical reserves.

When Kaufman called for a declaration of war on Hystaiga in November 2019, she said that the National Police and GDE told her that “no non-state actor that can conceivably conduct an attack on Valkyria with chemical weapons and leave very little evidence of their responsibility”, but if active-duty Valkyrian soldiers with access to the nation’s chemical weapons arsenal indeed colluded with a neo-fascist militia, these facts change the calculus.

On Tuesday, Bennett stated that the national government will conduct an inquiry into the security services’ shortcomings, but the National Police and GDE will now conduct extensive investigations into Valkyrian militias moving forward, and the Valkyrian military will audit those who have access to the nation’s chemical weapons arsenal.

The implication that Svartedauden potentially has members in active service in the Valkyrian Defence Force has thrown one of the world’s most elite militaries into turmoil. Since 2016, the Defence Force has rigorously vetted its newest recruits for any signs of radicalism, but a loophole in the regulations exempted those who were already serving from being subject to the new vetting procedures.

Bennett, himself a former member of Njord Group, the most elite Special Forces unit within the Defence Force, said that soldiers found to be complicit in Svartedauden's activities would be court-martialed and imprisoned, “If anyone in the Defence Force collaborated with these fascists, they are traitors and enemies of freedom and will be treated with the utmost disdain accorded to such.”

With the threat that Svartedauden potentially poses, Bennett has called for a nationwide state of emergency, adding a new one on top of the existing state of emergency recently declared for Valkyria’s northern reach. The storting will vote on the declaration later Tuesday after interparty discussions on the declaration’s language. Thereafter, Jarlskona Kate Murphy will have to decide whether to grant her assent to the declaration of a state of emergency.

If granted, Valkyria will be under a nationwide state of emergency for the first time since its one and only invocation in 2019 due to the attacks. During such a state of emergency, which will likely be invoked due to the threat of an insurrection, the Valkyrian constitution permits the national government to mobilise the entire Defence Force to assist the National Police with their investigations and arrests. Further, the police and military will be able to detain people without trial for up to three months as opposed to three days.

The address from the prime minister drew strong reactions from all sides of the storting, evoking a variety of responses from those present. The feeling of the room was tense as Bennett identified Svartedauden as the perpetrators of the nightclub attack. However, audible jeers were coming from the opposition when Bennett accused Kaufman of naivety.

Kaufman, the first to respond to Bennett’s address in her position as the Leader of the Opposition, called his address to the storting as “chilling” and hoped that the people responsible for the attacks were brought to justice, but said that the accusations towards her were “ludicrous”. The former prime minister said that she “followed the facts” as they were known then and that her declaration of war was directly tied to the information provided to her by the National Police and GDE.

Kaufman went on to accuse her successor of using the address to initiate a “political witchhunt” against her and the conservative opposition, citing the recent criminal indictment of Marshall. She stated that the prime minister was deplorable to link the Valkyrian security services’ failures to her leadership, arguing that she inherited police investigators and intelligence analysts who were there long before she came to power.

The response from the western side of Mount Kalkara was one of relief. Blisse Starke, the Supreme Voice of Hystaiga, called Bennett’s address a welcome step towards the healing of both central Cordilian states and for the capture of the perpetrators of these attacks.

From her office in Karelia, Starke said that the perpetrators succeeded in drawing Valkyria into a war with an innocent nation and “permanently scarring” an entire generation of Hystaigans and Valkyrians. The Supreme Voice went further to accuse Kaufman of being “naive” and “eager” to enter into a conflict with Hystaiga. Starke said, “Now, the hard work must begin to bring these people to justice.”

In related news…

  • State of emergency: what this means for daily life inside Valkyria
  • Svartedauden: who are the people who founded the militia
  • Valkyrian National Police to open checkpoints throughout the nation


Valkyrian PM: Unrest in Crabry threatens Valkyrian sovereignty

Conflicts on Romordia and Jakub have unraveled inter-Gulf relations

Tove Jakobsdóttir (she/her), Chief politics writer
Monday, 20 November 2023

Austral | Valkyrisk | Austurmál | Fjellspråk | Läntinen

Ravneby — The recent spate of violence seen in Romordia and Jakub threaten the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Valkyrian nation, Prime Minister Steve Bennett said on Sunday. Valkyria, which shares the Gulf of Kringalia with these two Crabryan nations, has recently taken in thousands of Romordian refugees, and the government expects that the unrest in Jakub will exacerbate the situation.

For now, the Valkyrian government has allowed most Romordian refugees to stay in Valkyria, but the statement made by Bennett indicates that the government is expecting an influx of Jakubian refugees, a situation that the government is trying to avoid, University of Ravneby sociology professor Marleena Ryynänen told the VKS. According to Ryynänen, the refugee crisis coming out of Crabry could fuel an anti-immigrant backlash that could topple Valkyria’s leftist government.

Bennett has called for the preservation of peace and democracy in Jakub and expressed a willingness to cooperate militarily with Weisserstein and other nations, if necessary, to keep the peace. This statement represents a dramatic break from the ones Bennett made in 2022 when the prime minister was trying to keep Valkyria out of international conflicts so soon after withdrawing the Valkyrian Defence Force from Hystaiga.

However, the calculus appears to have changed considering the political volatility of having an unstable continent right off Valkyria’s shores that could produce refugees in the millions. The political situation as it exists today has drawn comparisons to the circumstances facing Valkyria leading up to the 2019 general election when anti-immigrant attitudes surged after Prime Minister Margaret Harrison accepted nearly a quarter-million refugees over the course of three years.

In the intervening years, the Valkyrian left has taken on various views on immigration. A growing and influential faction in the Populist Left has expressed scepticism towards the matter, preferring little to no settlement of refugees within Valkyria. Members of the Labour Party and The Greens have continued their support for immigration into Valkyria. Meanwhile, the Socialist Party has taken an ambivalent view of the issue.

National Gendarmerie patrolling the coast off Gullkysten, 18 July 2023

Despite the government deferring on the deportation of Romordian refugees, The New Right and other conservative groups have sued the government in the courts, accusing the Bennett government of violating a five-year moratorium on refugees that was implemented by the Immigration Regulatory Act 2019 (IRA 19), a law passed during Stella Kaufman’s premiership. The moratorium is set to expire on 25 September 2024.

While Bennett has strongly supported repealing IRA 19, his government has been unable to do so because of resistance from the Populist Left. The Socialist prime minister has argued that the continued existence of IRA 19 in Valkyrian law has left a “black mark” on the nation and its ability to conduct foreign affairs.

The Valkyrian response to the crisis developing in Jakub stands in contrast to the indifference of the Rhaynan government. In the past few months, the two left-wing governments in Valkyria and Rhayna have seen eye-to-eye on various issues until now. Ryynänen argues that geography plays a large role in the two governments’ divergence on Jakub. Rhayna is situated further from Crabry, and its water access lies on the Cordilian west coast, limiting the prospect of having to take on refugees for Valkyria’s northern neighbour.

Bennett has stated that he does not want to conduct a violent military campaign in Jakub, but the prime minister believes that the indefinite presence of an international peacekeeping force in Crabry is necessary to limit further violence in the region.

In other news…

  • State of emergency: no arrests made yet in connection to Svartedauden
  • State of emergency: much of the same for residents of the Valkyrian north
  • Deadline approaches for citizen proposals for Referendum Day 2024


Valkyria must deport Romordian and Jakubian refugees, court says

A 2019 moratorium has hampered the government’s ability to accept refugees

Tove Jakobsdóttir (she/her), Chief politics writer
Saturday, 25 November 2023

Austral | Valkyrisk | Austurmál | Fjellspråk | Läntinen

Ravneby — The Immigration Court has issued a ruling against the Valkyrian government’s deferral to deport refugees coming from Romordia and Jakub, ordering the government to deport them as soon as possible, citing a five-year moratorium imposed by the Immigration Regulatory Act 2019 (IRA 19).

Valkyrian Prime Minister Steve Bennett, who has yet to publicly comment on the issue, had previously been adamant about repealing IRA 19, but resistance from the Populist Left to do just so has left the refugee moratorium in place, which is set to expire on 25 September 2024. Until then, Valkyria cannot accept refugees from any nation. Despite the moratorium, more than 100,000 people have been detained by the National Gendarmerie after crossing the Valkyrian maritime boundary in a developing Cordilian migrant crisis.

The ruling by the Immigration Court has been derided by human rights organisations who have stated that Romordians and Jakubians no longer have a stable home to return to. Meanwhile, The New Right and other anti-immigrant groups have praised the ruling, calling it a matter of the rule of law.

The Valkyrian government, which had been trying to avoid having to deport the refugees, must now comply with the ruling. Bennett and Foreign Minister Avianna Aldridge, both leaders of the Socialist Party and the Labour Party respectively, have reportedly been trying to find loopholes in Valkyrian law that would allow the government to sidestep the 2019 moratorium, but the Conservative government that passed the law ensured that the moratorium was absolute and without exception.

Behind the scenes, representatives from the Socialist and Labour camps have reportedly tried to persuade the Populist Left to join the rest of the Alliance of Social Democrats in repealing IRA 19 and the refugee moratorium, but those efforts were said to have been futile. With a 53-seat majority in the Storting and the Populist Left holding 81 of the government’s seats, the governing Alliance of Social Democrats cannot afford to lose the latter’s support because it would trigger the government’s collapse.

Boat with refugees approaching Gullkysten, 11 November 2023

In Ravneby, the Valkyrian capital, duelling protests in support and opposition to taking in Romordian and Jakubian refugees have been waged for days. Recent polling conducted by the VKS earlier in November shows that the nation is evenly divided on the issue. For the first time since coming to power in July 2022, the left-wing government in Valkyria faces a critical test in having to take sides on a divisive issue.

However, the government itself has been divided on the issue. While there is consensus among the Socialists, Labour, Greens, and Pirates to repeal IRA 19, the Populist Left has not changed its position on the moratorium. Shortly after the ruling, Bennett called for an interparty meeting with the governing bloc’s leaders at the prime minister’s residence to decide the government’s next steps.

According to sources in the Utøvende, the prime minister does not have any plans to immediately deport the Romordian and Jakubian refugees present in Valkyria and hopes to find a solution that will see the country keep the refugees, but time is running out for the government to do just that.

In other news…

  • Duelling protests in Ravneby challenge state of emergency curfew
  • State of emergency: where isSvartedauden?
  • The issues that Valkyrians will decide on Referendum Day 2024


Valkyria passes exemptions in refugee moratorium

Romordians and Jakubians will be exempt from the 2019 moratorium on refugees

Tove Jakobsdóttir (she/her), Chief politics writer
Tuesday, 28 November 2023

Austral | Valkyrisk | Austurmál | Fjellspråk | Läntinen

Ravneby — The storting voted to pass legislation that exempted Romordians and Jakubians from the five-year refugee moratorium imposed by the Immigration Regulatory Act 2019 (IRA 19), which is set to expire on 25 September 2024, less than ten months from Tuesday. While the storting could not repeal IRA 19 outright, the government’s ability to create an exception has partially alleviated what several human rights organisations called a preventable humanitarian disaster in Valkyria.

The legislation came after the party leaders of the governing Alliance of Social Democrats assembled at the Utøvende for a meeting called by Prime Minister Steve Bennett, who as the general secretary of the Socialist Party, met with Labour leader and Foreign Minister Avianna Aldridge, Populist Left leader and Home Minister Taeler Shaw, Pirate leader and Communications Minister David Mira, and Greens leader and Environment Minister Ruby Burke.

The five-leader meeting lasted for about nine hours on Saturday and ten hours on Sunday. During this two-day meeting, the leaders discussed the Immigration Court decision at length and ways to remedy the refugee crisis. According to sources who were present for the meeting, the environment was tense with four of the governing bloc’s leaders urging the Populist Left leader to drop the party’s opposition to repealing IRA 19.

Despite their urging, Shaw maintained the party’s line on IRA 19 on the first day of the meeting. However, the Populist Left leader came back to the meeting on the second day after meeting with the rest of the party’s members to present a compromise: an exemption for Romordians and Jakubians escaping their homelands due to the conflicts in their nations.

Bennett and the other party leaders agreed to the compromise, prompting them to return and the Alliance of Social Democrats to quickly draft legislation that would effectively create the exemption and overturn the Immigration Court’s ruling. Under a fast-tracked parliamentary process, the governing bloc allowed the exemption, titled the Amended Immigration Regulatory Act 2023 (AIRA 23), to skip the first two readings and head straight into a vote on whether to send the legislation to the jarlskona for signing.

All five parties, including the Populist Left, voted to pass the bill in a 384–231 vote that saw the Liberals and Communists join the governing bloc in support of the legislation. The four right-wing opposition parties and regionalist Austurland Interests party voted against AIRA 23. Given the urgency of the situation, Jarlskona Kate Murphy made herself present in the storting to give her signature of approval.

National Gendarmerie guarding a hotel holding refugees in Gullkysten, 24 November 2023

With AIRA 23’s passage, more than 100,000 Romordians and Jakubians will now be allowed to stay and live in Valkyria for an indefinite period of time. Most of the refugees had been detained by the National Gendarmerie and housed in hotels in or near Gullkysten. However, the exemption passed by the storting will allow them to be afforded the same privileges extended to pre-moratorium refugees, which are resettlement and job guarantees.

If Romordian and Jakubian refugees have any relatives in Valkyria, they will be allowed to live with them. If not, the government will assign them housing and employment. Refugees who have a skill or are experienced in a particular trade will be considered for jobs that match those skills.

However, AIRA 23 set a 200,000-person annual cap on the exemption, almost ensuring that Valkyria will reach the cap very quickly. Once the cap has been reached, the Valkyrian government will not have the authority to resettle any more Romordians or Jakubians and will have to deport them. Where is another question.

After the court ruling, Chancellor Marja Sanddorn of Gianatla offered to accept the refugees that Valkyria could not, so the Valkyrian government could make contact with other countries willing to accept refugees. For now, though, the refugees who have already come to Valkyria will be allowed to stay.

In other news…

  • State of emergency: no signs of Svartedauden
  • Hystaiga: reconstruction one year later
  • ValkAI names AI ethicist as its new chief executive


How Grønn became a government-granted monopoly

The worker cooperative controls 94% of the legal recreational drug market in Valkyria

Emmi Kuikka (she/her), Chief business writer
Monday, 4 December 2023

Austral | Valkyrisk | Austurmál | Fjellspråk | Läntinen

Gullkysten — In the past five years, Valkyria has legalised cannabis (2017), coca (2018), and psilocybin (2023) for recreational use, much to the chagrin of its neighbours and other Pacifican nations that favour criminalisation or other restrictive drug policies. Despite the pushback and criticism, drug liberalisation has continued unabated in the central Cordilian nation.

Indeed, in June 2023, psilocybin was legalised by the socialist government leading Valkyria more out of spite for international criticism of the nation’s liberal view of drugs than the recommendations made by Valkyrian health experts. The list of legal recreational drugs in Valkyria is growing, which now includes those three drugs and a host of other drugs that were never criminalised, such as ayahuasca, ibogaine, and salvia.

In the wake of legalisation, one company has gained the most from it: Grønn. Founded in 2015, the company skyrocketed its way to the top of the market by its business practices. As a worker cooperative, Grønn was able to prove to consumers that its products were grown and sold ethically in which most of the profits would return to the workers more than any single person or handful of people.

However, the Valkyrian government also played an outsized role in Grønn’s success. After Margaret Harrison rose to power in 2016, the national government introduced generous subsidies for unionised companies and cooperatives. The subsidies for Grønn were twofold because it was both a cooperative and all of its workers were officially recognised as members of the Valkyrian Workers Union.

By the time cannabis was legalised for recreational use in 2017, it was far more advantageous for the plant to be grown by a unionised cooperative than by a nonunionised corporation. When legalisation occurred in 2017, a scramble took place with many startups and other companies trying to establish a foothold in the newly legal market. In the ensuing free-for-all, only one company emerged on top: Grønn.


Grønn’s flagship dispensary in Gullkysten, October 2023

Nearly one year after legalisation, Grønn controlled about 60 per cent of the cannabis market, putting the company ahead of anyone else and in a favourable position to establish control over a new legal market for coca in 2018. The farmers associated with Grønn who grew cannabis started using their crops to grow coca. Within months, 86 per cent of coca sales came from Grønn.

Six months have elapsed since psilocybin legalisation, and the Statistics Agency will soon release economic data related to the new market, but the latest quarterly reports from the largest known companies in the psilocybin industry show that Grønn may have a larger initial share in the industry compared to its initial shares in the cannabis and coca markets, holding about 95 per cent of all sales related to psilocybin.

In the five years since Valkyria began its legalisation of several recreational drugs, Grønn has positioned itself in a way that allowed the company to effectively become an industrial monopoly. With subsidies continuing to pour in from the Valkyrian government owing to the company’s status as a unionised cooperative and outsized public support for its business model, Grønn is unrivalled in its operations in the industry of recreational drugs.

While the national government under Prime Minister Steve Bennett has been sceptical or abhorrent of private monopolies, the socialist leader and his government have allowed Grønn to grow into its current form because of its worker ownership model. Even more, the company enjoys the prime minister’s personal support. Bennett has publicly used cannabis vaporisers sporting the Grønn logo.

During a questioning session in the storting, the prime minister defended Grønn’s business practices, stating the company “made profits that went straight into the pockets of the working class”. Bennett also cited that the National Police has yet to shut down any Grønn dispensary for noncompliance with Valkyrian drug laws, which entails selling recreational drugs to people under 18 years of age or opening dispensaries near pre-tertiary schools.

For the foreseeable future, there is no other company that can compete against Grønn, barring a total loss in government subsidies for the worker cooperative. In the meantime, the cooperative has been looking to establish itself in other industries. At an October business convention in Ravneby, Grønn president Karianna Westergaard said that the company was looking to open supermarkets and nightclubs throughout Valkyria using the Grønn name.

At the same time, the worker cooperative is seeking regulatory approval in other countries to begin selling either cannabis, coca, psilocybin, or a combination of the three wherever they are legal. So far, Grønn only does business in Valkyria, but it hopes to expand its operations internationally. The company has been leaning on its workplace democracy model as evidence of the ethical business practices it could spread beyond Valkyria.

From union president to cannabis entrepreneur

Karianna Westergaard, May 2023

Westergaard, who previously served as the president of the Valkyrian Workers Union from 2013 to 2017, oversaw Grønn’s transformation from a small-time hemp company to one of the largest and most influential enterprises in Valkyrian history. For the former union president, the timing of her appointment as the president of the fledgling company could not have been better.

In a March 2023 interview with left-wing magazine Arbeiderbladet, Westergaard told interviewer Joachim Vatne that she was keenly aware of the changes that the nation was going to undergo under Harrison’s leadership with cannabis legalisation and pro-worker legislation in the works. In her last year as the union president, she worked with the Labour Party’s legislation committee to secure government subsidies for union workplaces and cooperatives and endorsed the then-ongoing legislation to legalise cannabis.

The two events created the perfect conditions for one company to take the cannabis industry by storm, prompting Westergaard’s abrupt resignation as the union president in 2017 to serve as the president of what was then a little-known worker cooperative. Fuelled by newfound government subsidies and a newly legal market for recreational drugs, Grønn under Westergaard’s leadership skyrocketed into a multi-billion vekt business.

According to Westergaard, Grønn saved the cannabis industry from “free market predators” who would have cannibalised the industry and harmed the interests of the working class. With a worker cooperative leading the new industry, the working class would be able to grow, sell, and buy cannabis for themselves without any single person or small group of people enriching themselves in the process.

Indeed, while Westergaard leads a company worth more than 6 billion Valkyrian vekter, her net worth is no more than a million vekter, well below that of most Valkyrian chief executives. When she is not scheduled for any meetings with the board of directors or political leaders, Westergaard works eight hours a day and four days a week behind the counter of Grønn’s flagship dispensary in Gullkysten.

Westergaard prides herself on making the president of the worker cooperative no more special than the ordinary workers who keep Grønn running. One of the few benefits that comes with being Grønn’s president is an annual 10,000 vekt bonus, but Westergaard regularly donates half of the bonus to the union strike fund.

With Westergaard preventing corporations and other non-union companies from establishing a foothold in the recreational drug industry, she has already made it clear that she intends to open Grønn supermarkets and nightclubs to boost the nation’s union density and working-class influence. 34 per cent of all grocery workers in Valkyria are not affiliated with any union, and a measly 2 per cent of nightclub workers have union membership.

With the backing of the Valkyrian government and public opinion on her side, Westergaard is facing a downhill battle against companies that traditionally had the upper hand against unions and working-class interests, and there are few obstacles standing in her way. The next question is whether Westergaard can globalise what she managed to do in Valkyria.

In other news…

  • State of emergency: police retrace steps in nightclub attack
  • Spouse of former president dies, prompting state of mourning
  • Inside the small movement to make Valkyria a monarchy again


Kliegmean police arrest Valkyrians for drug possession

Valkyrian government condemns the arrests as “politically motivated”

Tove Jakobsdóttir (she/her), Chief politics writer
Monday, 4 December 2023

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Mumiea — Police in Kliegme claimed to have arrested several Valkyrians for attempting to smuggle drugs that included cannabis, cocaine, and psilocybin into the Crabrayan nation on Monday. The Kliegmean authorities stated that the individuals, without evidence, claimed they were paid by Grønn, a Valkyrian drug company, to distribute the company’s products in the country’s market.

Responding to the arrests, Valkyrian Foreign Minister Avianna Aldridge expressed scepticism toward the Kliegmean authorities’ claims, stating that the “timing of the arrests is convenient considering the country’s recent hostility toward our sovereign right to legalise and decriminalise drugs”. Regardless, the Valkyrian government has promised cooperation to see the Kliegmean investigation to the end.

In a statement released by Grønn president Karianna Westergaard, she stated that the Valkyrian worker cooperative will share whatever evidence it has on the arrested individuals, including how they came into possession of Grønn products but strongly rejected any claim that Grønn was complicit in smuggling drugs.

Westergaard statement in full on Stream:

Karianna Westergaard

Who am I? President, Grønn (since 2017). Former president, Valkyrian Workers Union (2013–2017). Rebel girl.
Translated from Valkyrisk: Grønn is a worker-owned business that prides itself on ethically growing and selling legal recreational drugs such as cannabis, coca, and psilocybin. While there are those in this world who profit from these drugs through violence and ecological destruction, Grønn's business practices are as transparent as a well-maintained aquarium. With us, you can follow the money and see that we do business with a high regard for ethics.

With this in mind, I reject and condemn the claim that Grønn conducts any business that violates any nation’s laws. This company does not engage in smuggling nor does it sell cocaine. It never has, and it never will. It is a crime in Valkyria and many other nations to produce cocaine. The coca we produce and sell is meant to be chewed for its medicinal and religious qualities.

While Grønn has international aspirations, we have no intention or will to violate any nation’s drug laws. If we become an international company, we will do it right – the legal way. Patiently, we will take our time to navigate the process of legalisation and registration.

Right now, it is a crime to produce and sell cannabis, coca, and psilocybin in Kliegme. As such, Grønn does not conduct any business in Kliegme nor any other nation beyond Valkyria for that matter. However, the claims made by the Kliegmean authorities are distressing, and we will cooperate with their investigation and share whatever evidence we may have to see this investigation through its conclusion.

Grønn is a business that has conducted itself with the utmost professionalism, respect for laws, dignity towards society, and care for the planet from the very first day of its existence in 2015. When Valkyria legalised cannabis in 2017, we went out of our way to ensure that we grew and sold our cannabis with the greatest care for water conservation, ecological preservation, and social justice and wellbeing.

Grønn’s reputation did not grow in a vacuum. It took us many years of relationship-building and trust-building to earn the respect of the community we serve here in Valkyria. We would never throw all of this hard work away to do something so reckless, so irresponsible, and so unethical.

Despite the intense scrutiny this company has been under by authorities beyond Valkyria and even authorities here in Valkyria during the Kaufman premiership, we have survived. We have regularly cooperated with authorities throughout our existence, allowed police to inspect our farms and dispensaries, and shared what we knew if anyone used our products unlawfully. Through all of that, not one arrest had been made of anyone who worked at Grønn.

It is our hope to see drugs such as cannabis, coca, and psilocybin decriminalised and legalised in all lands of this world we share and for us all to partake in the ecstatic qualities of these drugs in a safe and ethical manner, but we have never violated any nation’s laws towards that end. Nor will we ever.

Speaking personally now, I am proud of the work we do at Grønn. In a world where greed runs rampant, I work for a business of the working class, by the working class, and for the working class. This trade which I have dedicated the last six years of my life has brought me meaning, purpose, and happiness.

When I clock in at work and see my coworkers, I see people who work hard and find joy in their profession. We are doing a great service to the community we serve who seek out our products for medicinal, recreational, and religious purposes and because of the way we conduct ourselves in this business.

This isn’t some game of the poisoned drink either. We use the products we sell. We self-impose limits on how much people consume our products in a given time. We have volunteered our services to ensure that people struggling with addiction get the help and rehabilitation they need. We don’t prey on the people we serve because those people are our sisters, our brothers, our friends. Our community.

We look forward to working with the Kliegmean authorities in their investigation and discovering the truth to these claims. I strongly believe that whatever comes out of this inquiry will vindicate and clear Grønn of any wrongdoing. If anyone within Grønn has run afoul of our principles, then they will be held to account. So far, our track record has shown us as a company that does business with high regard for ethics and upholding the law.

We intend to keep it that way.



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