Violence erupts at nationalist march
Published: 01 Dec 2008 08:43 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Dec 2008 08:43 GMT+01:00
Police in Lund in southern Sweden faced paving stones, bottles, and torches flying through the air as they attempted to restore order following demonstrations on Sunday marking the death of King Karl XII.
Seven people were arrested and over 130 were detained.
Despite the violence, there were no reports of any serious injuries during the November 30th marches held annually by Swedish right-wing groups to honour the Swedish king who died in 1718.
Violence erupted when members of several anti-racist groups staged a counter demonstration to force the right-wing marchers to change their route and keep them out of central Lund.
"We're satisfied that the right-wing demonstrators were able to carry out their march, even if the route had to be changed. We are, however, very dissatisfied that the left-wing demonstrators attacked police," said the police's Håkan Jarborg Eriksson to the TT news agency.
Jarborg Eriksson commanded the roughly 150 officers drawn from all over Skåne county who arrived in Lund to patrol Sunday's demonstrations.
The violence began outside Lund's central train station on Sunday afternoon where police had gathered to restrict hundreds of counter-demonstrators.
Police were attempting to keep the left-wing activists from reaching the site where supporters of Fria nationalister Skåne ('Free Nationalists of Skåne') were gathering to start their march.
Suddenly the counter-demonstrators began throwing paving stones and bottles, and launched a number of fireworks, resulting in the thick smoke covering the area.
The nationalists, who numbered about one hundred, were forced to delay their torchlight parade, which was to take them to the northern section of the city.
The march was to conclude at the monument which has become a focal point for nationalists and which commemorates Sweden’s victory against Denmark in the Battle of Lund.
When the march finally began, the nationalists were escorted by a large police force, paving stones and bottles filled their air, this time being met by lit torches being lobbed back by the nationalist marchers.
After a long pause near the monument, the nationalist marchers were taken via "a back way" back toward the city centre and waiting trains.
The seven people arrested are between 17 and 26-years-old. They are suspected of assaulting a police officer, vandalism, and preparing to commit serious assault.
The roughly 130 demonstrators who were detained for disturbing the peace were taken away in buses.
There were also two additional November 30th demonstrations on Sunday in Stockholm in honour of Karl XII.
In the afternoon, about 30 people from the National Democrats marched from Östermalm across town to Riddarholmen.
A large police presence was on hand to maintain order, but four people were detained.
Later in the evening, around 100 supporters of the People's Front party (Folkfronten), the reconstituted party of Sweden's former National Socialist Front (NSF) marched along the same route.
Karl XII fought a series of battles against Russia, Denmark, Saxony and Poland. Between 1715 and 1718 he ruled Sweden from Lund. He was killed in Fredriksten, Norway, on November 30th 1718 by a bullet between the temples.