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Left-wing activists held over Stockholm car fires

Left-wing activists held over Stockholm car fires

Published: 29 Oct 2009 17:50 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Oct 2009 17:50 GMT+01:00

Stockholm-area police arrested nine left-wing activists on Wednesday in connection with a string of disturbances in the southern suburb of Fittja in Botkyrka.

For several nights earlier in the week, Fittja Centrum was plagued by several car fires and other acts of vandalism. Police who responded to the violence were then met with a barrage of stones when arriving on the scene.

But when police responded to calls about continued unrest in the predominantly immigrant area on Wednesday night, they recognized a 20-year-old woman who is wanted on suspicion of rioting from an earlier case.

Police then tracked her to a nearby apartment where they found the woman along with eight other people, all of whom had ties to Antifascist Action (AFA), a militant left-wing anti-fascist organization.

In the apartment police also discovered rocks and other objects indicating that the activists intended to target police in additional attacks and then flee, Sveriges Radio reports.

Members of AFA were also involved in a number of disturbances over the past year in the Rosengård neighbourhood in Malmö, another predominantly immigrant district plagued by ongoing tensions between law enforcement and local residents.

“This is a group of demonstrators who appear to show up at different times in different places to protest against different things,” Södertörn police spokesperson Mats Nylén told The Local.

“I guess you could call them general troublemakers.”

AFA activists were involved in arranging a demonstration in Rosengård in August which was also plagued by violence. At the time local residents voiced their displeasure at the group’s presence in the area, blaming the left-wing activists for adding to tensions between locals and the police.

The group was also blamed for stepping up violence in conjunction with Rosengård disturbances which took place in December 2008 and went a long way toward cementing public perceptions of the area as a dangerous immigrant neighbourhood.

“If the troublemakers from AFA hadn’t shown up ‘to help out’, there never would have been any fighting,” Rosengård resident Andreas Konstantinides told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper at the time.

Malmö police spokesperson Charley Nilsson also blamed AFA for the “violent escalation” which marked the December riots in Rosengård.

Following Wednesday’s arrests, Stockholm County police commissioner Carin Götblad condemned AFA’s role in once again stepping up violence.

“We view seriously the fact that people are consciously trying to incite riots in our suburban areas,” she said in a statement.

However, Nylén offered few details about the ongoing investigation into the disturbances.

“All I can say is that the AFA members were present at the time that criminal activity was taking place,” he said.

He added that the investigation is moving forward and that prosecutors could file requests as early as Friday to have the suspects remanded.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

22:48 October 29, 2009 by Einar
What a biased article.

Trying to use guilt by association by bringing up Rosengård. Has the arrested people been involved in the riots in Rosengård? What has that otherwise got to do with this thing? And how can having rocks in your home automatically mean that you plan to throw them at the police? And why did you choose that picture? It doesn't seem to be from the Fittja incidents.

You are just uncritically publishing the view of the police. This is more like propaganda than journalism.
22:52 October 29, 2009 by Kaethar
AFA is an organisation so I don't really say the problem here. It's like saying the Social Democrats in Stockholm can't be held accountable for opinions by their representatives in Malmö. AFA is a gang that has taken part in the riots in Rosengård as well as Fittja and Botkyrka. Whether the same members rioted in these places is neither here nor there.
00:33 October 30, 2009 by caitlinnor
The way the Local reports disturbances in Malmo you'd think it was only Arab youth instigating violence.
01:46 October 30, 2009 by Larry Thrash
"Left-wing activist" is the term The Local uses here. When it's right-wing they are call "right-wing extremist". Does anyone see the bias?
09:24 October 30, 2009 by Per Fritz
Lock them up for at least 10 years - left wing scum
09:26 October 30, 2009 by jose_s
i dont think the rocks were found there... they must have been planted by the police... who really keeps rocks stored in their homes?
09:58 October 30, 2009 by antoniolgj
@Larry Thrash

Absolutely. Spot on mate...

But what a combination, craziness of the left with the extremism of Muslins. Dear Sweden...
11:21 October 30, 2009 by KamiZ
...and as soon as an article with the word "immigrant" was published, the Nazis arrived.heil hitler to you all. i can only hope that you manage to see the light, although it does seem difficult given your penchant for a narrow one-sided view of things.
12:35 October 30, 2009 by Beynch
Deafeat anything left of the Center Party in 2010! Sweden needs to rid itself of this liberal/anarcich filth.
13:36 October 30, 2009 by ropegun247
Rocks??? That's the best they could come up with?

I guess gas is too expensive in sweden to even make some molotovs... so rocks will have to do...
14:44 October 30, 2009 by Grippen
Isn't it clear, that it is left, who cause so much trouble in the society?

So why precisely swedes are so scared of nice behaving Sverige Demokraterna and vote socialdemokraterna, who nourished AFA in so called "youth day centers"?
16:05 October 30, 2009 by mkvgtired
@Larry Thrash, I dont know how many European newspapers you read, but this is nothing new. If you propose a market solution for a problem you may as well be Satan's right hand man (according to the press, which in many cases is not popular opinion).

If one can not see the extreme left bias of most European news outlets the person, by default, falls into the "Left-Wing Activist" column.
17:00 October 30, 2009 by Norum
Damn left wingers are the plague, not only to Sweden, but all of Europe.
02:36 October 31, 2009 by Larry Thrash
Our choices are really simple. Many try to make issues complicated when they aren't. Either Western Civilization moves to the right or the civilized world is finished.
14:08 October 31, 2009 by speedygonzales
if there is no racism and fascism, there would be no AFA. Any discirmination on the basis of nationality is fascism, just try to use internet in royal librarz in stockholm, as foreigner, they will tell you, it is not possible, the same as for doctor in gothenburg urgent hospital, in gothenburg newspaper library, etc. People are discriminated in 10000 places, and result is burning. AFA helps, thanx.

And obviously rats who cooperates with secret agency helped them to arrest AFA, although authorities will speak different publicly in order to hide rats. I am not surprised that police speak against AFA, it means that AFA is correct. Police is always on the side of authorities, even in the time of Hitler in Germany. Police never served people.
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