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Police out in force as Almedalen week kicks off

Police out in force as Almedalen week kicks off

Published: 01 Jul 2012 16:49 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Jul 2012 16:49 GMT+02:00

Sweden’s annual political week, the "Almedalen Week" started on Sunday on the Baltic island of Gotland with police launching their largest operation to date.

The eight day mingle and canapés event in the picturesque setting of Visby continues to grow in popularity and Security Service (Säpo) resources are thus in high demand.

"Our response will depend on how many people needing security are in place in Almedalen and it is usually around 200 people," said Sara Kvarnstrom at Säpo.

The Security Service presence is mostly made up by bodyguards, as well as analysts, security drivers and intelligence officers.

Almedalen week is a particularly busy period for local Gotland police which receives reinforcements from Stockholm.

The event first began in 1968 when Sweden’s then prime minister, Olof Palme, was due to take the ferry home from a summer holiday on Gotland.

Local residents asked if he could stay a moment and give a speech. Standing on the back of a nearby truck, Palme spoke to the small crowd, thus beginning what was to become an annual Swedish tradition.

Some 43 years on, things have evolved enormously. The solitary speaker (and the truck) is long gone, and the event has become a platform for Swedish politicians from every party to have a voice.

Each parliamentary party is given a designated day to present its platform and this year's week is opened by the Sweden Democrats (SD).

SD party leader Jimmie Åkesson is due to speak this evening and despite being one of Sweden's most heavily guarded politicians, is not unduly concerned over the security situation in Almedalen.

"I feel safe. I trust the police and Security Service and is also pleased with the good cooperation between the police and the party's security department," he said in a statement.

Åkesson however bemoaned the existing threat against politicians in Sweden.

"The big problem is that there is a threat against politicians in general, regardless of party or opinion, and whether you are a party leader or engaged on any other level."

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

22:32 July 1, 2012 by Garry Jones
The SD (Swedish scum Nazis) should not be allowed such a platform. Sure, freedom of speech and all that, but WHY o WHY does The Local have to mention them? Most of us on this site are immigrants in Sweden, we would all be kicked out if they had their way. The SD Nazi Scum would also force Swedish Skier Anja Persson into an abortion and/or stop her from bringing up her child with her girlfriend. The SD have views which are "hate crime" (in Swedish "Hets Mot Folkgrupp") and as such should be arrested as soon as they open their mouths with their hate crime at this demonstration.

We collectively must remember Niemöller.

"First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."

We must never allow these nazis to rise again. This should be quoshed Sweden is being naive. The SD (Nazi Scum) have to be stopped. We need to speak out!
23:40 July 1, 2012 by muscle
@Garry:

"We must never allow these nazis to rise again. This should be quoshed Sweden is being naive. The SD (Nazi Scum) have to be stopped. We need to speak out!"

first of all, i am an immigrant. And i respect your opinion.

Now, this is not the right way. We need to understand why did SD came to rise in the first place ? Because of the stupidities we brought to this land that gave shelter to the refugees! After all, before that social democrats were in power. Just because we continue to go forward with the same idiotic, insane rituals that we followed in our previous countries, we have given the rise to the votebank of SD. So please, stop saying that SD is bad or stuff! WE MADE THEM POWERFUL in the first place, so bear it now

!
05:39 July 2, 2012 by godnatt
@ Garry Jones

Touching stuff, except for the fact that his is the response to years of indiscriminate, naive, insane policies of allowing illiterate. fascist religious sociopaths from the worst hellholes in the world pour into the country and run rampant.

Putting forth the facts and responding peacefully with something other than passivity is not tantamount to "Nazism".

If you want to see real evil, repressive right wing fascism, have a look at the Muslim world I'm sure you are so fond of conveniently ignoring.

People like you made this bed. You are sadly mistaken if you think everyone else is going to just going to lie in it.
08:39 July 2, 2012 by haladeen
Huh... I can only hope they rise cause the Socialdemocrats have ruined this beautiful country and the Moderates haven't done much better.
08:47 July 2, 2012 by ericrufinosiah
The People of Sweden should be thankful to Jimme Akesson and Sweden Democrat for without them I wonder whether the native Swedish could withstand the onslaught of the many so claimed peace loving immigrants,and if left uncheck

would impose their peace loving cultures to the people of Sweden.
10:58 July 2, 2012 by jostein
Garry Jones comment is actually quite funny. Until you remember the level of propaganda behind it. How swedish media left reality behind a long long time ago. Its scary.
13:48 July 2, 2012 by towns
@ Garry Jones

You're comment sounds like that of a biased, over-zealous preacher. I personally wouldn't vote for SD for a number of reasons but let me just show you a few pointers:

1. SD is hardly a "Nazi" party. if you believe this, then you really haven't done your homework. SD are a stereotypical right-wing populist (which is not a neo-nazi movement, there are many articles written on the topic, go seek them out) party native to the European political scene in the last decade, sort of like the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands or the Swiss People's Party in you guessed it, Switzerland. The Swiss Party has been the largest party in Switzerland for nearly a decade now and has Switzerland turned into a Nazi land? No. If you want a genuine "neo-Nazi" party in Sweden try the Party of Swedes or the National Democrats, you'd be closer to the truth.

2. Judging by your name (if it's your real name) you sound like you come from possibly the UK, Canada, the United States, Australia or New Zealand. If you come from any of the latter four countries, you might want to ask the indigenous peoples there from the Cree to the Maori how they feel about the uncontrolled immigration that changed their only homelands forever.
13:52 July 2, 2012 by Svealander
@ Garry Jones

Anybody who pushes for limitation of free speech such as yourself, no matter what political views they have should send off some alarm bells ;)
14:38 July 2, 2012 by towns
Apologies for some of the spelling and grammar errors in my prior post (#7).
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