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Berry picker groups clash in Gävle street brawl

Berry picker groups clash in Gävle street brawl

Published: 31 Jul 2012 08:13 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 Jul 2012 08:13 GMT+02:00

Two groups of berry pickers were involved in violence in central Gävle in northern Sweden over the weekend as tensions reached boiling point following the poor berry harvest.

According to the police there were around 70 people involved in the brawl as the two rival groups clashed on Saturday night.

There were reports of punches thrown and kicks dealt out. One 43-year-old Bulgarian man was obliged to seek hospital care after sustaining bruising to the ribs.

Some 30 people were escorted out of town by police and a 33-year-old man was arrested for aggravated assault, but was later released on Monday.

The man was suspected of having kicked the 43-year-old in the head.

The cause of the quarrel has not yet been clarified.

"Now I am speculating. But there is a shortage of berries everywhere and they have not been paid. Thsi can lead to panic and the smallest things can prompt irritation," said Mikael Hedström at Gävle police to the local Gefle Daglbad daily.

Hedström described the situation as "chaotic" and defended the decision of two police officers in attendance to wait for further reinforcements.

"Sometimes one has to retreat. And if anyone argues that it is not professional, then I beg to differ," he said.

TT/The Local/pvs

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Your comments about this article

14:21 July 31, 2012 by B Slick
"some 30 people (bulgarians) were escorted out of town" . They should have been escorted out of Sweden!! The police must maintain law and order on the streets of Gävle using any and all methods! Fighting in the streets is not tourist friendly, to say the least.
14:46 July 31, 2012 by Frobobbles
Just wait for the mushroom season!
00:09 August 1, 2012 by MitchXXX
Well folks you should safe their civil rights as your Governments pushes the Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian and Slovakian Government to protect them because of the fact they are minority and need to be integrated in the society. The time has come to show how to do it on your own soil. It is always easy to teach the others about the human rights and democracy and calling the Eastern European Countries undeveloped, xenohobic, communistic and even "idiots". Now it is time to give a little example of "good old Western Democracy" and handle the situation the right way. Stop waning about those "Bulgarians" and act like more advanced society as you claim to be.
11:48 August 1, 2012 by Smokebox
Not enough berries to pick but they still want to get paid? If anything a paid trip back home if that was in the contact. If I go on a job and the customer decides to do something else I can't charge him for what I thought I was going to do. Stop your crying and look for something else. I was in the forest the other day and yes the berries are hard to find and sooooo small.
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