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Thousands protest immigration controls

Thousands protest immigration controls

Published: 10 Mar 2013 11:01 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Mar 2013 11:01 GMT+01:00

Over 3,000 people gathered in Swedish cities on Saturday to demonstrate against the clampdown on illegal migrants which has sparked accusations of "racial profiling" practices among the police.

An estimated 2,000 people gathered in the Kungsträdgården park in central Stockholm with banners, drums and whistles. There were speeches and performances on the park stage.

In Malmö, around 1,000 people marched from Möllevångstorget to Davidshallstorg, two squares in the city centre, reported regional newspaper Sydsvenskan.

There were also protests in Gothenburg and Uppsala, with several hundred participants according to local media reports.

The Stockholm demonstration was organized by Youth Against Racism (Ungdom mot Rasism) and by the youth associations of the Swedish Red Cross and Swedish Save the Children.

The demonstrators were protesting against the police's methods for searching for undocumented migrants under the so-called Reva project, which stands for Rättssäkert och effektivt verkställighetsarbete (Legal and effective execution of policy) and is part-financed by the European Return Fund.

The aim is to increase the number of deportations of illegal immigrants, but Reva has come under fire in recent weeks, sparking heated debates and social media campaigns.

The criticism has mainly focused on the police's ID controls in the Stockholm subway, with critics accusing the police of singling out foreign-looking people for controls and using vague grounds for stopping and searching commuters.

Swedish police are not allowed to stop and search individuals on the basis of their looks, names or the language they speak. In the subway, police have used suspicions of ticket violations as a pretence to stop people and check their IDs, critics claim.

"It is not OK to stop people in the subway just because they have dark hair and dark eyes," one Stockholm demonstrator, 19-year-old Angelina Younadam, told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

"I know three people who have been stopped for no reason. My parents came to Sweden as refugees but I am born here and I am just as Swedish as everyone else and should not have to be violated," said Angelina.

The police have denied that they are singling out foreign-looking people, but on Friday announced that border control officers would stop running ID checks on commuters in the underground as part of their effort to find and deport illegal immigrants.

The debate had taken too much effort, harming other operations, the police explained.

The Save the Children youth association described this as an important partial victory.

"It has strengthened our belief that it is possible to change and affect things as citizens in Sweden," Sara Thiringer of the Save the Children youth association told SvD.

"But the border police will continue to search for undocumented migrants and the inhumane refugee policy will continue," she added.

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Your comments about this article

11:48 March 10, 2013 by Khazara
Posers!!! This policy was upheld by the Swedish courts and has been going on for more than a month. I admit, I dislike Sweden. I dislike it for it's weather and lack of culture but I especially dislike it for it's hypocrisy and false representation of itself..
13:02 March 10, 2013 by Kronaboy
@Khazara

That's fine you are free to live where ever you chose in the world, and its easy to criticize rather than create solutions. I on the other hand disagree with a lot of what goes on in Sweden and try to correct its faults as best I can, and in the meantime try to appreciate the positives of living in Sweden, family friendly environment, healthy air, free education etc…..
13:15 March 10, 2013 by Grokh
@khazara dont like it ? what the hell are you doing here then?

dont give us immigrants a bad name for being ignorant, most immigrants want a revamp of the entire immigration system. the fact that sweden is overflowing with immigration is not good for either us immigrants or swedes. its ilogical,and in the end all pay the price, even higher for us immigrants that get all the bad treatment racism for something other stupid immigrants have done.

dont like it then go away and leave the immigrants that like it and want to be part of it stay and not have to listen to your ignorance
13:22 March 10, 2013 by Kronaboy
@Grokh

what are you, one these newbie house slaves?
13:30 March 10, 2013 by occassional
Virtue lies in the middle; boot the illegal, criminal, bone idled and leeching ones out and keep and integrate the deserving and willing ones in.
16:38 March 10, 2013 by Migga
The police know from experience that some of those who don`t pay when using the subwaysystem in Stockholm are illegal immigrants. Somehow this got twisted by the leftist to be about race and skincolor. In the middle of all this protest people forget about the fact that the police arrested one out of ten for being illegal immigrants. One out of ten, that`s a huge issue.
17:37 March 10, 2013 by jman01
This is one of the reasons I left the U.S.A. If you don't want to come here legally, then you should be arrested and escorted to the border. It has nothing to do with race (I look 100% Swedish until I open my mouth). In fact, take the people screaming law enforcement and border control is racist, and escort them out as well. Illegal Immigration has had serious economic and social consequences in America. I could go on for days about it. I followed the process and came here legally with the intention of remaining here legally.
19:40 March 10, 2013 by Flygger
I've always found it interesting that the left wingers always have the utmost right wing views and will invariably always shout the loudest against all common sense.

Believe it or not there are a substantial amount of dark haired and dark eyed with dark complexion people in every country who have no right to be there.. and the authorities know this but the weak willed government will not do anything about them,

The solution is to identify them and sweep them off into the Baltic with some bleeding heart liberal to hold their hand as they gently wash out back to their own godforsaken flea pit that they abandoned because they jolly well know they wouldn't get benefits from, idyllic though it must be judging by their urge to replicate those conditions in Sweden.. Shia law etc..
19:41 March 10, 2013 by Gjeebes
I think the people protesting this must have had their childhood crash helmets tied on a little too tight.
20:50 March 10, 2013 by Ales Majer
Those 3,000 people (Only 3,000 people? REally? That's all the Left Church can get together these days, even in Sweden?) clearly don't think crime rates are high enough yet. The future victims thank you!
20:53 March 10, 2013 by kattkatt
Well, the protesters think that they can have an effect on Swedish policies by marching on the streets. Why don't Swedes who support the new immigration control, march on the streets too (to show their support) and not let the media distort the real picture? In every aspect of human affairs there should be some control, i think, and every country has the right to measure that level of control by its own needs.
20:58 March 10, 2013 by MaxTron
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:01 March 10, 2013 by kattkatt
Racism means having some prejudice, that are based on distorted ideas and so on. It's not racism to ask people who don't have common swedish appearance for their IDs, because one would more effectively pick a foreigner by doing so, than by randomly asking people for their ID. Some of the asked people will be native Swedes, but with an increased degree of possibility they wouldn't be native swedes. That's all, pure math
21:05 March 10, 2013 by MaxTron
I don't see any problem with "stopping and searching" people. Immigrants is a real problem in Sweden and it's police's job to take control over it.

"Stopping and searching" is really good way to find those illegal immigrants and kick them out.

If you don't have any problems, so what are you afraid of? Just show the police you are Ok, and go. Is it so difficult to show your ID to them? It takes only 2 min.

And yes, it is very logically to stop and search on the basis of their looks, names or the language they speak. The police does the right job.

Unfortunately, there are still at least "over 3,000" stupid monkeys in Sweden.

Go Police! Take control and kick them out!
07:28 March 11, 2013 by robban70226
good needed intentions but wrong method
08:02 March 11, 2013 by Sven-Ingvar
This 4th day of February in the year of our Lord two thousand and thirteen

Vladimir Putin, Russian president.

"In Russia live Russians. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in Russia, to work and eat in Russia, should speak Russian, and should respect the Russian laws. If they prefer Shari'ya Law, then we advise them to go to those places where that's the state law. Russia does not need minorities. Minorities need Russia, and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell 'discrimination'. We better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland and France, if we are to survive as a nation. The Russian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways of most minorities. When this honourable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind the national interest first, observing that the minorities are not Russians.
16:53 March 11, 2013 by Max Reaver
First of all, I'm not supporting illegal immigration. But the methods of the police is not very well-thought and certainly has characters of racism in it. I think most of the posters who support this policy either have an indifferent view about it ("I'm immigrant but I don't care since I always carry my ID"), or are ethnically Swedish who have never lived in another with totally different demography (e.g. Asia, South America or Africa). In other words, most of these posters have never been on the receiving end of racism actions, nor have they experienced the life of a minority. No wonder why we get such responses.

From a lawyer in Uppsala who worked closely with expats and their rights. He often told ppl that contrary to common belief, nobody is required to carry ID all the time. If you have lived in a country where the police threw you into a cell because you forgot your ID and your wallet at home, then you wouldn't like the policy much longer.

Anyway, there are other ways to remove illegal immigrants. One reason illegal immigration is possible in Sweden is the lack of oversight and responsibility. I once had to help find an exchange student who got depressed, locked herself in her room and overstayed her welcome. I asked the migration office what they would do. To my surprise, they said they won't do anything to anyone who stays after the expiration. They won't even contact the police, no investigation. The only case when such ppl can be removed is if someone reports them. Before arguing for the racial profiling, you better ask why it's even needed in the first place.
20:56 March 11, 2013 by Kronaboy
Interesting argument from the loony religious fringe, follow the Russian model and turn Sweden into a failed state. Taking into account half the people claiming asylum appear to be of Russian origin it could actually work; make Sweden such an unattractive option that it moves from a net importer to a net exporter of ethnic Swede asylum seekers?
11:55 March 12, 2013 by Gubbe
Perhaps we immigrants should just be made to wear an armband of some sort, to make it easier to identify us.

While I generally have nothing to hide from anyone - I would be reluctant to show any ID to anyone in the circumstances described above. If they want to check for a valid ticket on the subway, that's fine - I'll show them a valid ticket. I will not show them any identification, nor answer any questions. I have rights, people have rights. Once you give up a right because you, personally, have nothing to fear, you open the door to a police state and the loss of all human rights.
13:49 March 12, 2013 by Migga
@ Gubbe

Ah yes, or why not a yellow star on ones cloths. As if immigrants doesn`t stand out already. There shouldn`t be a need for armbands or whatever. If you travel without a ticket you should be ready to show some identification when caught doing so. If you don`t have any and you are an illegal immigrant then you should be deported. It has nothing to do with race or skincolor. Immigrants walking around with armbands or tags showing their immigration status is silly.
11:04 March 13, 2013 by ameribrit
@Migga

I think (at least I hope) that Gubbe was being sarcastic with the arm band idea.

I do agree with you that if you are caught without a valid ticket then you are liable for the ID check and any consequences that ensue, but the police in any EU country should not be allowed to just demand ID of anyone for no better reason than they "look foreign". THAT IS RACIST! It does not matter how much it is sugar coated, IT IS RACISM!
22:05 March 15, 2013 by Los Lubricano
Like the US Government, the Swedish Government is selling

your country down river. They refuse to protect the borders,

and to prosecute and deport illegal aliens. In the US two

party system there is a race to see which party will approve

to give amnesty to 20 million illegal criminals first. In

the USA it's all about power and future votes. Which ever

party wins this race will be in power for years as making these criminals voters will swing elections to the party

that gives them amnesty. It is called

extreme social engineering by our now totally corrupt

goverments who swore an oath to protect our borders.
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