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SDL rally in Malmö sparks violent demo

SDL rally in Malmö sparks violent demo

Published: 23 Mar 2013 14:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Mar 2013 14:40 GMT+01:00

Counter demonstrators clashed with Swedish police ahead of a public rally by the anti-Muslim group Swedish Defence League (SDL) in Malmö on Saturday.

"There were angry skirmishes after the anti-racists marched from Möllevångstorget square to the Stortorget square around noon, a lot of people seemed ready for a fight," said The Local's Patrick Reilly from the scene.

"They were pushing over barricades, setting off flares and some threw bottles, and went up against the police," he said.

"There was also the odd snowball tossed at police."

SEE ALSO: In Pictures: Counter-SDL rally in Malmö

An officer on the ground said there were "in excess" of 100 police present, while our reporter numbered the actual SDL members at only about 20.

"The SDL were waving a Swedish flag on their way to the square and gave the counter-demonstrators the finger," Reilly said.

The Local's reporter numbered the counter-demonstrators to just shy of 600. Some demonstrators used a Eurovision awning on the square to beat out a rhythm, which alongside the chants "No racist on our streets" drowned out most of the words from the SDL speakers.

One banner hoisted above the march read "No Breivik Soldiers on our streets," according to the TT news agency.

Mounted police, police dogs and helicopters were part of the security measures.

"The police said they were prepared because there was a lot of talk on Facebook and Twitter before hand," Reilly said.

The SDL is a sister group of the anti-Muslim English Defense League (EDL) and was set up in 2012 by a 23-year-old from Gothenburg.

In August 2012, SDL invited the EDL to Sweden for a rally.

Stockholm was chosen as a location because of the actions of the Iraqi-born Swede Taimour Abdulwahab who botched a suicide bombing attempt in Stockholm in December 2010.

The rally was called off as counter demonstrators clashed with mounted police, scenes echoed on Saturday in Malmö.

The EDL was cited in the writings of Norwegian terrorist Anders Breving Breivik. He himself claimed he had "close ties" to the EDL and he had 600 EDL members as Facebook friends.

Patrick Reilly/TT/The Local/nr/at

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A previous version of this article misspelled skirmishes, which was edited on March 24th, 2012.

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Your comments about this article

15:40 March 23, 2013 by TG22
"There were angry squirmishes after the anti-racists marched from Möllevångstorget square to the Stortorget square around noon, a lot of people seemed ready for a fight,"

I see, the left, sooner or latter, always shown its colors...
16:10 March 23, 2013 by JohnAndersson
"a lot of people seemed ready for a fight"...

just like "a lot of people seem to think TheLocal.se has no journalistic integrity".
16:32 March 23, 2013 by intrepidfox
When the SDL, EDL etc walked past our house in Göteborg towards the mosque by Ramberget (i actually filmed them) we asked the police if there was likely to be trouble. The answer was "yes". Oh dear we thought. The police then stated that it is rarely the right wingers that start the trouble but mainly members from AFA the left wingers. Was there trouble? yes. The lefties started fighting the police straight away.
17:02 March 23, 2013 by liondens
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:37 March 23, 2013 by peterrkj
Fair play. I'm neither a left or right winger and I'm all for freedom of speach but if you showed up in my neighbourhood in a group as a show of force spewing rascist hatred I would go out and beat 7 shades of sh*t of them this is the 21st century and the world is getting smaller and there's no space for racists.
17:56 March 23, 2013 by EmployedProfessional
I'm growing a bit tired of these types of stories.

How does this really help The Local's readership?

I hope you will answer this question with a proper editorial sooner rather than later!

You have an obligation to do so at this point,don't ya think?

Respectfully submitted,

My username above.
17:57 March 23, 2013 by Logic_and_Reason
"squirmishes "

So The Local has finally decided to just start making up words now? I guess when English is your fifth language, this is what happens.
18:43 March 23, 2013 by Svensksmith
So very tiresome.
19:08 March 23, 2013 by liondens
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:53 March 23, 2013 by Chuck_Norris
^^^#9 You are so brave to rant on the internet!
20:38 March 23, 2013 by TG22
@liondens,

yours and all the rest of the good families in Sweden have already been victims of these terrorists, maybe not in a direct form but look around and see how fast this country is becoming a Islamic hellhole.

Public stoning is just a matter of planning permission...
20:44 March 23, 2013 by liondens
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:49 March 23, 2013 by Programmeny
See, there's the problem right there at the very beginning of this article. Being anti-Islam is not being racist. The counter-demonstration is thus based on ignorance and hypocrisy. We have nothing against people from the middle-east, which aren't a different RACE. Being arabic is not a RACE, it is a culture, and nobody is against that culture, but instead these so-called 'racists' are against Islam and what it teaches.

Think about it this way: If being anti-Islam makes you a racist, then also being an atheist makes you a racist - and as such, pretty much all of Sweden could be categorized as such.

Hypocrisy.
21:55 March 23, 2013 by Pasty White Baby
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
23:44 March 23, 2013 by peterrkj
@liondens. First of all I am not a friend to any terrorists nor are they my people but there are terrorists on both sides of the fence breivik has proved that. So I don't want extremists from either side in my neck of the woods it's only going to cause trouble.

Don't be an internet tough guy threatening me unless you got the follow through to back it up in which case name a time and place otherwise shut your trap.
00:09 March 24, 2013 by liondens
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
00:10 March 24, 2013 by Eric1
I can't tell which side is the racist side. Muslim/Islam isn't a race.
01:38 March 24, 2013 by The Poetician
The Local.se has been irreversibly infested with Hasba-rats..!!
08:05 March 24, 2013 by roger85
Interesting thing is when someone is opposed to Islam or Muslim ideology they are branded "racist". Islam is not a race. It is actually the accusers who are being racist in this situation. Their accusations imply that Islam is exclusive to a certain ethnic group. If it is exclusive to only one ethnic group then it is excluding all other ethnic groups which is in itself racist. The finger pointers have 3 fingers pointing back on themselves!
11:03 March 24, 2013 by Iraniboy
For those you of saying Islam isn't race, you are absolutely right. So was Mr Adolf Hitler when he disguised Jews without mentioning their racial background! It is very interesting that another platform called Islam with majority of Asian Middle Eastern background exist in 21th century so racists like you can go the same path are Mr Adolf Hitler!

The only path to counter your hidden racist agenda is to educate people and improve economy so people don't fall into another racial attack of the century!
12:02 March 24, 2013 by Borilla
Both sides in this controversy are illiterate and idiots. A philosophical argument over what constitutes racism and what constitutes religion and how to categorize people is ridiculous. Calling names and starting fights is simply ridiculous. I do have one question though. Why does the group which purports to defend Sweden, Swedish and the Swedes persist in labeling their group with the English title "Swedish Defense League"?
12:51 March 24, 2013 by milhouse329
I have only been to Stockholm twice for short breaks and I love the city and the people. It's most disturbing while reading the local as I do when I read articles such as this and stories of "pick pockets" and other crimes. At the risk of saying something controversial, "Sweden, get a grip and deal with these people. The politicians don't want trouble and a bad image for Sweden and are outspoken in certain areas but I assure you folk, if you let it continue it will get uncontrollable and you will lose your beautiful Sweden." I have always lived in Britain and its not the country it used to be and in the last 10 years its changed for the worse. Left wingers are sympathetic which is fine however they are also quite naive and Sweden will turn out like Britain I guarantee it so do something about it now.
13:27 March 24, 2013 by liondens
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:40 March 24, 2013 by prince T
@Lionden. Why am i not suprised at your intolerant view. Considering ur background, i do not expect anythin less. However i must stress dat u are not a christian. The greatest commandment in our bible is to love other pple as ourselves of which u are lackin. U cannot be mixing u chinese intolerant vies with christianity. Get life my friend
16:33 March 24, 2013 by Kalyissa
God damm idiots holding up the traffic, was trying to drive through town yesterday afternoon and got held up by all these utter idiots.

Seriously if people want to protest / counter protest, feel free just do it else where rather than in the streets as most people really don't GAF!
16:59 March 24, 2013 by icedearth
Waw... impressive ... these comments coming from civilized people...impressive. bravo...
18:15 March 24, 2013 by Migga
People who demonstrate are demonstrators. People who clash with the police are criminals and in this case left wing extremists aswell. Please call them what they are.
08:37 March 25, 2013 by Iraniboy
@prince T

Well said! Unfortunately it is not uncommon among people with non-Swedish background from Asia including China, Iran, US, UK etc to apply their ultra conservative views here in Sweden! These views are considered very absurd and disturbing by the majority of Swedes but since these aforementioned do not have so much contact with people they don't realize that! it is good to know the norm of the country!

@Migga

In a very democratic land like Sweden political parties do not randomly express their views in the streets with shouting and hatred. Especially when their words are deemed hatred by the majority of their people and especially when they have been supported by a mass murderer by Breivik! it is almost disgusting that you try to wash away what they truly stand for! For you information these people once fed up with minorities will target women. They are especially interested what should go in and out or stay in women's reproductive organs which I don't dare to discuss and I doubt you are very interested!
10:10 March 25, 2013 by Migga
@ Iraniboy

What have I tried to wash away? I don`t support any of these extremist groups on any wing. But if one side use violence at the demonstration and the other didn`t then they should be called out without one being labeld a supporter of the other side.
22:32 March 25, 2013 by Stephen Rohaty
Just what "race" is islam? I mean, they pride themselves on having white, black, yellow, etc. adherents. If you don't have an English word for the islamic "race", give me one in Swedish.
11:47 March 26, 2013 by Scambaiter
Well, I dunno...I'm neither left-wing, nor right-wing...I'm a humanitarian.

I live in a peaceful, well-integrated, multicultural Swedish neighbourhood, but if those trouble-making, racist thugs from the SDL ever came marching down my street with their pathetic flags and mindless bigotry, I would certainly be hard-pressed not to take a baseball bat to their heads. Does that make me a "criminal"?... not in my eyes. It makes me a soldier for human rights against intolerance.

You see, you can't talk reason with racist/fascist bullies, Nazi Germany has taught us that lesson. Their bigotry and hate in ingrained. You have to mobilize, resist them, take the fight to them.

In 70s, the NF tried the same tactic in England, and the EDL. The same applies to all racist riff-raff that comment at the Local from the safety of their bedrooms. Just keep away form my neighbourhood, we don't want you.
11:07 March 30, 2013 by Kronaboy
@Scambaiter

You miss the point the NF didn't disappear because they were confronted, they all joined the Conservative Party when Thathcher took over, in exactly the same way Moderates are trying to win back the SD protest vote. At the end of the day if you want to change the existing racist system then there is only one way to do it, hit politicians in the one place where they will sit up and take notice, in their pocket.
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