• Sweden edition
 
Unrest in Stockholm
Stockholm riots spread west on sixth night

Stockholm riots spread west on sixth night

Published: 25 May 2013 07:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 May 2013 07:30 GMT+02:00

Nearly a week of unrest, which spread briefly Friday night to the medium-sized city of Örebro 160 kilometres west of Stockholm, have put Sweden's reputation as an oasis of peace and harmony at risk.

The unrest has also sparked a debate among Swedes over the integration of immigrants, many of whom arrived under the country's generous asylum policies,

and who now make up about 15 percent of the population.

An AFP photographer witnessed a car engulfed in flames before firefighters arrived in the Stockholm district of Tensta. Cars were incinerated in three other areas of the capital as well, according to the Swedish news agency TT.

"I've never before taken part in anything that lasted so long and was spread over such a wide area," police spokesman Lars Byström told TT.

Another police official said earlier that Stockholm police were about to receive reinforcements from Gothenburg and Malmö, the country's second- and third-largest cities, but declined to disclose how many would arrive.

In the city of Örebro, police reported a fire at a school as well as several cars ablaze, but quiet had returned around midnight. The unrest in Stockholm had "rubbed off", police told TT.

About 200 right-wing extremists were reported to cruise around Stockholm suburbs in their cars late Friday, but intense police surveillance apparently prevented any kind of serious violence.

The nightly riots have prompted Britain's Foreign Office and the US embassy in Stockholm to issue warnings to their nationals, urging them to avoid the affected suburbs.

Firefighters were dispatched to 70 fires the night between Thursday and Friday, extinguishing torched cars, dumpsters and buildings, including three schools and a police station, the fire department wrote on Twitter. This was down from 90 blazes the night before.

Parents and volunteer organisations who have patrolled the streets in recent nights have helped decrease the intensity of the unrest, police have said.

Police, who have so far concentrated on putting out fires, are beginning to round up people suspected of criminal acts, so far arresting at least 29.

"Even if we don't intervene, we regularly make video recordings and get information from the public. That way we can get people a couple of days later," police spokesman Byström told TT.

The troubles had begun in the suburb of Husby, where 80 percent of inhabitants are immigrants, triggered by the fatal police shooting of a 69-year-old Husby resident last week after the man wielded a machete in public.

Local activists said the shooting sparked anger among youths who claim to have suffered from police brutality and racism.

One of the rioters in Husby told Sveriges Radio that racism was rampant where he lived, and that violence was his only way of being noticed.

"We burned cars, threw rocks at police, at police cars. But it's good, because now people know what Husby is... This is the only way to be heard," said the rioter, identified only by the pseudonym Kim.

Stockholm county police chief Mats Löfving said Friday the rioters were local youths with and without criminal records.

In addition, "in the midst of all this there is a small group of professional criminals, who are taking advantage of the situation to commit crimes like this," he told Sveriges Radio.

A 25-year-old who grew up in Husby said he didn't think the riots had anything to do with the shooting.

"I'm not saying there are no problems... but people are glorifying this a little bit," said the man, who declined to be named, adding that the rioters were often aged 12 to 17.

"I can imagine they get a big kick out of seeing themselves on TV," he said.

Due to its liberal immigration policy, Sweden has in recent decades become one of Europe's top destinations for immigrants, both in absolute numbers and relative to its size.

But many of those who have arrived struggle to learn the language and find employment, despite numerous government programmes.

Official data show unemployment was 8.8 percent in Husby in 2012, compared to 3.3 percent in Stockholm as a whole.

Eric Zemmour, a right-wing French commentator known for his controversial views, meanwhile told RTL radio the riots showed that the Swedish "kingdom of social democracy and of political correctness" was little different from countries like Britain and France.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

National
Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions
A Gripen plane was scrambled to see off the Russian planes. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions

UPDATED: Sweden has summoned the Russian Ambassador for a dressing down after two Russian planes violated Swedish airspace last week. READ  

Elections 2014
'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

'Good prospects' for Alliance co-operation

UPDATED: Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven says he is positive that his party can co-operate with the former governing Alliance on some issues. READ  

Lifestyle
Introducing...Astrid Lindgren
Pippi Longstocking comes to live at the Astrid Lindgren theme park. Photo: TT

Introducing...Astrid Lindgren

The creator of Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren, is the most translated author from Sweden, and has filled children's imaginations since the 1940s. The Local finds out why her work has become a timeless classic. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

864
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN