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Over 400 cops to patrol neo-Nazi May Day march

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Over 400 cops to patrol neo-Nazi May Day march
Police on duty at last year's demonstration ride through a park. File: TT
16:58 CEST+02:00
Almost 450 police officers will be on hand in the central Sweden town of Jönköping on Thursday in preparation for a potential repeat of last year's May Day flare-ups.
 
Like last year, the small neo-Nazi Party of the Swedes (Svenskarnas party - SVP) has been granted a permit to march through the small Swedish town of Jönköping on May 1st, much to the annoyance of the town's elected politicians who have failed in their attempts to have the demostration permit revoked.
 
There are almost 100 officers more than last year who have been drafted in to patrol Thursday's march.
 
Last year, extreme-left counter-demonstrators attacked the march. Sveriges Television (SVT) reported that the tumult left five people injured. The police called in reinforcements from nearby districts and in the end detained 29 people. The counter-demonstrators also set several cars alight. 
 
Despite last year's events, Stefan Hector of the Jönköping police defended granting a new permit this year. 
 
"Police are politically colour blind," he told the TT news agency on Wednesday. "We protect the the right to share your opinion regardless of what it is."
 
The policeman said that there was a higher threat level this year compared to 2013. The neo-Nazi party estimated that it would have between 200 and 300 people marching on Thursday. Their procession will be followed by marches by the supporters of the Social Democrats, the Left Party, and the Communist Party.
 
"But the marches will run at separate times, so we'll be keeping control and making sure they don't clash," Hector said.

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