• Sweden edition
 
Sweden Democrats face wave of silent protest
Sweden Democrat party leader Jimmie Åkesson in Gothenburg. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrats face wave of silent protest

Published: 17 May 2014 14:20 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 May 2014 14:20 GMT+02:00

Anti-racist sentiment is strong in Sweden as the European elections approach with the Sweden Democrats (SD) often the target of mass protests - at times silent and at times vocal.
 
"It is possible to see a very strong anti-racist mobilization of civil society. Much of the involvement appears to occur without traditional organization, people have come together in schools, workplaces or in demonstrations to act against what they see as a growing threat," according to Umeå University researcher Jan Jämte. 
 
Umeå in northern Sweden is set to be the latest city to greet the Sweden Democrat's election campaign with a show of defiance on Monday, according to a report in the local Västerbottens Kuriren daily. The newspaper reports that the city's school-children are to feature strongly in a silent protest against SD party leader Jimmie Åkesson.
 
The protests have taken different forms and participants have varied from the general public, to fire-fighters, to university and hospital staff, to church-goers and left wing extremists. Åkesson was forced to call off attempts to hold a speech in Gothenburg last week due to the noise created by demonstrators.
 
The Gothenburg demonstrations however drew criticism from politicians such as Åkesson and Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt, as well as influential journalists, such as Dagens Nyheter's (DN) Hanne Köller.
 
"Those who believe that he must be silenced must, it is fair to say, lack confidence in their own counter-arguments and in other people's ability to see through the party's xenophobic and simplistic world view," she said in a leader article on Friday entitled "Stop cultivating SD's martyrdom".
 
Åkesson has meanwhile attempted to blame the disruption on left wing extremist groups and while these are recognized to be present, the scale and breadth of the protests have indicated that the sentiment is far more widely felt among different groups in society.
 
"If you stand and shout and disturb a political meeting and throw things, then you are by definition extremist... then you are against democracy and freedom of expression," Åkesson said after the Gothenburg demonstration.
 
Despite some exceptions, the Sweden Democrats have however managed to carry out most of their planned meetings with protests typically taking the form of massed ranks of locals silently turning their backs on the party's representatives.
 
On Friday some 1,000 people turned out in Gävle in northern Sweden in Friday, with many turning their backs as Jimmie Åkesson rose to speak. The silent protests followed similar actions in cities and towns spread as far and wide as Eskilstuna, Södertälje, Jönköping, Kungälv, Nässjö, Karlstad, Malung, Karlskrona and Arboga. 
 
The demographic and geographic spread of the protests has persuaded some experts that the party stands to suffer at the polls.
 
"Lots of factors influence an election, this is probably one that can weigh down the party," said political science professor Jonas Hinnfors.
 
The picture of SD's election campaign as one met solely by counter-demonstrations is inaccurate however with the party's representatives also attracting groups of enthusiastic supporters at every stop along their nationwide tour.
 

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
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  

Scotland Decides
Sweden welcomes Scotland's 'No' vote
No supporters celebrate victory in Glasgow. Photo: Matt Dunham/AP/TT.

Sweden welcomes Scotland's 'No' vote

Sweden’s outgoing foreign minister Carl Bildt has welcomed Scottish voters’ decision to reject independence from the UK in Thursday’s referendum. The pound rose against the krona following the result. READ  

National
'Sexsomnia' addict cleared of rape

'Sexsomnia' addict cleared of rape

A Swedish man who had sex with a woman while he was asleep has been acquitted of rape because he suffers from "sexsomnia". 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

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 »

 

17 September

Deep election analysis (Blogweiser) »

"You think you’re bad? Well I’m American. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFbomLID0vU Deep deep analysis on Swedish election results. Vlog post: https://t.co/tjQgfa5Yie #svpol #val2014 #politics pic.twitter.com/oEK5ADFT8L — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 17, 2014 " 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
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
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

852
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