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Swedes throw stinky fish at calm neo-Nazi rally

Published: 24 Aug 2014 21:21 GMT+02:00

The right-wing party of the Swedes (Svenskarnas parti) were greeted with the foul smelling fish in Gothenburg after a Facebook group pledged to give them a "sour welcome." 

A large police attendance was in force in Gothenburg for the meeting which was held at 2pm. The authorities estimated that around 2,300 people showed up in the Götaplatsen square to protest, but unlike in Malmö there were few signs of trouble.

Demonstrators attempted to drown out the speech of Stefan Jacobsson by chanting and whistling. The protesters were divided into pens although many chose to stand outside the enclosures to avoid being trapped.

Police said the meeting in Gothenburg passed without major incident as did other rallies held by the party in Halmstad and Vänersborg.

"We've taken it in what happened in Malmö and spoke with the Skåne police," Halland police press officer Tommy Nyman told the TT news agency, when asked if the authorities had changed their approach following the incidents in Malmö.

Meanwhile the fallout into the chaos in Malmö continues as police arrested three people in connection with the violence.

The conduct of the police has been called into questions after pictures were published of officers on horseback trodding over demonstrators. An investigation is currently under way after a police van collided with a protester.

An organizer with Skåne against racism said she was "shocked" with how the police behaved. On Sunday the information officer of the Skåne police was unable to confirm if they had received any complaints about their behaviour.

Opposition leader Stefan Löfven, who was in nearby Helsingborg, didn't want to be drawn into a debate as to whether the police should be investigated.

"Of course it's bad when people get injured especially in connection with a demonstration," he said to TT.

The anti-racist Expo foundation described the scenes in Malmö as a "success" for the party of the Swedes.

"The Nazis in the party of the Swedes have a media strategy that all publicity is good publicity. That's why they have decided to host meetings in big cities to provoke a violent reaction," Alexander Bengtsson of Expo told TT.

The leader of the left party (Vänsterpartiet) Jonas Sjöstedt said that the police had been too "generous" in allowing the party to authorize meetings by the right wing party. 

"They did it on the first of May and they did it at Almedalen. I also think that it's completely absurd that the Svenskarna parti can come into Swedish schools," Sjöstedt told Kvällsposten.

However the justice minister Beatrice Ask said it would set a dangerous precedent if such restrictions became commonplace.

On Sunday night more than a hundred people gathered in the main square in Möllan in Malmö to protest against police violence after the incidents on Saturday. A similar rally has been planned for outside the police station on Monday night.  

TT/The Local/pr

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