The riot started in the Nörrebro area of the Danish capital, after a demonstration turned violent. The marchers were protesting against the closure of Ungdomshuset, a youth collective in the city which the council plans to sell to a Christian group.
Some 273 people were arrested during the riot, of which 84 were foreigners. In addition to the Swedes, 26 Norwegians, 20 Germans, five Dutch citizens two Finns, a Russian and an American were arrested.
Swedish news agency TT reports that police tried to stop the march when they noticed that several hundred demonstrators were wearing masks. It was at this point that the marchers turned violent. The masked demonstrators broke windows in banks and shops. Rioters threw bottles and paving slabs at those police officers sent in to calm the mob.
The riots have been widely condemned by Danish politicians, as well as local residents and traders in Nörrebro.
Danish police released on Sunday afternoon 186 of the 273 people arrested. Dagens Nyheter reports that all the foreigners taken into custody remain in the cells.
Chief Inspoector Peter Larsen of Copenhagen Police told Danish news agency Ritzau that the violence had been planned well in advance, adding that the foreigners “had not come to Copenhagen to do their Christmas shopping.”