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Karlskrona pupils to demonstrate against Sweden Democrats

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11:43 CET+01:00
The principals of five secondary schools in Karlskrona have encouraged a total of 1,600 pupils to participate in demonstrations against the politics of the Sweden Democrat party.

The demonstrations are to take place in the southern Swedish town in connection with a Holocaust memorial parade on January 25th.

Participation is voluntary, according to one of the school heads, Marina Eriksson. But she adds that, with the new political make-up of the local council in mind, it is important to show resistance.

Karlskrona is one of a number of local councils in which the far right Sweden Democrats hold the balance of power following a very strong showing in September elections.

"There is not such a big difference between the Sweden Democrats and Nazism, at least in the introductory phase of Nazism.

"The Sweden Democrats are xenophobic, of that there is no doubt," Eriksson told newspaper BLT.

Alf Lindberg, press ombudsman for the Swedish Teachers' Union, has never come across anything like it before.

"I don't know of any similar case. Manifestations against violence and xenophobia are common, but not singling out a party," said Lindberg.

As local councillor in charge of schools the Liberal party's Kent Lewén says that he cannot participate in a manifestation directed against a sector of the electorate.

Local Sweden Democrat leader Richard Jomshof, who also plays music in a synthesizer band, is critical of the planned demonstration.

"What happens with pupils who don't like the Holocaust but do like us? Would they dare to stand up and say that they don't want to participate?

"And can I, who thinks that the Holocaust was terrible, come to the manifestation?" asked Jomshof.

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