Principals backtrack on Sweden Democrat demonstration

Principals at five Karlskrona schools backed down on Friday from earlier calls for pupils to demonstrate against the politics of the Sweden Democrats.

On Thursday one of the principals in question, Marina Eriksson from Sunnadalskolan, sent out a statement to local media that five schools in the southern town had agreed to protest “against the Sweden Democrats’ politics”.

On several previous occasions pupils from schools in Karlskrona have been invited to participate in an annual torchlight procession in memory of victims of the Holocaust.

This year Eriksson claimed that several schools had agreed to widen the scope of the event to include criticism of the Sweden Democrats, the far right party that gained 10 percent of the local vote in September general elections.

But another of the school heads, Gunilla Ekelöf from Wämöskolan, contends that there was no consultation among the principals of the five school regarding a protest action.

“I can’t imagine demonstrating against democratic decisions,” she said.

On Friday morning Marina Eriksson distanced herself from her original statement.

“It is a manifestation against violence and xenophobia, and for equal human rights. It is not a manifestation in which we reject the Sweden Democrats’ politics,” Eriksson told news agency TT.

The principal of Sunnadalskolan would not comment on Thursday’s statement comparing the politics of the Sweden Democrats to Nazism.