Demo against police racism in Malmö

Over one hundred demonstrators marched in Malmö on Saturday in protest against police racism.

Demo against police racism in Malmö

Demonstrators carried banners calling themselves “Ape son’s of bitches army against racism”. Several of the demonstrators bore paper masks depicting ape faces.

The demonstration began with a short speech in Rosengård, a predominantly immigrant suburb of Malmö, by local resident Pia Ibarra who drew reference to recent revelations of racism within Skåne police.

“We have been attacked by the police for years. The frightening thing now is that they do not even try to hide it,” Ibara said.

The demonstration received a large police escort as it made its way to the police station on Excercisgatan in central Malmö. Three short speeches were made and the crowd then dispersed.

Some stone throwing and an incident of suspected knife crime were reported by police who otherwise confirmed that the demonstration passed off peacefully.

A series of revelations have emerged in recent weeks including a police video with officers making racist and threatening comments and the use of names such as Neger (Negro) Niggersson and Oskar Neger for internal training purposes.

Sweden’s national police commissioner, Bengt Svensson, has since launched an independent inquiry into racism within the police force in Skåne in a bid to restore confidence in the police.

“The investigator will examine whether there are deficiencies in the work to build an ethical system of values within the Skåne police and what can be done differently. This has never been done before and is incredibly important,” Svensson said on launching the enquiry on February 7th.


Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

The chairwoman of the Police Association West Region has said that police special tactics, known as Särskild polistaktik or SPT, should be available across Sweden, to use in demonstrations similar to those during the Easter weekend.

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

SPT, (Särskild polistaktik), is a tactic where the police work with communication rather than physical measures to reduce the risk of conflicts during events like demonstrations.

Tactics include knowledge about how social movements function and how crowds act, as well as understanding how individuals and groups act in a given situation. Police may attempt to engage in collaboration and trust building, which they are specially trained to do.

Katharina von Sydow, chairwoman of the Police Association West Region, told Swedish Radio P4 West that the concept should exist throughout the country.

“We have nothing to defend ourselves within 10 to 15 metres. We need tools to stop this type of violent riot without doing too much damage,” she said.

SPT is used in the West region, the South region and in Stockholm, which doesn’t cover all the places where the Easter weekend riots took place.

In the wake of the riots, police unions and the police’s chief safety representative had a meeting with the National Police Chief, Anders Tornberg, and demanded an evaluation of the police’s work. Katharina von Sydow now hopes that the tactics will be introduced everywhere.

“This concept must exist throughout the country”, she said.

During the Easter weekend around 200 people were involved in riots after a planned demonstration by anti-Muslim Danish politician Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), that included the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Police revealed on Friday that at least 104 officers were injured in counter-demonstrations that they say were hijacked by criminal gangs intent on targeting the police. 

Forty people were arrested and police are continuing to investigate the violent riots for which they admitted they were unprepared. 

Paludan’s application for another demonstration this weekend was rejected by police.

In Norway on Saturday, police used tear gas against several people during a Koran-burning demonstration after hundreds of counter-demonstrators clashed with police in the town of Sandefjord.