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Man killed during Midsummer knife fight

TT/The Local · 20 Jun 2009, 10:41

Published: 20 Jun 2009 10:41 GMT+02:00

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One person was stabbed to death during a fight north of Borgholm, and several other people sustained less severe knife wounds. Police were called shortly after midnight on Midsummer Day but do not want to release further details.

“To say the least, this is a mess. A lot of youth were on Öland to celebrate Midsummer and this was a fight between rival gangs. Knives were involved, one person died and several are injured. Their relatives have not yet been informed,” Alf Jacobsson of the Kalmar police told TT.

The celebrations in Gothenburg were characterized by fights and drunkenness, but there were no major incidents.

“It was like a more troublesome Saturday. But now it’s pouring rain and that is a good preventative measure when it comes to criminal activity,” said Thomas Gorner of the Gothenburg police.

In Skåne in southern Sweden, midsummer celebrations remained calm until around 1 am.

“Then it was like …all hell broke loose. There have been a lot of incidents. There has been drunkenness, fights, assault, but not at a bar, but rather at a camp sites and private parties,” said Anders Nilsson, commander on duty in Skåne and Blekinge.

No major injuries were reported, however, and no particular location has stood out, he added.

Other parts of Sweden reported that things were business as usual.

“Like a normal Midsummer. Things have been relatively calm in Luleå all year, and also now. Things have been more problematic in the northern part of the municipality, in particular in Pajala where a festival is going on,” said Catrin Hedqvist of the Norrbotten police in northern Sweden.

In Dalarna in central Sweden, things were calmer than usual, partially due to the weather.

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“But in Leksand, where we normally have trouble, things were calm and we have had a lot of officers out,” said Kent Link of the Dalarna police.

In Stockholm, it was like a regular weekend and many were thought to have gone out of town.

“Of course we’ve had a lot to do, but I had expected much worse. The city centre has been the most calm,” said Jens Mårtensson of the Stockholm police.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:09 June 20, 2009 by Steggles
Hate to think what would've happened had it not rained!
16:16 June 20, 2009 by Nemesis
Midsommer in Sweden is staqrting to sound like July 12th in Northern Ireland.

maybe I might assimilate here after all:)
16:43 June 20, 2009 by jimmyjames
I am once again compelled to comment on the legal and illegal substance laws of modern countries. Everywhere that alcohol is legal police will readily tell of drunkenness and the violence that always, to some degree, accompanies alcohol comsumption. Marijuana, as everyone and anyone who has been around it knows has just the opposite effect on human nature. High on "pot" one usually wants to listen to music, make love, eat, commune with friends ,eat and eventually sleep YET MARIJUANA IS ILLEGAL !! Further, every year worldwide 10's of thousands of deaths can be directly attributable to alcohol( druken driving, fights, physical ailments, ect.) IN OVER TWO THOUSAND YEARS THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A DOCUMENTED CASE OF DEATH FROM "POT" !!! And we are told humans are at the top of the animal kingdom due to our intelligence. What a pathetic joke.
17:59 June 20, 2009 by LazyDog
This may sound strange but i have to agree with jimmyjames. I can be a pain in the neck when i have had a drink. Never happened when i smoked. Thing is they will make a law about air pollution on smokers :) So legalize pot, that is what they still call it? ha ha ha ha
18:02 June 20, 2009 by Puffin
... apart from those who die during a marijuana psychosis
18:54 June 20, 2009 by Gwrhyr
I wholeheartedly agree with jimmyjames and LazyDog, the world would be a much better place if marijuana were used instead of alcohol. I think we will see a lot of marijuana legalization in this century, though, but Sweden will be one of the last places to do it... but no doubt they will if other countries do, because Sweden's current policy towards marijuana is just a copy itself of the federal US laws.

And Puffin doesn't seem to know anything about puffing... sorry.

That being said, I had a pretty good, murder-free Midsummer. But then again I celebrated with a bunch of people who didn't drink because we were deep in the countryside and there were a limited amount of sleeping places, so most of the people had to drive home at the end of the night... so no drinking for them. That made it a pretty sober event.
19:05 June 20, 2009 by Jenta
Hilarious! "A man was stabbed to death during a fight near Borgholm on Öland, an island off the east coast of Sweden and a popular spot for Midsummer celebrations. But in many parts of the country, poor weather put a damper on the Midsummer festivities. " Similarly, in the "teaser" text on the Local's front page it says "A man was stabbed to death on Friday during a fight on the island of Öland. But in many parts of the country, poor weather put a damper on the Midsummer festivities." By starting the second sentence with "But...", it makes it sound like the fatal stabbing was an example of midsummer at its best, whereas elsewhere the rain meant that the poor old Swedes weren't able to celebrate with their traditional stabbings. Snigger!
21:24 June 20, 2009 by jack sprat
With regard to Marijuana v Alcohol,there is no doubt that both can cause problems.

It should be noted that marijuana has been reclassified upward as a Class B drug in the UK due to its detrimental affect on the brain and mental condition.

After much research it has been proved that greatly increasing numbers of marijuans users are ending up in mental institutions...Hardly safe!

With regard to the main issue of knife fights between gangs and increasing violence it seems obvious that many of those involved must have set out from home already "tooled up" and carrying knives,so trying to put down the problem to alcohol alone appears to be a non starter.

As has been seen around Swedish football stadiums during recent years yobbish behaviour and gang culture are taking off big-time.

I dont understand why the authorities dont stamp on it seriously, using methods as used in as in the UK, before it gets any worse.

Softly,softly simply does not work with these yobs and once again innocents are suffering as a result of failure to take positive and firm action.
23:33 June 20, 2009 by Greg in Canada
I have to agree. I've once never seen anybody get violent smoking weed but have seen it several times with drinking booze.

I've also never heard of anybody dying during a "marijuana psychosis", whatever the heck that is.
01:12 June 21, 2009 by Gustav- Fælbönnran
Looks more like long-term damage to the brain than an immediate result of toking up.

The immediate result looks more like laying about on the couch with a half-eaten pizza watching Star Trek re-runs.
03:35 June 21, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
And Dock Ellis would say the long-term result looks more like Paul McCartney and his vacant expression.
09:15 June 21, 2009 by Jenta
P.S. My "hilarious" and "snigger" comments were, of course, aimed at the Local's journalism, not the actual stabbing...
15:02 June 21, 2009 by bravedave
Ok, think, just for a second if everyone stoped drinking and started smoking weed instead. The world would grind to a hault and we as humans would begin the process of de-evolving!
20:59 June 21, 2009 by jack sprat
"" we as humans would begin the process of de-evolving! ""

One way and another maybe the computer age will have that effect.

One possible example,....if the vast majority of the human race spend most of the next few thousand years crouched in front of pc screens, instead of on their feet growing taller and more athletic, as has been the case for a long,long time,....in a few thousand years the planet could be populated by a short-assed,hump-backed, world of midgets.
21:49 June 21, 2009 by French viking
what's happening in Sweden !!

it is not Sweden I know
22:47 June 21, 2009 by John Doe
rival gangs... well, quite rival:


"Ett större gäng svenska killar kom i bråk med ett invandrargäng, sägs det till Ölandsbladet om tragedin under midsommarfirandet."
01:31 June 22, 2009 by Weekend_warrior
What is this belief that Sweden is a Utopia of sorts? It was a holiday weekend, with a lot of partying. Furthermore this was gang related. Not like your average Swede spent the holiday out on mission, eager to "stab" someone. In California, so long as the gangs kill one another, most Police could care less.

I spent about a week down in Öland with my girlfriend in 2007 near Böda. It's a beautiful island and we had lots of fun. It was July, so not Midsummer, but the island was definitely filled with lots of youthful drinkers.

I do not smoke weed just don't like it. Makes me fall asleep and unsocial. I have several friends that do, so I take no issue with it. Perhaps because I am from Cali :) However, I enjoy booze and I do believe it would be outlawed (as they did try once) if they knew today what they did back then. Weed is not legal nor consumed by the masses, so as far as fights and accidents go, you really cannot compare the two.
11:27 June 22, 2009 by Kooritze
Swedes on weed seems to be the question here. Have,nt you all seen the state most of the swedes get into on booze?......they just cant handle it! It,s embarassing to see grown middle aged men and women turning into 3 yr olds and then aimlessly wandering zombies later on in the evening with absolutely no social skills whatsoever.......bumping in to each other etc etc.

On the weed issue, definately no violence is the usual but suggesting swedes should indulge could result in widespread sleeping. But then that would mean we would be left to enjoy the evening without antisocial irritating behaviour. Hmmm! the more I think of it, maybe it could work.
12:14 June 22, 2009 by Benzed
What kind of miniscule numbers are we talking here, I wonder?

The whole weed v piss debate is pretty tenuously linked to this article anyway, wouldn't it be better to praise Sweden for the lack of a gun culture hence only one death? Were it the USA or Colombia, this gang "warfare" would have wiped out scores of peeps.
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