Residents thwart Rosengård street festival

A street festival held in the Rosengård district of Malmö deteriorated into a fight on Saturday evening as activists were forced out by area residents.

Residents thwart Rosengård street festival

The “Reclaim Rosengård” street festival, which was conceived as a protest against the social conditions in Rosengård, didn’t exactly go according to organizers’ plans. The event was supposed to get underway at 8pm on Saturday, but after about 15 minutes the activists who had gathered to participate were pushed out by Rosengård residents.

The activists’ floats with music were also barred from entering the predominantly immigrant neighbourhood.

“There were quite a few who had gathered, not only young people, but also a lot of parents. I think that patience has run out among the residents of Rosengård,” said municipal district representative Inger Leite to the TT news agency.

According to Leite, the Rosengård residents had made it clear previously that they didn’t want people to feel they had the right to come and speak for the residents who live there.

Instead, the activists gathered in front of a nearby petrol station where they threw stones, bottles, and burning objects at police cars.

The activists’ stated goal was to force a reduction in a police presence in the are. But Abu Hadis, one of the men involved in pushing back the activists, said Rosengård residents were of a different view.

“We who live in Rosengård want the police out here; their presence has had a calming effect for us and improved the area’s reputation,” he told newspaper Aftonbladet.

“We don’t need drunken upper class kids to come here and speak on our behalf against our will,” he added.

By 2am Sunday morning, the disturbances remained in full swing. Several small fires were burning, including a hedge near the petrol station which had also had its windows broken.

Thirty minutes later, most of those involved had gone home and the situation had calmed down.

Other than a few small fires and the damage to the petrol station, no other serious incidents were reported, according to Skåne police spokesperson Lars-Håkan Lindholm.

No one was injured during the night’s disturbance and no arrests have been made.

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