Last year an estimated 40 white power groups attracted members across Sweden, roughly the same number as the previous year. But there was a considerable dip in the number of visible activities carried out by these groups, such as public demonstrations and the distribution of leaflets.
Expo and the Swedish Security Police, Säpo, share the view that extreme groups on the left and right are likely to become more active this year, with an election coming up in September.
“These groups’ activities generally do increase when there’s an election,” said Säpo spokesman Patrik Peter.
On Wednesday two people were stabbed while handing out flyers for Svenskarnas Parti (‘Party for Swedes’) in Hallstahammar, 130 kilometres west of Stockholm. Four people identified as representing groups on the extreme left were arrested for attempted murder.
Three days later a demonstration by Svenskarnas Parti in nearby Västerås attracted 150 to 200 supporters. Two people were injured when clashes broke out with around 100 counter-demonstrators.
Expo editor Anders Dalbro highlighted the fact that Svenskarnas Parti, unlike many of their counterparts, will be running for election this year.
“For them it’s going to be a very active year. But organisations not running for election also benefit from the fact that it’s an election year,” he said.
According to Expo’s annual report, set for publication this week, the white power movement was hit by internal divisions in 2009.
“This is most noticeable when it comes to joint demonstrations, which previously attracted a lot of people,” said Dalsbro.