Protesters rally against Sweden Democrat march
TT/The Local/kh · 10 Apr 2011, 14:52
Published: 10 Apr 2011 14:52 GMT+02:00
- Murder pics posted on Sweden Democrat blog (05 Apr 11)
- Sweden's far-right votes with the government: study (04 Apr 11)
- Sweden Democrat quits after assault conviction (22 Feb 11)
The group of counter-demonstrators began to gather at 1pm outside the city library in central Gothenburg at Götaplatsen.
A short while later a white bus rolled up to Götaplatsen and out stepped several people from SDU dressed in yellow shirts and carrying Swedish flags.
Counter-demonstrators stood up immediately and started chanting "No racists in our streets!"
All of Götaplatsen was blocked just before the 2pm start of SDU’s scheduled demonstration.
The Sweden Democrats' youth league organised Sunday's demonstration to protest against what the group perceives as "anti-Swedish" currents in society.
"We are demonstrating against anti-Swedishness in general, something which is characteristic of society," SDU leader William Hahne told The Local ahead of the rally.
There was about 30 metres between counter-demonstrators and SDU representatives with police officers and barricades standing between the two groups, reported the TT news agency.
Shortly after 2pm, SDU began their march from Götaplatsen along Avenyn toward Kungsportsplatsen.
Police created a path with the help of buses and police horses so that the march could move forward.
Counter-demonstrators sat down in front of the buses in an attempt to stop them.
The atmosphere was described as rancorous but without violence by TT’s on-site reporter.
Approximately 100 to 150 people from SDU were expected to participate in the Sunday rally.
Counter-demonstrators will be between 500 and 1,000 persons, guessed Nord.
Several sites in central Gothenburg will be cordoned off during the afternoon.
In addition, about 40 policemen from Skåne arrived by bus this morning to Gothenburg.
"We wanted an extra tactical reserve department," said the commanding police chief.
Nord would not confirm the total number of police officers involved in today’s demonstrations, but did say that the efforts correspond to that of a major high-risk football game.
The expected counter-demonstration does not have official permission - but two areas near Götaplatsen and Kungsportsplatsen had been cordoned off with the expectation that it would occur.
“Counter-demonstrators have an equal right to be protected," said Nord.
One person was detained during the demonstration, but no one was arrested.