‘Underclass-safari’ post lands official in trouble

Christian Democrat party official Patric Rylander, party secretary Acko Ankarberg's right hand man, has found himself in stormy weather after calling for a ”underclass-safari” on his Facebook page, featuring “people on welfare” as well as “screaming teens”.

'Underclass-safari' post lands official in trouble
An ad for the 'upper-class' safari that sparked the controversial post

”Among other things there should be a high rate of people on social welfare, viscious screaming teenagers, only feature rented apartments in the ‘Miljonprogram’ suburbs, closed down shops, destitute social services, [it should] be run down and overrun by graffiti,” Rylander wrote on his Facebook page, according to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

Despite receiving several tips for other sights for the tour from Facebook followers, Rylander’s suggestion of a tour of the ”Miljonprogram” areas of Sweden, referring to the now mostly run-down one million homes that were built in the 60s and 70s to house Sweden’s increasing population, have sparked outrage among his party colleagues.

”It is not OK to speak this way about any place, anywhere. This is about people. People who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and not made fun of,” said local Christian Democrat politician Stefan Gustafsson from Sävsjö in central Sweden to Sveriges Radio (SR).

”Regardless of whether it was ironic or not I think it is inappropriate to say these things. It does nothing for the Christian Democrats,” said another Jönköping party member, Mia Frisk, to SR.

Rylander told SR that he realized in hindsight that the post had been “phrased inappropriately” and that he had had no idea that it would be spread so widely.

“I tend to write foremost for my friends and often with a little irony and sort of ‘tongue in cheek’. Perhaps it is phrased slightly inappropriately at times and perhaps it was this time,“ Rylander, who has some 889 Facebook friends, told SR.

Acko Ankarberg, in a conversation with news agency TT, called Rylander’s post “lacking in judgement”.

“If that is irony it can easily be misinterpreted. I have spoken to him and told him he shouldn’t have done it,” she told TT.

She confirmed, however, that Rylander will continue on with his work despite the incident.

Rylander told DN that the post should be seen in the light of the recent “upper-class safari” that took place last weekend and which has sparked outrage among the resident’s of Saltsjöbaden, who feel their privacy have been invaded.

He had attempted, albeit badly, to illlustrate this with the post, he told the paper in an email.

“To pit social groups against each other and the wish to nurture class hatred, like the organizers of the upper-class safari say that they do, is completely wrong. No one should be subjected to safari visits, not those who live on Solsidan, nor anywhere else. Everyone deserves respect,” Rylander told DN.

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Stockholm Pride is a little different this year: here’s what you need to know 

This week marks the beginning of Pride festivities in the Swedish capital. The tickets sold out immediately, for the partly in-person, partly digital events. 

Pride parade 2019
There won't be a Pride parade like the one in 2019 on the streets of Stockholm this year. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

You might have noticed rainbow flags popping up on major buildings in Stockholm, and on buses and trams. Sweden has more Pride festivals per capita than any other country and is the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region, but the Stockholm event is by far the biggest.  

The Pride Parade, which usually attracts around 50,000 participants in a normal year, will be broadcast digitally from Södra Teatern on August 7th on Stockholm Pride’s website and social media. The two-hour broadcast will be led by tenor and debater Rickard Söderberg.

The two major venues of the festival are Pride House, located this year at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm at Skanstull in Södermalm, and Pride Stage, which is at Södra Teatern near Slussen.

“We are super happy with the layout and think it feels good for us as an organisation to slowly return to normal. There are so many who have longed for it,” chairperson of Stockholm Pride, Vix Herjeryd, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Tickets are required for all indoor events at Södra Teatern to limit the number of people indoors according to pandemic restrictions. But the entire stage programme will also be streamed on a big screen open air on Mosebacketerassen, which doesn’t require a ticket.  

You can read more about this year’s Pride programme on the Stockholm Pride website (in Swedish).