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KÄRRTORP

NEO-NAZI

‘They attacked us’ says alleged Swedish neo-Nazi

The suspected neo-Nazi leader allegedly at the helm of the violent altercation in Stockholm last year told court on Tuesday that anti-racism demonstrators attacked them, not the other way around.

'They attacked us' says alleged Swedish neo-Nazi
Scenes from the altercation in December. File photo: TT

"My perception was that the demo in Kärrtrop was against the Swedish Resistance Movement," the 24-year-old said about the neighbourhood protest against a recent flurry of Nazi graffiti in the southern Stockholm neighborhood.

"So I thought it was obvious that we'd go," the man told the Södertörn District Court.

Seven men, some minors, are standing trial for their suspected roles in a violent altercation in the Kärrtorp neighbourhood in mid-December. Three are described as key figures in the Swedish Resistance Movement (Svenska motståndsrörelsen).

"I didn't use violence against anyone, the only thing I did was to hold a camera," said the man, one of three suspects identified as leaders of the group. 

He said several people dressed in black had instead attacked them. The demo then descended into mayhem, with the understaffed Swedish police and several local residents herding the neo-Nazis out of the suburb and into a nearby forest.

Prosecutors have brought charges of violent rioting (våldsamt upplopp) and hate speech (hets mot folkgrupp) against four suspects. Another three were charged with instigating violent rioting. The indictment stated that several of those charged threw bottles, rocks, and firecrackers at the peaceful demonstrators, several of whom attended the rally with their children. 

IN PICTURES: Swedish police herd neo-Nazis away from anti-racism demonstrators in Kärrtorp 

"I'd also like to underscore that I am not some kind of group leader, which the prosecutor claims," he added.

The prosecutor retorted by asking him about an alleged SMS sent to SMR members on December 15th, 2013, and further text messages sent allegedly to assemble the group.

READ ALSO: "It's a kind of poverty of the soul… Swedes tell The Local why they are protesting against racism"

The TT news agency reported that while the older suspects have remained tight-lipped about what happened in Kärrtorp, a 17-year-old suspect told the police he was shocked at how violent the altercation became. A 16-year-old said he received orders from two of the older suspects to take bottles out of a car.  

"I wanted to turn back," he told police during interrogations. "I suppose I realized when they got the bottles out that this wasn't what I'd signed up for." 

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NAZI

Swedish neo-Nazis hand out flyers, causing fight to break out

Scuffles broke out in Oskarshamn on Saturday after neo-Nazi organisation Nordic Resistance Movement (Nordiska motståndsrörelsen, NMR) began handing out flyers in the centre of the town.

Swedish neo-Nazis hand out flyers, causing fight to break out
NMR members carrying the extremist group's newspaper during the Sweden's Almedalen political forum week earlier this month. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

A man in his forties was pushed to the ground by a supporter of the group and five people are suspected of committing assault, reports local media Oskarshamns-Tidningen.

Physical confrontation broke out when the man asked the neo-Nazi group to stop filming him, according to the report. When the group refused, he tried to take the camera from them and was then attacked.

Police have seized a camera containing footage documenting the disturbance.

“It has been confiscated as evidence in case there is film or pictures of what happened,” police spokesperson Stephan Söderholm told Oskarshamns-Tidningen.

The man who was attacked did not suffer serious injury.

The extremist NMR group made headlines earlier this month for disrupting Sweden’s Almedalen political forum week after organisers decided to allow them to participate in the event.

Also on Saturday, a man wearing a t-shirt that read “Revolution: Support the Nordic Resistance Movement” walked on to the court during the Swedish Open tennis match between David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco, yelled Nazi slogans and raised his arm in a Nazi-like salute.

Security guards and police officers escorted the man away as incredulous commentators decried the incident as an “absolute scandal”.

READ ALSO: Swedish neo-Nazis lose trademark battle with German deep-freeze firm