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Stockholm set for anti-racism anniversary demo

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Stockholm set for anti-racism anniversary demo
Scuffles between protesters and anti-demonstrators in Kärrtorp last year. Photo: TT
16:13 CET+01:00
Monday night's planned anti-racist rally in Stockholm marks one year since a similar gathering sparked violent clashes from neo-Nazi factions. Organizers and police are expecting a much calmer night.

Monday's demonstration is being called by Nätverket Linje 17, an anti-racism organization based in the south Stockholm Skarpnäck district. 

According to Linje 17 organizer Zandra Cullen, several thousand people are expected to show up this year. 

“We believe it is crucial to have a strong, local anti-racist movement," she told The Local. "We have seen increased anti-fascist and anti-racist activities in Sweden over the last year, which is great. But we also have a racist party in parliament which has grown a lot and is paving the way for even more radical right-wing movements."

She said organizers have been working closely with police on the secure planning of Monday's rally.

"We do hope they are better prepared than last year,” she said.

Neo-Nazi clashes in Sweden: One year on

Police have said that they are prepared for “any kind of situation”, and anticipate a crowd of up to 3,000 people.

“For the moment we don't expect any kind of problem,” Lars Byström of the Stockholm police told The Local. “And if there’s any problem, we will solve it."

The demonstration marks the one-year anniversary of an anti-racist demonstration held last year on December 15 which was held to protest Nazi graffiti daubed in the area.

IN PICTURES: Looking back at last year's violent clashes

A few hundred protesters were gathered in peaceful protest in the main square when a group of men clad in black stormed the area.

Neo-Nazis from the Swedish Resistance Movement (Svenska motståndsrörelsen - SMR) were reported to be behind the attack. 

Police arrested dozens in the ensuing chaos, and over 30 people have since been prosecuted, most of whom are a part of the neo-Nazi group.

Byström noted that no formal counter-demonstration request had come in this year.

Meanwhile, organizers are stressing the importance of the demonstration.

“It’s partly to remember what happened last year," said Cullen. "But even more so in order to look to the future.”

Norhan Elhakeem 

 

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