• Sweden's news in English
How many will step in to stop this 'attack' in Stockholm?
Screenshot from the video by Normel TV.

How many will step in to stop this 'attack' in Stockholm?

Emma Löfgren · 16 Feb 2016, 14:40

Published: 16 Feb 2016 14:40 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In the clip, filmed on a Saturday evening at the subway stop in Stockholm's Old Town (Gamla Stan), viewers see actor Daniel Norlin angrily lash out at and push innocent bystander (and fellow actor) Sara Henrietta.

Its mission? To see how many onlookers are willing to speak up and stop the situation from escalating.

"We came up with the idea following similar incidents in Stockholm lately. We wanted this to be given more attention and urge people to act in such situations," Norlin, one of the co-producers of social experiment group Normel TV, told The Local on Tuesday.

Earlier this year, CCTV footage of a similar incident caused a stir in Sweden after it captured a pickpocket hitting and spitting at a mum with two children at the same underground station. Police later arrested a suspect, who faces charges of assault, theft and molestation at one of the capital's tourist hotspots.

But in the Normel TV clip, created by Norlin himself and co-producer Vlad Reiser – who describe themselves as "two Russian guys who live in Sweden and do awesome vids" – many Stockholm commuters are seen only warily eyeing the visibly shaken victim and her 'attacker' without intervening.

"We thought that more people would speak up and react. But actually it wasn't that many who reacted as we had imagined," said Norlin.

However, while some choose to walk past, others step in to try to stop the attack.

"It's not worth it, man," says one, trying to deflate the tense situation.

"What are you doing?" asks a woman and steps between the pair.

But Norlin told The Local he had expected more people to act. Referring to a Polish man who, in the video, is by far the quickest to intervene, he said: "We have noticed that many people from other cultures often react the most strongly, and that's what we want to get at, we want Swedes to react in similar situations."

By Tuesday afternoon the video had been viewed more than 380,000 times on YouTube less than a day after it was published.

"People write that it's good that these things get attention. The reactions have been very positive," said Norlin.

Story continues below…

It is not the only social experiment video to go viral in Sweden this week. A clip posted by the Sthlm Panda group on Monday sparked debate after it showed bystanders ignoring a staged sex attack.

Vi testar i ett socialt experiment att stänga in oss i en skåpbil och iscensätta en våldtäkt och se vilka fö...

Posted by STHLM Panda on Monday, 15 February 2016

"How the heck can you just walk past and not do anything?" asked one Facebook user, referring to people pretending not to hear an actress's panicked screams from inside a white van, parked in public.

"I feel sick," commented another.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Emma Löfgren (emma.lofgren@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available