Swedish Nazis cross Stockholm's Strömsbrön on their way to the parliament. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
Five people were arrested and two were injured in Stockholm on Saturday as an estimated 600 far-right demonstrators marched from the central Kungsträdgården park to Mynttorget, the square where Sweden’s parliament is based in historic Gamla Stan.
“A number of people have been held. They were aggressive at one of our barriers,” Kjell Lindgren, a press spokesman for the Stockholm police said. He said that police had registered two cases of violent rioting, which carries a maximum four-year sentence. At least twenty others were detained for the duration of the march.
The NMR, set up in 1997, promotes an openly racist and anti-Semitic doctrine, and press commentators had questioned the wisdom of authorising Saturday's rally, given the likelihood of violence.
According to a reporter from the anti-Nazi Expo magazine, Per Öberg, the Nazi group’s press chief, told the gathered crowd that Donald Trump’s election was a sign that a world revolution was beginning.
Also speaking was Vera Oredsson, a lifelong Nazi who was a member of the Hitler youth as a child growing up in Nazi Germany, and Fredrik Vejdeland, the group’s head of strategy.
According to Expo, Vejdeland expressed his support for a proposal to break up Bonnier, the media empire which owns the Dagens Nyheter, Expressen, Sydsvenskan and Dagens Industri newspapers, and the the TV4 television network.
Bonnier is controlled by the Bonniers, a family with Jewish origins and the occasional target of far-right conspiracy theorists.
According to Expo, when Vejdeland began talking the crowd began to chant “Hang them, hang them”.
An AFP photographer said the Nazi marchers were easily outnumbered by the thousands of anti-fascists who came to protest their presence.
Swedish police said the counter demonstrators pelted the neo-Nazis with snowballs and bangers.
“A lot of loose objects, including snow, ice, bangers and fireworks of various kinds have been thrown,” Lindgren said. “I have not heard that anyone has been harmed, but it is possible that they have been.”
Police spokesman Lars Byström told TT news agency that a policeman was hit by a demonstrator, and a second individual was injured in circumstances that were unclear.
Roads were blocked and bus traffic affected in parts of central Stockholm as a result of the demonstration, which was set to continue until about 15.30.