Swedish celebrities take public stand against far-right

The Local Sweden
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Swedish celebrities take public stand against far-right
Swedish actor Kjell Bergqvist started the Facebook group against SD in August. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Hundreds of Swedish celebrities, including Hollywood star Joel Kinnaman and jazz-singer Viktoria Tolstoy, had on Thursday joined a public appeal protesting the far-right party Sweden Democrats (SD), as they look set to garner record support in Sunday's legislative election.


Taking the lead from Swedish actor Kjell Bergqvist, more than 250 artists, writers, musicians and actors have joined a group called "Anything but NEVER SD" ("Vad som helst men ALDRIG SD"), which had nearly 90,000 members early Thursday. 

"I can't just sit idly by, I must do whatever I can," Bergqvist told the daily Aftonbladet. 

"There a many of us who are worried and afraid ahead of Sunday's election. But we can support each other and believe in a better future through this group," he said. 

The signatories include actors Joel Kinnaman ("House of Cards") and Pernilla August ("The Best Intentions"), jazz-singer Viktoria Tolstoy, the great-great granddaughter of Russian author Leo Tolstoy, and Marten Palme, the son of the assassinated former Swedish prime minister, Olof Palme. 

According to the latest opinion polls, the Sweden Democrats -- set up in 1988 by former members of the neo-Nazi movement -- currently enjoy support of 17-20 percent ahead of the election. 

But some analysts fear these figures could be too low. 

The party won 5.7 percent of the vote in 2010, then 12.9 percent in 2014, a year before 160,000 asylum seekers arrived in the Scandinavian country as part of the 2015 migration wave. 

They have virtually no chance of coming to power after Sunday's election, as none of the other major parties are willing to invite them into a coalition government. 

But their influence in the political debate is growing and they intend to capitalize on their support by chairing parliamentary committees.




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