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Four neo-Nazis apprehended for attaching banner to Stockholm culture centre

Four members of a Nazi organization have been apprehended in connection with an incident at Stockholm's Kulturhuset.

Four neo-Nazis apprehended for attaching banner to Stockholm culture centre
File photo of the Kulturhuset building in central Stockholm. Photo: Staffan Löwstedt / SvD / TT

The four abseiled down the side of the building using ropes and attached a banner to the front of the cultural centre.

Police have not made public the message or symbol on the banner, but said the content itself was not illegal. Photographs of the incident published in the Expressen newspaper appear to show the logo of neo-Nazi group Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR), an openly anti-Semitic and racist organization. Several demonstrations by the group over the past year have led to violent clashes.

“I am very disturbed. It's an attack,” one witness, who was eating in the building's restaurant ahead of a theatre performance, told the TT newswire. “At first I thought it was an advert for a show. But then I saw the symbol and understood what it was. It's in the middle of the city and close to the election; my interpretation is that it's an attack on Kulturhuset.”

Security guards at the building reported the incident to police shortly before 6pm on Thursday. 

The four perpetrators were discharged after interrogation and identification at the scene, and are suspected of trespassing and illegal flyering. One of the four is also suspected of violent resistance during the apprehension.

Work to remove the banner continued through the evening.

“The police have judged that there's no security risk, so we don't need to cancel any exhibitions or anything. We have chosen to bring in a few more security guards,” said Sofia Cherif, press spokesperson at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern. 

She said that for the moment the company had not decided to take any further measures, but would be evaluating the situation fully on Friday.

READ ALSO: 2017 sets new record for neo-Nazi activity in Sweden

Member comments

  1. Neo nazis get arrested for posting a banner while the people who burned down dozens of cars in Gothenburg roam free. Swedish Justice!

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CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

READ ALSO: 

More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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