Police take two hours to disperse Stockholm anti-lockdown protest

TT/The Local
TT/The Local - [email protected]
Police take two hours to disperse Stockholm anti-lockdown protest
Public gatherings of more than eight people are currently banned in Sweden. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Police in Stockholm took more than two hours to disperse a 600-strong protest against coronavirus restrictions in Stockholm, forcibly removing about 30 people from the scene.


"We registered two cases of violent resistance, which happened as we removed two people from the demonstration," Peter Ågren, the police officer who led the operation, told Sweden's TT newswire. 

One other person was seized for attacking a police vehicle – called blåljussabotage, or "blue light sabotage" in Swedish – and another was reported for assault.

The local Stockholm regional government had already issued the main organiser Fredrik Sjöström and three others with fines of 30,000 kronor each for arranging a public event for more than eight people.

Some 2,000 people signed up to take part in the protest, which was dubbed Första Majtåget för Frihet och Sanning, "The May 1st Protest for Freedom and Truth".


Police ordered protesters to leave within six minutes of the protest beginning at the Norra Bantorget Square in central Stockholm.

"You are requested to leave the square voluntarily," police shouted to the procession, but the protesters ignored them, drowning them out with chants of Vakna Sverige, or "Wake up Sweden".

"This takes time and requires patience," said Carina Skagerlind, a spokesperson for Stockholm police. "We are working with telling them to interrupt the protest, and if needed will remove them from the area. This work is going to take a while."

When the procession reached the Odenplan square, they were stopped by a barricade of police cars, after which several demonstrators were taken away by officers.

"Carry on walking," the protesters then chanted, making it past the barricade and continuing until they reached the Vasaparken park. Many carried signs with messages such as "the mass media is the virus", "Covid-19 was planned", or "the pandemic is invented".

Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

A woman, who called herself Helena, told TT that she believed Sweden's relatively light coronavirus restrictions were a threat to democracy.

"I don't believe in this pandemic," she said. "Look how the police are behaving. There's no longer democracy in our country."

She said Covid-19 was "just an ordinary virus", claimed that there was no excess mortality in Sweden, and argued that the virus was "just a way of frightening people".

According to Statistics Sweden, Sweden has had excess mortality of 38 percent in April, the peak of the first wave, and of 25 percent in December, the peak of the second.


Daniel Svensson, an intensive care nurse at Stockholm's Södersjukhuset, said he found the protests upsetting.

"We see people dying every day, people of all ages totally wrecked, and here they are going and claiming that the virus doesn't exist and that we should open up Sweden," he told TT. "It's a real slap in the face."

Speakers at Vasaparken argued that so-called vaccine passes were a form of "medical apartheid", and called for Sweden's pandemic law to be scrapped.

Unlike other European countries, Sweden opted for months not to impose strict measures on its population at the start of the pandemic, issuing guidance in the form of recommendations instead.

In November, however, facing a significant second wave of infections, Sweden capped public gatherings at eight participants and forced cafes, bars and restaurants to close at 8.30pm.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

Anonymous 2021/05/04 10:11
When there was a pretty violent BLM demonstration in the middle of the pandemic in Stockholm while all gatherings were forbidden, the police did not do anything, they just stood there and watched it. Oh yes, and that "glorious" police woman that stood on her knee and cried like a baby hugging the demonstrating people around her in the center of Stockholm instead of doing her job... I guess she got really good promotion after that. And now people demonstrate trying to protect their freedom - very fast reaction of police on that. Talking about democracy? Ridiculous.
Anonymous 2021/05/03 18:39
Re: Scandinavia, total deaths from Covid: Sweden 14,048, Norway 756, Denmark 2490, Finland 914. This comparison should be a point of national shame and despair. Olof Palme is turning in his grave as people protest the lightest of light "lockdowns" that has seen restaurants, bars, hairdressers, shops etc. open without even a mask mandate to keep people safe. What a spoiled, selfish entitled horror show. One might conclude that many Swedes simply don't care about the deaths of thousands of older people and people belonging to migrant (non-white) demographics.
  • Anonymous 2021/05/04 12:14
    If you die 'with' or 'of' covid in sweden it it chalked up as a covid death. ie 90 years old diabetic in a retirement village in sweden dies 'with' covid, it is considered a covid statistic. Not soo in Norway, many die in nursing homes with covid that are old and they are naturally written up as simply dying of old age, as they should be and thus rendering the statistics uncomaprable. Masks have proved time and time again to be useless. But by all means wear one if you psychologically feel safer.
Anonymous 2021/05/03 09:19
The flu season in 1993/4 was actually worse statistically than 2020. 2M less population in Sweden then and only 750 less deaths from the flu..All data is freely availbale online, look it up. People should be outraged and protesting the rediculous fear mongering that is happening these days, even if it is not as bad as the rest the EU/The World... What sort of world do we live in without freedom, freedom to isolate or not, freedom to travel, freedom to choose experimental vaccines or not. 'If' the vaccines work then no one has anything to worry about if i choose not to take it. And as for 'herd immunity', strengthen the herd by making fast food and alchahol elegal first and encourage excerise, Vit C, D and Zinc. Fast food and alchahol is the largest contributer to a compramised immune systems, and if your immune system is low then YOU are the problem in the 'herd' NOT the healthy vaccine free people.. Anyway, keep protesting and if thats not your thing, then keep and open mind.. Without free choice there is no freedom. Have a lovely week and stay healthy :)
Anonymous 2021/05/03 01:31
Nice to see that a few are willing to stand up question the state's authority.
Anonymous 2021/05/02 22:54
lock-down? which lock-down?

See Also