Sweden charges 36 over riot after Black Lives Matter protest last year

mounted police at protest in gothenburg
A small crowd broke off from the peaceful protest in Gothenburg last year, ending in conflict with police in the city centre. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT
Swedish police announced today that they are charging 36 people allegedly involved in a violent riot which erupted following a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Gothenburg last year.

The vast majority of those attending the protest in Gothenburg did so peacefully. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

The protest, which saw thousands gather in the western city of Gothenburg in June 2020, unfolded calmly and was ended by the organisers, the authority said. 

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But a smaller crowd broke off and continued to march and when they reached Götaplatsen in central Gothenburg, the situation escalated. Sweden’s Prosecution Authority (Åklagarmyndigheten) said on Thursday that 36 people have been charged over the incident. “The violence has mainly been made up of members of the crowd kicking, beating and throwing rocks and other objects against police and their vehicles,” public prosecutor Elisabeth Trouvé said in a statement.

A small group of people broke off after the protest was over and continued to march through the city, eventually leading to riots in central Gothenburg. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Charges included violent rioting, sabotaging emergency vehicles, vandalism, violence against officers and assault, the prosecution authority said. Much of the evidence was gathered from videos from police bodycams and drones, as well as some filmed by members of the public and surveillance cameras, it added.

Police made a number of arrests during the riots following the protest – now 36 people have been charged. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

The Black Lives Matter movement, founded in 2013 in the United States, spread overseas in the summer of 2020. Rallies were held globally following several cases of police brutality in the US, including the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Millions of people have taken part in Black Lives Matter protests in the US and around the world.

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