The Nordic Resistance Movement held a rally in Gothenburg, Sweden, yesterday that ended in the arrest of 35 protesters. “Given the intentions of many of those at the scene, the situation could have been a lot worse,” said the local police chief.
Police and neo-Nazis in Sweden Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Hundreds marched in the streets of Gothenburg, Sweden, on Saturday as part of a protest organized by the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement. Even though the protest was legal, the demonstrators tried to march on streets that were not approved by the police. As officers began to block the protesters who were deviating from the route, clashes between the sides broke out. 35 neo-Nazi protesters were arrested and seven people, including a police officer, were injured.
Anti-fascists gathered in the city in order to counter-protest. Police forces separated the protests in order to prevent additional clashes. “Given the intentions of many of those at the scene, the situation could have been a lot worse,” said the local police chief.
While it is not illegal to belong to neo-Nazi groups in Sweden, the local police force is concerned about the extreme right-wing organizations. As part of the security forces’ preparation for the protest, reinforcements from districts across Sweden were called to the city and 350 temporary jail beds were ordered.
According to the Swedish Police Authority, the extreme right-wing movements are becoming more active due to the growing number of refugees in the country. Three Nordic Resistance Movement members were convicted of planting bombs targeting refugees and politicians this year.