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Sweden: anti-racists take to streets after far-right break through

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Gunnar Westin reports on the electoral successes of the far-right in Sweden and the beginning of the fight back

Resistance begins!

In response to the election of the Sweden Democrats a 10,000-strong army of Swedish anti-racist protesters occupied Stockholm’s main square on Monday.

But the message from the streets was that they now face the determined opposition of a mass movement.
The Sweden Democrats gained 20 seats in parliament in the election last weekend with nearly 340,000 votes (5.7 per cent of total), double what it took in 2006 elections.

The protest was called on social network site Facebook by a teenage woman the evening before and was joined by demonstrations in other parts of the country including Malmö and Gothenburg.

Present were young and old alike, many from migrant backgrounds. The mood was mixed: people were shocked and angry about the Sweden Democrats success but also pleased about the turnout and the commitment to building a campaign.

After the protest, there was a march to the parliament building with members of the socialist youth group REVOLUTION leading the way, chanting: “we are going to parliament”.

Rise of the far-right

The Sweden Democrats have grown because of government attacks on immigrants, refugees, workers and youth. The party supports tighter controls on immigration and the repatriation of refugees and migrants.

It is firmly against gay rights, claiming that homosexuality poses a threat to the “traditional family”.
The Sweden Democrats have been excluded from the centre-right ruling coalition, led by the Moderate Party, but the so-called Moderates are likely to rely on the votes of the far-right to push through attacks on jobs, public services and migrant communities.

A meeting of Stockholm activists has agreed to build for nationwide protests on 4 October and build a movement against the far-right and fascists.

It set its self the aim of linking anti-racist and anti-fascist campaigns with movements to support jobs and services to build a powerful challenge to the right-wing in Sweden.

Arbetarmakt [Workers Power in Sweden] is fighting to build local committees in schools, workplaces, youth centres, and housing estates to push back any attacks from the incoming government whether directed against workers, immigrants, refugees or young people.