Sweden's leaders condemn extremist and neo-Nazi groups' actions

Association and Peaceful Assembly

Strong line taken against extremism

After the Nordic Resistance Movement’s (NRM) demonstration in Gothenburg on 30th September 2017, which included episodes of violence, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven publicly stated that Sweden should review current legislation to better counter extremist and neo-Nazi activities. In December 2017, however, instances of Antisemitism were reported, including the chanting of anti-Semitic slogans at a demonstration in Malmö and an incident where Molotov cocktails were thrown at a synagogue. 

On 20th December, the Prime Minister and other political leaders spoke at a demonstration in Stockholm about the need to combat such discriminatory and harmful rhetoric and actions. To that end, Löfven stated that:

"Those who try to legitimize violence and hatred to achieve their goals – whether they are Nazis, religious extremists or left-wing extremists – will be inexorably condemned".

A speech by the Minister of Culture during the demonstration was interrupted by a heckler from the NRM, and five people were reportedly removed from the area and one arrested for attempting to disrupt the demonstration.

Protest against cutbacks

Thousands of people staged demonstrations across Sweden on 2nd December 2017 to protest recent cuts in the budget for personal assistance to people with disabilities. The protests were held in at least 25 towns and cities across the country. In Stockholm alone, at least 1,000 people gathered, said Maria Persdotter, chair of the Swedish National Association for Disabled Children and Young People which co-organised the demonstrations.