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Extreme right-wing demo draws thousands

Published lördag 23 mars 2013 kl 14.58
Police say the situation was chaotic for a while. Photo: Jon Wilén/SR

Over 1,000 counter demonstrators gathered in downtown Malmö Saturday to protest a demonstration planned by the anti-Islamic and extreme right-wing Swedish Defence League. At least one person was taken into custody after throwing a broken off flag stand at police on horseback.

The demonstrators, many from two groups called Anti-Fascist Action and Skåne Against Racism, gathered around 1:00 pm at Stortorget, reports Swedish Radio news. Many carried black and red banners. A few bottle rockets and firecrackers were fired at police.

At 2:00 pm, around 20 people from the Swedish Defence League approached the square. They were met with jeers and boos by the counter-demonstrators.

“There are strong feelings in the air,” Anton Magnusson, a person in the square, told Swedish Television news.

The Swedish Defence League organizers expected around 100 participants, mostly from Sweden but some from Germany and Denmark. But so far not as many have shown up to protest. The Swedish Defence League received permission from the police to demonstrate. The organization’s website called people to gather against “political Islam”.

Police cleared the square from all car traffic early Saturday as a security measure.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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