Statement by the Editor of the Blog vansterparlan.v-blog.se (Sweden), 24.8.2014, http://vansterparlan.v-blog.se
The police behavior towards the popular anti-racist movement has not only proved to be in no way a protection of it in the last year, but has more proven to be extremely violent against us. Now the Police have taken a further step towards escalating the violence. It is certainly no exaggeration to call what happened in Malmo on Saturday August 23 at the anti-racist counter-demonstration against the Nazi party SVP, for something else than attempted murder.
Police rode over people with police horses, they ran over a man with one of their heavy armored vehicles, they did beat young people who were already wounded and lied down, and they made brutal attacks on demonstrators with batons. The only “crime” of the demonstrators was that they chanted slogans! There are also informations that the police blocked the entrance to the emergency department at the Malmö Hospital, thus denying the injured immediate care. These were not spontaneous action by the police in a confused situation. This was clearly a deliberate strategy that police applied
This became clear from the reply of police press officer Ewa-Gun Westford to the question of a journalist:
“TT: Could the police have done something different?
Ewa-Gun Westford: No. This is the way we work, to split a crowd with vehicles and horses.” (Source: http://www.metro.se/nyheter/flera-injured-at-nazimanifestation/Hdznhw!O49SxqdiNORQKjMComQnkw/)
The police defend its tactics with such nonsense that there was a situation of rioting. This is a blatantly lie as one journalists of the newspaper Aftonbladet testified:
"I was standing right next to the event. It is a narrow street where you rode with ten horses abreast. They rode straight ahead at full gallop toward a crowd of 300-400 people. Police repeated this over and over again. It was no riot by the crowd. Some shouted slogans and a number of police officers stood in front of them to keep them away from the fence. There was no violence from the counter-demonstrators, all what happened was that they shouted." (Source: http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article19410749.ab)
When the police officers, i.e. those who have the monopoly of violence, have decided that it is ok "to split a crowd with vehicles and horses", that are free to “run down people with two-ton vehicles and to ride down people with ten one-ton horses”, with no other rational explanation than that it's the way we work, then they have decided that it's OK to play with death! It is their goal to make people, who demonstrate against racism and Nazism, feel scared of the police. In short, the police has decided to spread pure terror! The police have now openly dropped any formal neutrality and choose to take a political stance - that is the police's main task to defend Nazism and racism!
This is nothing but a proof that even in our small country, where the state's monopoly of violence is often perceived as impartial and where we seem to live in relatively peaceful times, that even here the police has decided to commit consciously violent attack against a growing movement of anti-racism and anti-capitalism for politically motivated reasons.
There is obviously a dirty linen that needs to be washed! Now all left-wing organizations must go out massively and demand that not only these events are investigated, but also that the entire functioning of the police organization needs to be questioned. The Left in Malmo has acted correctly and should be congratulated for publishing a powerful statement already in the evening of 23 August. In this statement they demanded an independent investigation into the events at the demonstration in Malmö.
However, we should also not delude ourselves that such an investigation could be able to remain objective. What is necessary is to have an inquiry of a mix of people who are from the workers movement and the anti-racist movement. Such an investigation must be made up of union representatives, of independent lawyers who have observed the Nazi movement and also off anti-racist journalists such as those at the magazine Expo and, last but not least, representatives of immigrant organizations. The investigation must be open and popular, and crucially be elected by the people of Malmö themselves.
Of course, the police officers, who were directly involved in riding down people and driving over people, should be suspended indefinitely. But not only the process of decision in the chain of command in Malmö on 23 August should be on the table; police officers must also be questioned about their political views and their personal relationship to right-wing extremist groups. In addition, the whole situation of the state repression that exists in the suburbs and poor areas must be investigated.
In addition we demand that the central leadership of the Left Party should now immediately support the Left Party Malmö’s initiatives. The Party must also demand that the ambiguous clause about rioting is immediately abolished.
The Left Party’s and the Young Left’s leadership have also to apologize to the comrades who have been expelled for their more militant anti-racism, and they should immediately be offered reinstatement in the Party and Youth League.
The party should now – along with the rest of the anti-racist movement and labor movement organizations – engage in an open debate through the formation of forums around the country, for future strategies for anti-fascism. There must also be a constructive debate on the formation of democratically elected united front self-defense groups.
Protest petition against the police violence: