Featured image: riots in Malmö. “No to Koran burning. Don’t abuse freedom of expression”. Source: Johan Nilsson /TT News Agency
Last Sunday, September 3, a protest broke out in one of the proletarian neighborhoods of Malmö, Sweden. This protest was made after that same day, a well-known reactionary anti-Muslim activist set fire to a Koran in a square in the city. While the reactionary set on fire to the Koran, the Muslim masses rose and made a counter-demonstration. According to police data, about 200 people were rioting and launched objects against the reactionary and the police, which allowed the reactionary demonstration and protected him. There were three arrested and ten people in police custody.
After this, the masses continued to protest and set fire to dozens of cars, including some that were in an underground parking lot. The next day, on September 4th at dawn, there were still young people protesting. These set fire to tires and debris, and some of them was seen throwing electric scooters, bicycles and fences in the Rosengård neighborhood. Many banners were also hung during protest.
To prevent the same explosion from happening in the protests as in 2022, the police were using drones and reviewing thousands of photographs and videos to identify those who protest and prevent the protests from extending through the city.
This is not the first time that such a protest occurs in the country, but the demonstrations that occurred between April 14th and 17th 2022 specially stood out, when there was an uprising of the masses with great violent protests in different cities of Sweden. That year, Easter was at the same time as Ramadan, and the leader of an anti-Muslim reactionary party, was about to make several burnings of the Koran in different cities of the country.
On April 14th, 2022 the first burning of the Koran was held in the city of Jönköping. Subsequently, his plan was to do the same during a demonstration in Linköping, but it was not done due to the spontaneous uprising of the masses in response. The protesters denounce that the protests began in response to the police presence, which protected the reactionaries and was deployed to “guarantee security.” Less than an hour later, the police had to leave the scene because of the major disturbances. During the uprising in Linköping, there were three police officers injured by the stones launched. A police car was also set on fire and others were injured. There were two arrested for rioting violently and violence against an officer. In addition, five other people were taken under police custody.
That same night, the protests moved to the city of Norrköping, where a demonstration was also planned by the reactionary party that did not take place for spontaneous uprisings. Public transport was paralyzed in some areas by the attack on a tram and 15 cars were burned by protesters.
The next day, on April 15, 2022, the reactionaries managed to burn a copy of the Koran in Stockholm. Again, there were uprisings and the masses threw stones and burned cars. Up to eight people were arrested. Two other police officers were injured. And in Örebo the anti-Muslim reactionaries also achieved permission from the State to make a demonstration. However, again, it did not take place due to the pressure of the masses. But in this case, the police were even more repressive and made “warning” shots. However, the protests did not dissipate, there was bricks thrown and crackers shot to the police. There was also police cars set fire.
On April 16th 2022, again, a new demonstration was planned, allowed by the State, in Malmö, but one more time the justified anger of the masses made the reactionaries to not dare. The disturbances occurred in Malmö and also in Landskrona, where they initially wanted to make the reactionary demonstration. In this case, the police used pepper spray to disperse those protesters who wanted to jump the fence that the police put to protect the reactionary party.
The last day of the protests, on April 17th, between 100-150 people were in the protests in Norrköping and Linköping. Again these cities were chosen because the reactionary party was going to make new demonstrations there that, again, had to cancel. In this case, the police brutality was greater and there were three people who received police shots. One of them needed a surgery to recovery from the injures. There were also 18 people arrested in Linköping and another eight in Norrköping.
After the protests, police intelligence services identified 130 people who participated in the protests. In total there were about 50 people convicted of participating in the protests “violently” and sabotage against the police. They condemn them ranged from a few months up to six years in prison.
Turkey has condemned this year the burning of copies of the Koran, like other countries such as Saudi Arabia or Iraq. This is a political crisis for Sweden, because it is not yet a member of NATO and needs the “yes” of Turkey to be able to enter the Yankee war alliance. Erdoğan already stated that he would not give the approval until they ended the burnings of the Koran and strength the anti-terrorist laws. This legal change would affect the parties cataloged as “terrorists” by Turkey who have militants, but no activity, in Sweden. In February, Sweden has already decreed that the Swedish anti-terrorist laws will harden and now discuss the way of prohibiting burning of the Koran only in front of assemblies of countries, thus avoiding diplomatic problems.
The press webpage Socialistisk Revolution of Denmark, highlighted in an article the importance of being a member of NATO for those Scandinavian imperialist powers, that are military relatively weak: “The interim imperialist counter-struggle is especially important to bear in mind here, because Danish imperialism, relatively weak both militarily and in its capacity to prey on the oppressed peoples of the world compared to many other imperialist powers, has to rely on other imperialist countries and enter into imperialist “alliances” such as NATO, according to what is convenient at the moment.”
This struggle is one more proof that even in the countries considered to be the most stable ones inside the imperialism system, the masses rise up stronger to confront counter-reactionary order showing great combativeness and calling for for proletarian leadership.