Clashes at Stockholm protest against neo-Nazis
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish riot police briefly clashed with counterdemonstrators at a neo-Nazi rally in Stockholm on Saturday, two weeks before a parliamentary election.
Police said four police officers and three civilians were slightly injured in the violence that erupted on the sidelines of a march by about 150 members of the far-right Party of the Swedes.
Thousands of people gathered in downtown Stockholm to protest peacefully against the march, but a few dozen masked activists attacked police with firecrackers, bottles, eggs and panels from a security fence.
“We have had violent riots with people throwing objects at police,” police spokesman Lars Bystrom said.
He said one person was arrested for “preparation for aggravated assault,” while another was arrested for trespassing after climbing onto the roof of the Royal Opera, outside which the neo-Nazis started and ended their march.
Fifteen people were apprehended for violating a ban on wearing masks at political demonstrations.
Police had sealed off large parts of central Stockholm because of the march by the Party of the Swedes, which wants to stop immigration and reserve Swedish citizenship for people with “Western genetic and cultural heritage.”
Formerly known as the National Socialist Front, the party won a local council seat in a small town in central Sweden in 2010. Polls before the Sept. 14 vote show it only has a fraction of the support needed to enter the national Parliament.
A week ago, three people were injured when mounted riot police charged demonstrators in the southern city of Malmo, in connection with another protest against the Party of the Swedes.