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Thousands rally against racism, Nazism in Stockholm
By JPOST.COM STAFF
22/12/2013
The protest comes one week after demonstrators at a similar rally were attacked by neo-Nazis.
 
Over 10,000 people took to the streets of the Stockholm suburb of Kärrtorp Sunday to protest racism and Nazism, according to the Swedish news outlet The Local.

Due to the fact that a similar anti-racism rally on Dec. 15th was soured by violence at the hands of neo-Nazis, police presence was heavy, with over 100 officers guarding the premises.

The far right Swedish Resistance Movement claimed responsibility for last week's attack, where around 50 members of the neo-Nazi organziation attacked demonstrators with fireworks, glass bottles, and sticks. Two people were stabbed and 26 neo-Nazis were detained by police.

The organizers of Sunday's demonstration estimated more than 16,000 people took part. The crowd chanted "End racism now" and "No racists on our streets", and prominent Swedish artists played on a stage set up on a soccer field.

Sweden, long seen as a bastion of tolerance, has seen a rise in support for the far right as immigration has grown. Anti-immigration party Sweden Democrats has reached around 10 percent in the polls ahead of a parliamentary election next year.

Neo-Nazi activity in Sweden is also on the rise, according to a new report by the non-profit Expo Foundation. The report counted 1,824 neo-Nazi activities in 2012, a 24 percent increase from 2011.

Parts of Karrtorp, which does not have a particularly large migrant population compared to other areas of the city, were sprayed-painted with swastikas and Nazi slogans before last week's protest.

Smaller anti-racism rallies were held in support at several other Swedish cities on Saturday and Sunday.

Reuters contributed to this article.
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