AFA [antifa] Malmö [south Sweden]: Summary year 2020

2020 has been a special year in many ways, with new kinds of political mobilization and movements gaining power. By the aid of experiences from local situations we learn from the year that has passed, and how emptying a town of active Nazis can be done.

The year 2020 meant a year of transformation and change for Swedish fascism compared to previous decades. From having been a lot about public activities and affecting public opinions Swedish Nazis have changed to working more internally, go on the net as well as building a stronger organization.

Within politics in general we have seen a parliamentarian neo-fascism, represented by the Sweden Democrats, which has been unable to gain enough attention to their core issue, immigration. When the corona pandemic was a fact the room for this type of questions had decreased drastically. At the same time we have seen how the Swedish right has been actively working at building a new political climate, where they want to make themselves a part of the authoritarian right-turn that the Sweden Democrats have been. Within this situation the political left finds itself torn between tendencies, while the increasingly neo-liberal Social Democrats have made it their task to dampen the right-conservatism by adopting parts of their repressive politics.

The Sweden Democrat party leader Jimmie Åkesson shakes hand with the Moderate Party [right wing] leader Ulf Kristersson.

When we study radical and racial ideological fascist movements we see that they have been affected by similar tendencies as their parliamentarian bigger siblings. In Sweden we for example don’t have any remarkable street mobilization of for example reactionary pandemic skeptics or conspiracy theorists. Instead we have been able to follow a movement which has established itself on the net, built new platforms, and to an increasing extent fragmented itself. We can now notice a tendency of increased networked organizing, when fascists –mainly young men – strive away from stagnated organizations, such as the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) [Nordiska motståndsrörelsen (NMR), Nazis].

Already 2019 NRM experienced the beginning of the problems which have become overarching themes for the year 2020. The split of the organization, when the splinter group Nordic Strength [Nordisk styrka, NS, Nazis] was formed, has left NRM weakened, with leaders that have bet on closing up ranks of the organization, tightening the recruitment and focusing on already existing members. The open form of organization of the recent years does not seem to have paid off and one of the most clear examples of this comes from Scanian [the southernmost region of Sweden, Scania=Skåne] Trelleborg [city].

Activities nationally and local

During the most recent years Scanian media have reportedof increased Nazi presence in southern Scania, and not least of all in Trelleborg. This is in line with existing data, if we look at gathered statistics of the leading organization NRM’s own reports of activities in Trelleborg municipality. As we have described earlier [in Swedish] this kind of self-reported statistics is something one should regard with caution, as the self-reporting fills a function for NRM’s own propaganda and organization. NRM builds a large part of its public communications on propaganda distribution, public activities and reporting from these – even small scale activities are reported in. The number of published reports during the recent years has decreased, from over 3000 in the year 2018, to about 1500 in the year 2020.

Number of reports per year:

2020: 1500
2019: 2100
2018: 3050
2017: 2700
2016: 2400
2015: 1500

It is in the context important to note that NRM, as most Nazis, are of the opinion that one example of posted stickers should count as one activity and reports of this. Within the antifascist work that among others Anti-Fascist Action Malmö performs it is important to be able to understand these types of activities correctly. One posted sticker or one poster is, in spite of its simplicity, not something we should regard as a simple act.

Often these propaganda messages are not just about spreading political ideas and recruiting new members, but also about making an impression and marking one’s presence at a location. Within the antifascist work against the establishment of Nazi organizations an included part is to analyze all events of Nazi propagandizing and to act. That can mean everything from cleaning off fascist messages from the streets, to surveying activities, individuals or groups, as well as putting the foot down against these, to open confrontation with these.

In Trelleborg we have been able to see examples of all these activities, with several years of Nazi basic activity, but also confrontations on the streets. The most recent clear example is from Trelleborg Pride 2017, when activists from NRM were removed by demo participants [in Swedish] that had seen them roaming around the gathering location for the Pride Parade.

Local collapse in Trelleborg

Precisely propagandizing and posting of stickers is the primary form of political work that Nazis in Trelleborg during the lastest years have has capacity to perform. These activities have also lead to Trelleborg during 2018 and 2019 sailing up to the top amongst Swedish cities med Nazi activities, counted by number of activities. Both of these years Trelleborg was at third place within NRM’s own national reporting. During the end of 2019 and all of the year 2020 this type of activity has veritably collapsed to now becoming basically non-existent.

During 2020 NRM reported only twelve activities in Trelleborg municipality. Ten of these were solo acts consisting of posting stickers or putting flyers in mailboxes. At least six, but probably all, solo activities were by the Vellinge [town in south Scania, its own municipality rather than Trelleborg’s] based activist Tobias Malvå [in Swedish]. The other two activities in the municipality consisted of one roadside hanging of banner, with unknown number of participants, and one public leafleting with three to four activists that had traveled from other locations, Marcus Hansson [in Swedish] from Lomma, Cristoffer Svärd [in Swedish] from Tollarp, Tobias Malvå and possibly some other activist.

That the activists hadtraveled from other locations is worth dwelling a bit extra on, as Nest 3 of NRM as just a few years ago had a relatively large and active group of members in the municipality. This as during the election campaigning of 2018 NRM started using a more open and loose policy towards sympathizers and members of the organization, in order to try taking the form of a regular party with party events and influencing public opinion. It was not as important then to create quality within the organization, but rather the focus was at getting new people in and to activate these. During this period a small core of acquaintances and friends was created in Trelleborg consisting of between five and six people with varying levels of activity. These have now all either withdrawn, been pacified or entirely defected from the fascist stage [interview in Swedish with an ex-Nazi of NRM].

Withdrawal or pacification from the organization has in these cases occurred on several different grounds. It has among other things been given the rationale of NRM wasting their participants’ time, that the political work doesn’t lead anywhere – that thousands of handed out flyers did not lead to a single vote during the election in Trelleborg municipality – and that the activism was not worth the repression that several of the individuals were subjected to. Not the least of it that several of the individuals came to be prosecuted and convicted for crimes committed during their time in the organization, and because antifascist attention had become a part of everyday life as being active within NRM.

AFA [antifa] Malmö  has during this time period, from the increase of activities 2018 to the collapse 2020, followed active and inactive members of NRM’s martial arts group in Trelleborg. During such situations, where Nazi activities risk quickly escalating and potentially become a problem, it can be of great benefit to already at an early stage document and identify active Nazis, as well as make them aware that they are of interest for antifascist processing. Furthermore it is as an antifascist group not of least importance to be active in the defection process, to identify both leading and weak persons, and not the least to also after individual or collective defections follow the development locally.

Regional difficulties

The number of active Nazis in Scania has not increased to a degree worth mentioning during the latest years. The active group of members in NRM is relatively low and static. A tendency among these active individuals within the nest for Scania and Blekinge [region neighboring Scania], Nest 3, is that they have engaged in systematic moving out to smaller localities or villages, away from towns where there are active antifascist groups. Large parts of the current activist grouping in Nest 3 of NRM has during periods been registered residents of the same addresses, out in the countryside or in smaller localities. Regionally the organization has also had setbacks during the past year, not the least of as the then Nest Chief Freddy (Danny) Nerman’s [in Swedish] house in Blekinge burned down at the start of the year, with economic difficulties and homelessness as a result.

Antifascists gathered in Malmö for Antifascist Brännboll [similar to baseball] in August 2020.

Malmö, Lund and Helsingborg is as familiar the cities where there are active groups of AFA [antifa] and these cities have not either during 2020 seen any establishment of long term fascist activity on the streets. When Nazis try to organize themselves in these cities or perform public activities it is exclusively activists from other locations that participate, and no long term organizations have gained a foothold. Even if there are several factors at play, we can see this among other things as a result of several years of antifascist work. But there is also a challenge here for us antifascists, to raise our gaze and venture outside our own towns, to act more regionally and to be able to exist as a mobilizing force locally and in everyday life also our own particular towns.

There are good opportunities to counter Nazi groups also in smaller towns and knock the legs off of their attempts at organizing. The example of Trelleborg shows that the Nazi organizations today suffer of strategic problems, and that antifascist work at an early stage can aid a collapse of the activities. NRM themselves are an example of an organization whose self-reported activity level often is high, but also for a long time has consisted of a focus on quantity before quality. Such organizations often take the shape of a sham and the development in Trelleborg serves as an example of how quickly such a construction can deflate.

 


Translated by b9AcE to the best of my ability, from the original text in Swedish. Any errors are to be presumed mine, not antifa’s.


Edit, 2021-02-18: The group “Nordisk Styrka” now list a different name for themselves in English on their own webpage than they did just after their foundation, so this text was changed from using their previous “Nordic Force” to their current “Nordic Strength”.


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The Pandemic Broke the Nazi Activism

The special pandemic year 2020 is now over and we thought to take the temperature of Sweden’s most violent Nazi group the Nordic Resistance Movement [Nordiska motståndsrörelsen, NRM/NMR]. COVID-19 of course has affected the extreme-right just as all other parties and political organizations.

Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) went through a split 2019 (which we wrote about in an article here). 2019 thereby became a lost year for NRM, but the pandemic year 2020 did not become an upward turn for the organization. Activities continued declining. The organization was forced to cancel their annual demonstration on May Day, which they had planned to arrange in Uppsala. Probably NRM was relieved to, as they in their current condition had enticed fewer participants than previously and hardly been the manifestation of strength they had desired. The downwards tend in activism is also noticable in that the organization continues to lose members. The number of struggle-reports has decreased markedly and when the year is summarized it is under 1500. Such a low number of struggle-reports the organization has not had since 2014. Internally and among members that have left there has been criticism against NRM’s strategy to let go of their high demands on which are to be allowed to become members. The critics have argued that the new “trashier” members have given a weakened image of NRM as “elite organization”. The organization has continued to lose members to the splinter group Nordic Strength [Nordisk styrka, NS] during the year 2020 and there are only a few members left in Nest 1 (Stockholm, Uppsala, Gotland) and Nest 6 (North Bothnia, Westrobothnia), after the younger members switched.

Just as previously when the organization has encountered adversity they have countered by turning inwards, strengthening the organization as an own closed world for the members to live their whole lives within and the sectarian traits increased. At their annual internal congress days several lifestyle rituals were held: the Nest Chief for Nest 8 (Södermanland, Västmanland, Östergötland) performed a religious baptism for children within the organization and Pär Öberg held a speech on how NRM should go more for holding own weddings, baptisms and funerals.

In January 2019 NRM formulated their goals for the coming five years. One of the goals was: “Within five years we shall under own name have at least one elected seat in municipality, county, country parliament or the EU-parliament.” It is therefore rather probable that NRM will stand for the elections 2022. But this strategy is contested, several of those that left the organization argue that the electoral push was a major reason for the split in the organization 2019, since so many key activists burned out in the electoral campaigning 2018. If NRM would choose to not stand 2022 they would show the defectors were right. If they choose to run 2022, with an organization that stands significantly weaker than what it did 2018 they risk getting even fewer votes [NRM achieved for the parliamentary vote 2018 just 2106 votes, 0.03% of total votes] and fail again. There is less than two years left to the elections and if they are to have time to prepare an election campaign they are starting to run out of time. One may compare to the Party of the Swedes [Svenskarnas parti, SvP, Nazi party] which was formed a few years before the elections 2010 and won one municipal seat (which they later lost when the Tax Agency [which handles elections] did not approve the leader’s registered address). SvP then bet everything on the elections 2014 but failed achieving any electoral victories and disbanded half a year after the election. NRM is taking a great risk by making a halfhearted electoral campaign, which can –just as for SvP – give the organization irreparable damages.

At the end of 2020 NRM held something they call the Organization-days. During the Organization-days the leadership rearranged the regional leadership structure within most of the Nests and several new Nest Chiefs were appointed. One can interpret that as the leadership being dissatisfied with the development during the year and that the reorganizing was an attempt at turning the negative development around.

During the year the Resistance Movement’s organization homepage was launched and the intent was to separate the activism within the organization from their news-page Nordfront. They try to give the impression that Nordfront is an independent Nazi page and not just NRM’s propaganda outlet.

In Scania [Skåne, southernmost region of Sweden] the core cadre of Nest 3 was prosecuted for a large number of assaults after a fight in Lund in June 2019

With decreasing basic activism during several years it is clear that NRM now tries to find new ways to get attention and get their message out, but with fewer people. They perform nighttime actions by posting placards around fingered pedophiles’ residences, posts banners and attack Jewish targets, everything to get the media to write about their actions. The lack of media attention pushes towards more spectacular and extreme actions, to call for attention.

The other Nazi organization, the splinter group Nordic Strength (NS), has hardly been visible during the year 2020. At the end of the previous year they launched two podcasts but since May 2020 no new episodes have been released. The organization bought a house in September 2019 and started renovating. The activist that is on the ownership deeds for the house was jailed in March suspected of aggravated assault. December 22 he was prosecuted again, for another aggravated assault which occurred in December 2019. NS has otherwise focused on holding martial arts training in the Stockholm area.

NS has focused on training for their members during 2020.

At the split 2019 there were some of the younger that chose to stay in NRM, but which at spring 2020 chose to later defect to NS. NS has successfully established itself as a more elitist organization than NRM and relentlessly tried to hammer the message that the difference to NRM, where everyone is welcome as members, is that there are significantly higher demands to become an active member within NS.

During 2021 several trials will be held against leading activists within NS. Amongst others two activists have been prosecuted for instigating assault, arms violations, preparation to aggravated arms violation and money laundry which can lead to long terms of imprisonment.


Translated by b9AcE to the best of my ability, from the original text in Swedish. Any errors are to be presumed mine, not Garm’s.


Edit, 2021-02-17: The group “Nordisk Styrka” changed their official English language translation name to “Nordic Strength” according to their webpage, from their initial official translation “Nordic Force”, so the translation was updated in this text.

 

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A pamphlet with tips and tricks for squatting

The anarchist group “Ministry of Occupying” [a.k.a. squatting] created a handwritten pamphlet with tips and tricks for people interested in squatting empty buildings in Stockholm in 2009, which was mass duplicated and intended to leave behind to be found by others on subway seats, in cafés, etc.
It was made from half an A4-sized sheet of paper, cut lengthwise and folded accordion-style into a square.
Below is a translation of the pamphlet and a photograph of one of the pamphlets which has been hanging among the family portraits on my dad’s kitchen wall.

Disclaimer: You are responsible for your actions. This is just information and what you do with it is your own decision. Some of the content is specific to the geographic area it was created for.

 


OCCUPY MORE TIPS & TRIX

[The first “O” is styled as the squatting symbol. The “A” in the Swedish word for “more” is styled as the anarchism symbol.]


If you’re nabbed by the cops

You will be probably suspected of unlawful entry and of inflicting damages. If you’re sentenced it will probably be fines. The cops can detain you for 12h if you’re suspected of crime, then they have to arrest you. Remember to never talk to the cops or sign papers even if they say you have to. You never have to cooperate. They can never detain you for longer because you refuse. The only things you have to state are name, personal identity number & the address you’re registered at. Talking to the police hurts you and your comrades.
more info: anarkisterna.com [other content there now, don’t go there]


Good to think of

• What will we do when the cops come?
• What strategy do we want to use to defend ourselves?
• How does that affect potential sentencing?
• How long do we want to stay & how do we organize that?
• How do we make decisions so that everyone are participating?
• Stick together with people you trust, take care of each other!
• If you want to spread information to media, prepare a press release.


Are you without a place of residence?

Do you want to create a social centre? A freespace? or just a chill place to hang out at?
There are lots of empty houses that just stand there & wait!
Empty houses are everyone’s houses!
ockupantscenen.se [not updated since 2010, but still original site]


Barricades

If you occupy in Sweden you will probably be evicted shortly. To make it difficult for the cops, build phatt barricades! Be creative. Hammer, drill, saw, weld. If the house has been empty for long there usually is a lot of clutter. If not recon building sites during the nights, there can be a lot of materials and tools easily accessible there. Decide which route you want to exit through in an emergency so that your construction doesn’t shut you in.


Electricity & water

• If there isn’t water in the house there may be a faucet nearby. Water-keys can be gotten at construction stores and at claes ohlsson [online hardware store].
At gas stations one can always fetch water.
• If you’re good at electricity you definitely can manage it through the fuse/electricity-cabinet which usually is in the basement.
It is also possible to steal electricity from streetlights, but in that case talk to a knowledgeable person can be dangerous if ones doesn’t know.


Good stuff to bring along

• Tools – Hammers, saw, nails, screws, crowbar, screwdriver, and so on.
• Masks, gloves, good clothes.
• Music, colors, brushes, things to have fun with!
• Water, food.
• Flashlights.
• First aid like band aids, bandages, hand sanitizer.
• Fire extinguisher
• Bucket (if there is no toilet)


Find a house

• At City of Stockholm’s website there is a list of all municipal houses/premises that stand empty
• At objektvision.se there is a list of empty houses that are owned by private owners.
• Tip: Call the owner pretending to be interested & find out as much as possible about the house (how long it has been standing empty, is there electricity/water and so on)
• Go and look at the house a few times, check if there is an alarm, what kind of neighbors there are, how will you get into the house?

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AFA (antifa) Fyrbodal: The Day of Civil Courage

Today it is 20 years since the syndicalist and antifascist Björn Söderberg was shot do death outside his home by nazis on October 12, 1999. Söderberg was murdered after he had revealed a colleague and executive member of the local labor union as an active nazi.

Even though Söderberg wasn’t primarily an antifascist his clear action was an antifascist action.

Söderberg is unfortunately neither the first nor the last to be killed by nazis after resolutely having stood up against them. Neither Björn’s nor all others that have had to pay with their lives for their civil courage can be forgotten.

They show us the need for countering fascism wherever it shows up and why fascism never can be allowed to grow.

No area in Sweden has been safe from nazi violence, as long as they are allowed to organize and act in peace nobody is safe from their violent ideology.

Within and around our area of activities nazis have both killed and attempted to kill several times through the years, to mention a few examples:
• 2015 a young man with racist motives attack a school in the city district Kronogården in Trollhättan, 3 people are murdered and several seriously wounded.
• 2014 a group of nazis of the then Party of the Swedes tries to cut the throat of a man in Vänersborg after a small fracas.
• 1993 a refugee is severely battered by nazis in Trollhättan, where a man among other things jumped with his feet together on the head.
• 1991 an Assyrian refugee is battered to death by three nazis in Uddevalla.

Not to be forgotten is John Hron which 1995 was battered to death in Kode after he had refused leaving his friend, and had refused to neither accept nor tolerate nazis in spite of repeated threats of violence. John only became 14 years old.

Beyond these acts in our absolute vicinity there are enormous amounts of examples of nazi violence, among those in the forms of murder, threats, serious weapons crimes and battery.

A large part of the active nazis today are sentenced for one or several of the crimes mentioned above, which shows what they are capable of and what we have to expect if we don’t act sharply against them.

We see fascism as a violent ideology with a violent practice which we under no circumstances can compromise with. The targets of nazis are LGBTQ+-persons, racialized, of opposing opinions and all others with civil courage enough to stand up against them.

We can never give up in the fight to together obstruct, act, disturb and finally eradicate the organized fascism from our streets.

It is an obvious foundation for a safer and better society that fascists are not allowed to get a foothold and space to act.

Honor the memory of Björn together with us in Stockholm today, get organized for a world free of oppression tomorrow.

Antifascism is civil courage!
We never forget – we never forgive!


Translated by b9AcE to the best of my ability, from the original text in Swedish. Any errors are to be presumed mine, not antifa’s.


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Current methods/tools against States’ Internet-blocking/slowdowns for censorship (2020-08-15)

Over the recent years there has been a resurgence of draconian State blocking/slowdowns of Internet across the world as a method to prevent the people from public debate, sharing information on the situation where they are both with other locals and the world, as well as to prevent locals from organizing protests against unjust rule and similar.
On some occasions States have for those purposes blocked all or parts of the Internet for months or even several years. Thousands of independent news media organizations that refused to let their journalism become tightly ruled propaganda outlets for the current rulers have permanently had all access blocked from within the country they’re located in and do provide their crucial society function of journalism regarding.
Sometimes these State communication sabotage policies take not just the form of complete communications blackout, but may include less obvious methods such as throttling the traffic so that it still exists, but becomes practically unusable.

It is therefore of utmost importance to share information on how to circumvent these harmful censorship policies as widely as possible.

These free of cost options have been verified with people IN areas subjected to State censorship as working recently:

ProtonVPN has a free of cost mode that should be more than enough for any average user and is motivated by anti-censorship. Works on Linux/Windows/Android/Routers/MacOS/iPhone/iPad.
RiseupVPN, the newish Bitmask-based VPN which was previously named Riseup Black.
Calyx VPN is similar to RiseupVPN, with same technologies but different addresses, so may be useful if Riseup has already been blocked.
Tor Browser. Also other Tor-based solutions like Tails and Whonix of course, but Tor Browser is a good cross-platform start. Tor is however a bit slow and triggers so many CAPTCHAs that use may even become practically impossible.
WARP, the new VPN from CloudFlare. May be difficult for dictatorships to block, as CloudFlare is (unfortunately) a core component of extremely many major commercial/government web-based services nowadays.

For local messaging when/if Internet Service Providers (ISPs) shut down networking completely:
Briar has been shown to work.
FireChat claims to fill a similar function, but I have not had it verified as working there, now.

Instant-messaging tools with high level of general trust, but which require centralized infrastructure to work:
Signal. Works on most computers and phones, but uses mobile phone numbers as user identifiers, which are easily traceable by any State and relies on centralized servers for message delivery. Open source.
Wire. Like above, based on same protocol, but uses e-mail addresses as user identifiers and therefore is much more difficult to trace, as temporary/dedicated e-mail accounts can be used. Open source.
Wickr. Similar to above. Very limited open source.
Silence. Completely SMS-based encryption, as Signal was, developed from Signal’s old source code. Useful when there is no mobile data-traffic, but only SMS. Open source.

Other Internet-blocking/slowdown circumvention tools that I have not verified to be working right now, but may be good to keep in mind if the previous stop working (Not an endorsement. Make sure to check anonymization, logging, State-collaboration, etc as needed before use):
VPNBook
• The “cryptofree” or “cryptofree WireGuard” by the generally well regarded cryptostorm.
Lantern
Psiphon
Hola
Mada19 Outline [in Arabic]

As the State combines the blockings/slowdowns with arbitrary physical searches of people in the streets and in homes, wherein finding one of the above mentioned tools leads to arrest, it is probably a good idea to hide their presence.
For Android, the two first methods here for example may work well.

Documents, videos, software installers, etc can be hidden in encrypted container-files and then placing those files in some obscure place that would not likely be inspected during a regular search, such as in a different program’s data-directories and similar.
Encrypted container-files can be created and opened using VeraCrypt (almost all desktop/laptop computers) or EDS (Android).

Using well known functions like “Samsung Secure Folder” or similar from other major manufacturers is probably NOT a good idea, as they are well known enough to have had passwords demanded under threat of fines or worse during arbitrary searches.

As a probably last resort, there is an analog modem number still available in Sweden, which I have not verified myself due to lack of hardware, but a modem answers and using it did work last I heard.
Sweden modem phone number: +46708671911 (username “toto”, password “toto”)

Two more analog modem phone numbers that I have not verified at all if they still work are:
The Netherlands modem phone number: +31205350535 (username “xs4all”, password “xs4all”)
France modem phone number: +33172890150 (username “toto”, password “toto”)

Last, to state the obvious:
Absolutely do NOT rely on Facebook (which is also e.g. WhatsApp and Instagram) for dictatorship-banned communications, as they have cooperated with dictatorships’ “lawful court orders” in the past leading to capture, torture and/or executions and furthermore publicly admitted to being co-responsible for genocide and enabling imprisonment of people for being homosexual through silent automated “interests” categorization being used as court evidence.
Better platforms to consider are for example Riseup’s Crabgrass, Mastodon and PeerTube.


• Revision 2019-11-03: Added CalyxVPN and cryptostorm’s cryptofree VPN, because they should already have been in there.
• Revision 2020-07-01: Added ProtonVPN, as I’ve now tested them for several months and approve.
• Revision 2020-08-15: Rewrite to make the text more generalized. No changes in actual methods, etc.


 

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The origin and formation of the countrywide network Anti-Fascist Action [AFA/antifa, Sweden]


Translated by b9AcE to the best of my ability, from the original text in Swedish as of 2019-09-07. Any errors are to be presumed mine, not antifa’s.
As made apparent by the text, it represents the state of matters at the fifth anniversary in 1998, which is now over 20 years ago.
A similar text was published for the 25th anniversary, but while it contains pictures, it is much shorter and therefore the older text was chosen for translation.


Introduction

One of the younger social movements in Sweden is the anti-racist movement. As a social movement it began to emerge in the early 80s, as an extension of the waning leftist- and solidarity-movement of the 70s. The anti-racist movement thus emerged in a new era, to meet a different kind of problem than those the leftism of the seventies had countered. The left and the social movements were weakened, a right-wing surge began to make itself noticeable, unemployment increased and immigration from outside Europe had begun for real. Racism surfaced as a new problem in society on the political agenda.

1980-1987

Around 1980 racist graffiti and racist deeds caused strong reactions. Out of the protests against an arson attack against an immigrant-owned convenience store in a suburb of Stockholm was founded Stoppa Rasismen [“Stop the Racism”], which grew as a genuine grassroots movement. The organization came to tie together different immigrant groups and leftist organizations in a broad and diverse rainbow-coalition. Apart from raising awareness about racism in Sweden, Stoppa Rasismen also worked against deteriorations in the right to asylum and against the State’s racism. The foundational idea of Stoppa Rasismen – an idea they carried on from the leftism of the seventies’ united front-strategy – was to create a broad union to counter and isolate racism in society. As Stoppa Rasismen managed to gather a number of organizations under their umbrella and also didn’t hesitate criticizing the State asylum- and refugee-policies they were treated as a threat by the Social Democrats, which responded by starting its own State-supported anti-racist organization, “Rör inte min kompis” [“Don’t touch my buddy”]. From Stoppa Rasismen’s sister-organization in France, the grassroots initiative SOS Racisme, the Social Democrats took the “Rör inte min kompis”-symbol (a hand making the stop-signal). By the “Rör inte min kompis”-campaign the State tried to take over the initiative in the new anti-racist struggle and lead it away from tracks critical of the system onto a safer and more liberal “everyone should be nice to each other”-track. The State’s anti-racist campaign created a large interest for anti-racism in society and gathered a number of names of interested but when the campaign year was over the lid was shut and the new anti-racist interest was thereby smothered in its cradle. The “Rör inte min kompis”-campaign took ground from Stoppa Rasismen. But meanwhile Stoppa Rasismen themselves had a difficult time handling grassroots involvement: through the forming of a national association the focus was moved from the local initiatives and came to tie up a large part of the force in a countrywide organization and bureaucracy. In retrospect one could conclude that the transformation to a national association occurred way too early and came to be more a burden than a boon for Stoppa Rasismen.

The street as forum

The right-turn went through at many levels of society. It broke a leftist-liberal hegemony at the start of the 80s and did not only take place in the political discourse and in public but also substantially in society through a mobilization, an organizing of reactionary rightist forces which worked against the positive changes which the left had achieved. From during most of the post-war years having been isolated into small nazi sects or anti-communist groups the extreme-right in the early 80s began trying to make themselves visible in the streets. The street is a substantial physical space which must be conquered to be able to create a political movement. Primarily it is about creating “spaces”, free zones, where the movement’s opinions can be tolerated without being attacked, to then advance the positions and push out others. But every step the extreme-right took out onto the street met resistance. Meanwhile they started slowly moving to the right the limits as to which opinions were considered as acceptable. An early free zone where the extreme-right could seek “tolerance” was the apolitical “screw everything”-part of the punk movement which existed next to the larger leftist strain. From the apolitical oi/skins-scene nazism surfaced in the early 80s, in direct political conflict with the leftist-punks. Another free space became the football firms, a “violent” male world where nationalist symbols could be combined with racist opinions. But also among the firms the racists met resistance, from those that wanted to keep the firms apolitical or open for everyone, regardless of skin color. Through the nazi-skins the racist extreme-right got protection, which was necessary to take the real step out onto the streets. From the very beginning they met tangible resistance. The first BSS [“Bevara Sverige Svenskt”, racist “Keep Sweden Swedish”] meeting 1980 in Södertälje [city in south of Stockholm County] ended in chaos and in Stockholm an entire city block was blocked around a BSS-demonstration, when the fascists attempted to demonstrate on May Day 1984. The demonstration by NRP [“Nordiska rikspartiet”, nazi “Nordic Realm Party”] in Växjö 1985 was aborted by VPK [“Vänsterpartiet Kommunisterna”, “Left Party – the Communists”] members, which chased off the nazi-skins. (Everyone have probably seen the photo of the lady which slams a bag in the head of a flag-carrying Nazi.) In Gothenburg a fascist meeting in the People’s House was aborted by a broad counter-demonstration. The part of the left which was first affected by and feel the neo-nazism was the anarcho-punk scene. Here both the physical proximity and the political conflict was present. Nazi attacks took place against festivals such as Glädjetåget, premises like the book café “Svarta Månen” on Götgatan [street] in Stockholm and house squats like Skaraborgsgatan [street]. The attacks against the anarcho-punk scene, which during the early 80s was pacifist, forced self-defence, and anti-fascism became militant and confrontational. As an example of the change is the Gärdesfesten [festival in Stockholm] 1986/87, when nazis which came to beat punks themselves got beaten and chased off by festival visitors. The anarcho-punk scene hit back. In 1986/87 Bevara Sverige Blandat, BSB [“Keep Sweden Mixed”, anti-racist] was formed as a loose action-group by anarcho-punks as response to BSS and Framstegspartiet’s [the “Progress Party”, right populist turned xenophobe] stickers and graffiti campaigns. BSB came to sometimes function as a radical youth organization of Stoppa Rasismen.

1987-1990

Around 1986/87 a minor surge in the nazi-skin scene occurred. With more nazi-skins the violence on the streets increased and the fascist parties started getting more cocky. The summer of 1986 Ronny Landin was battered to death by nazi-skins at the Nickstabadet [bath] in Nynäshamn [town, Stockholm County] and in society the neo-nazi and racist violence began being discussed for the first time. When Sverigepartiet [the “Sweden Party”, right-extremist] in 1987 started handing out fliers at the tunnel in T-Centralen [Stockholm subway’s Central Station] every weekend, Stoppa Rasismen responded by organizing blockades, which mostly were peaceful but sometimes lead to more tangible confrontations. The climax was reached on November 30th of that year, when upwards a thousand people succeeded in blocking and stopping Sverigepartiet’s torch march at Östermalmstorg [city square, Stockholm]. November 30th, the day of Charles XII’s death, had through the years become the day when the fascist sects dared crawling out of the sewers. Since the beginning of the 80s there had been confrontations between nazis and leftist demonstrators on that day. With November 30, 1987, the nazi boom was broken. Antifascist demonstrations and an opinion against the racist acts of violence (for example the Ronny Landin murder) had contributed. After 1987 Stoppa Rasismen let go of much of the antifascist work and instead prioritized the struggle in defence of asylum and against discrimination. Meanwhile an organized anarchist movement started growing in Sweden. This happened around demonstrations, house squats, women’s cafés and music festivals. In the antifascist struggle Stoppa Rasismen still had the main responsibility for organizing events like November 30th, but in practice the anarchist movement filled an increasingly important role when it came to mobilizing for the events.

A unifying struggle in the country for the anarchist/autonomous movement became the Shell-resistance, aimed at Shell’s involvement with the apartheid-regime in South Africa. In May 1989 nazis which had traveled to Stockholm made a failed attempt to stop an anarchist demonstration against apartheid. The house squats, which increasingly had developed into a conflict with the police, had given us practice in defending ourselves if it was needed.

1990-1995

Around 1990 there was movement again in the brown swamp. After the fall of the Berlin Wall the room for the left had decreased. For the election 1991 Ny demokrati [“New Democracy”, populist/xenophobe party] made its debut and around the country we were shook by deeds against refugee housings, mass media “heavily launched” Vitt Ariskt Motstånd, VAM, [“White Aryan Resistance”, WAR] and the so-called Laser-man harried and spread fear. The new thing with VAM was not the racist violence, we had seen that previously, but the launching of a neo-nazi ideology. Instead of the Sverigepartiet-skinheads TV and newspapers pumped out pictures of theatrical nazi-demonstrations with masked and uniformed explicit nazis. For half a year, from autumn 1991 to spring 1992 a brief but broad antifascist movement grew forth. It became half a year packed with antifascist demonstrations, an immigrant-strike and as a peak of all this 10000 people participated in three different demonstrations in Stockholm on February 8, 1992. It felt as if people started speaking up. The right-wing wave had gone too far.

The founding of AFA

When it became clear that Stoppa Rasismen did not intend to arrange any counter-demonstrations against the fascists’ march on November 30th 1991 an antifascist working group was formed in Stockholm at the initiative of a group of anarchists. The spontaneously formed group had as a goal to prevent the march through a massive blockade of Charles XII’s square [central Stockholm], which also was successful. The working group for the first time used the name Antifascistisk Aktion [Anti-Fascist Action, antifa, AFA]. In Lund [southern Sweden] militant antifascists on the same day hindered the nazi Charles XII-manifestation with the aid of stones and barricades. November 30th 1991 came to be a date known countrywide as a symbol for struggle against racism and fascism. In spring 1992 it became apparent that the antifascist mobilization had been effective, the nazi movement had been hit by a severe setback. Meanwhile the cops had apprehended the Laser-man and the VAM bank robbers. By the antifascist success the antifascist movement started deescalating its activities. Stoppa Rasismen had lost its steam, and the national association slowly deflated. The left’s antifascist interest declined and media’s spotlight on the extreme-right went out. The winter 1991-1992 was characterized by spontaneous coalitions and it was difficult to establish a continuous cooperation. During a countrywide anarchist meeting in March 1992 we met and formed ties with other radical antifascists from various parts of Sweden. Several antifascist working groups were formed among anarchists and autonomous in various places around the country. Working groups which eventually turned into practice as action groups. In March 1992 we together with local residents chased off the French history-revisionist Faurisson and his VAM-bodyguards and ruined their meeting which was planned to be held in Enskededalen just south of Stockholm. On November 30th 1992 militant antifascists clashed with the police in Stockholm in an attempt at reaching the nazi-demo and managed to chase a group of nazis over half the town. In Lund a peaceful blockade with a militant image was held, which once again stopped the nazis’ demonstration.

Increasingly many around the country started adopting a militant method of confrontation to stop the nazis. It was made apparent for example at the Hultsfred festival summer of 1993 when the new wave of Ultima Thule-skins which had shown up, were chased off. After that antifascists ensured to keep the summer rock festivals free zones where nazis were not welcome.

In September 1993 around twenty different antifascist groups from all of Sweden gathered and decided to form the countrywide network Antifascistisk Aktion. The name AFA was partially borrowed from the English radical left’s antifascist organization AntiFascist Action and partially from the German proletarian self-defence organization Antifascistische Aktion which existed in the 1930s. In parallel with the formation of AFA in Sweden, arose AFA in Denmark and Norway.

The discussions within the left

The development of events between 1991-93 has become a very much discussed conflict issue within the left and came to shape and affect the newly formed AFA-network’s political practice. Why did the broad short term antifascist movement which emerged 1991/92 collapse? For a few months “rainbow coalitions”, broad anti-racist alliances between leftist groups, immigrant organizations and general humanist initiatives were organized, which held manifestations in several towns in Sweden. But all the coalitions became short term and the number of participants was declining at anti-racist demonstrations. Among a large part of the left and anti-racist groups the blame for this was placed at the militant and confrontational antifascism. It was claimed that violence and hot headlines about fascists and antifascists being “essentially the same” scared off the common people from demonstrations and manifestations. AFA gave another explanation. In our opinion what happened 1991/92 was a response to the fascists’ own escalation. That there was a fracture between the more broad “rainbow coalitions” and a militant context was not so strange. Since the militant groups organized themselves the antifascist movement had broadened its field of work. There were various forms of antifascism/anti-racism and people could choose to participate in the events that suited them. The coalitions that have been formed have always been short term, and often only gathered around one issue or prepared one demonstration and then ceased work. Often a broader antifascist mobilization has emerged after various events, such as neo-nazi murders, when many wanted to express their anger at the racist violence. These demonstrations have gathered a lot of people, like the demonstrations after the murders of Jimmy Ranjbar, Peter Karlsson, John Hron or the attacks against homosexuals in Linköping 1997. But it has always ended at a few large demonstrations, no continuous organizing has been born from these quickly called together coalitions. It has been an antifascism which only is brought up around November 30th or when media puts its spotlight on the extreme-right. There was also another discussion within the antifascist movement about coalitions as a strategy and how one should form an antifascist political line. A large part of the leftist and anti-racist movement has claimed that the goal is to create widest possible breadth in the coalitions in order to isolate the extreme-right. As a leftist group this has meant putting aside one’s own politics and joining up behind liberal and system-preserving slogans.

AFA and other extra-parliamentarian leftist groups have instead emphasized the importance of building an antifascist opposition. It is lethally dangerous to – while the extreme-right tries to put on being a radical society-opposition – ally with the “establishment” and let the extreme-right gather the discontent against the society we live in. An antifascist movement must be built upon critical society-opposition and try to give answers to the social questions that are asked in society. Practically speaking however, AFA has been rather pragmatic in the matter. Most of the time AFA has spent at creating a profile for an antifascist opposition, but has at various occasions under own (or other) name gone into and been the driving force in the organizing of broad antifascist coalitions.

1993-1995

AFA was formed to create a cooperation for the militant action groups which worked continuously with antifascism and AFA’s position became to construct a substantial resistance throughout the country,to confront fascism both ideologically and physically.

Successful campaigns

The countrywide cooperation took the expression of shared campaigns and traveling around to each others’ events.

The autumn 1993 and spring 1994 came to be a baptism of fire for the AFA-groups (which mostly were completely newly formed). One of the first campaigns came to be aimed at the nazi-demonstrations in general and the Sweden Democrats’ election campaign in particular. In a number of towns the AFA-groups were confronted with police and fascists, which gave both direct and indirect results. The direct result was that several fascist demonstrations were stopped and fewer fascists dared to participate. But indirect results were that the costs for the State to protect fascist demonstrations increased and that the Sweden Democrats lost their respectable facade. AFA’s actions also showed that it was possible to resist and they broke the demonizing image within the left of the fascists as being unconquerable fighters. The campaign “Nazifritt Södermalm” [Nazi-free Södermalm, south-central Stockholm] can be given as an example of AFA Stockholm’s more successful campaigns. During 1995 we started a campaign against the nazi-shops Asgård and Last Resort and the Fryshuset’s skinhead-barrack [YMCA founded activity center which housed skinheads in south-central Stockholm]. The campaign broke a defensive position of the wider antifascist movement in Stockholm. The campaign made concrete goals, to close the premises, and we then worked pragmatically and broadly to reach this goal. Larger demonstrations aside town square meetings were organized, posters were put up, lectures were held for other organizations, information about the premises were given to media, the nazi-premises were constantly sprayed, the locks to the shops were glued and action groups smashed them. The campaign coincided with an increased debate around Fryshuset’s skinhead-activities. The Nazi-free Söder campaign is a clear example that our idea, that a diversity of tactics complement each other, work in practice. The work produced results and today all those premises are closed. Another campaign which AFA initiated early was aimed against Ultima Thule, the viking rock, and the nazi “white supremacist-music”. The white supremacist-music, following the success of Ultima Thule, resurrected the asleep nazi-movement. In a campaign to prevent the nazi-music from gaining a foothold and new fora AFA worked at having the nazi-records removed from record stores. The campaign was successful and was performed using a variety of tactics, ranging from activists informing record stores and handing out flyers, to sabotage and stolen nazi-records. Since the press and confrontations increased at nazi-demonstrations, the white supremacist-music lead to the fascists organizing concerts instead. The concerts were often held in secret, and could be held under police protection and became significantly safer to attend for the nazis than the demonstrations.

Both more narrow and more broad than previous movements

Concerts early turned out to be more difficult for us to stop than demonstrations. The concert activities were less sensitive to sabotage, or at least more difficult to get at with sabotage. Instead it became important to create a more broad political pressure to get an end to the concerts. The “secret” concerts forced AFA to become better at gathering information and we began to more than previously use media to release information which could lead to the concerts being cancelled.

By AFA’s emphasizing antifascism we have chosen both a more narrow and a more broad designation than the previous anti-racist movement. More narrow because we focus on fighting the fascist movement. In the anti-racist movement the fight against the fascist groups was a small part of the activities, the rest of the activities was about creating places for swedes and immigrants to meet och to counter both discrimination and the State’s racism. But we also use antifascism as a more broad term than anti-racism. We started a discussion about which components and which power structures a fascist movement was tied to. The sexism, homophobia and racism, which manifest in their ultimate forms in fascism, are structures which permeate our entire society. The fascist movement does not exist within a vacuum – it is connected to and is a part of a larger right-turn. But at the same time it is not the right-turn’s only expression, but is rather an expression it takes on the street, in concrete mobilization. There is an interplay between the right which moves the lines on the street and physically threaten people, and the right-turn within politics which harshens refugee policies and projects immigration as a society problem. With this analysis we have also worked with issues which have been outside a strict antifascist field but we have deemed as important parts of reactionary mobilization and right-turn. One such area, which several AFA-groups have chosen to prioritize, is a work against the increased distribution of porn within society and we have done so through attacking porn-shops and other institutions which have been spreading sexualized oppression of women.

Another example is the campaign ahead of the EU-referendum [on membership] which was initiated alongside the antifascist work. Nordic action-nights against “Fortress Europe” were organized and Yes to EU’s propaganda-center was beset by over 100 actions. The rationale behind the campaign was the racist and restrictive refugee policies which is built into the EU’s police-cooperation and closed external borders as well as the fact that the no-side only got a fraction of the yes-side’s resources ahead of the referendum and could not afford opening any fancy info-centers. The actions for us took place as a complement to the work with flyers-distribution and participation in No to EU’s activities. The work did not end with the EU-referendum. The most recent year we have continued working against the EU’s racist refugee policies and police-cooperation in the Schengen-agreement. Between the years 1992 to 1995 there was a tense relationship between AFA and the other left, especially Stoppa Rasismen, SAC-Syndikalisterna [anarcho-syndicalist labor union], Socialistiska Partiet [the Socialist Party], Offensiv [Trotskyist group] and Ung Vänster [“Young Left”, youth organization of the Left Party]. Meanwhile the “confrontational line” lead to AFA being put under heavy pressure by cops and media. The left meanwhile was electioneering and no controversial issues were allowed to disturb. During those years there was no broad antifascist movement to speak of in Sweden. AFA was alone in conducting a continuous antifascist work. AFA in this situation tried to become wider and tried to fill a role as social movement. Alongside the actions we held school lectures, conducted own research on the extreme-right and wrote articles. We tried to politicize the “sub-cultures” which were closest to us to counter the nazi “white supremacist-music”. And we invested in the building of the AFA-network within and outside of Sweden. We stood quite alone but that did not bother us much. The cooperation with the rest of the left felt mostly pointless and we could not see it giving any actual results in practice.

1995-1997

During 1995 the result of the nazi music-wave was seen, in the form of increased nazi-violence: the murders in Kode, Klippan and Västerås and serious cases of beatings outside Fryshuset in Stockholm. With the increased racist violence both media and the anti-racist movement was awoken again. AFA suddenly stood as sole group with a continuous work, an activist base, knowledge and experience, and had thus strengthened its position within the anti-racist movement. We had an entirely new base and sense of self for initiating a cooperation with other groups.

Emergency service politics and State racism

During 1996 there was an attempt to organize within the nazi-skin sub-culture, Nationella Alliansen [the “National Alliance”]. AFA could quickly locate their premises and militant antifascist groups made sure it was closed. The crowning moment came when the internationally important Hess-demonstration – which Nationella Alliansen organized in Trollhättan [town near Gothenburg] – was prevented from marching in the streets through our mobilizing and was instead enclosed at a loading dock at the train station. After the nezis’ fiasco in Trollhättan and closed premises in Stockholm internal fighting took over the nazi movement and Nationella Alliansen collapsed. Antifascist actions, an increased opinion against fascism and increased repression from the State broke the nazis’ little upsurge between 1993 and 1996. Today the nazi movement is in retreat and busy with internal fractioning while the Sweden Democrats haven’t recovered since the anti-election campaign 1994. AFA Stockholm has instead been able to widen its field of work. That we have gotten experience from continuously surveilling nazi activities has lead to militant actions or mobilizations having worked as “emergency service politics” which has been deployed when needed whilst the majority of the continuous work has be possible to put into offensive struggle such as building the libertarian socialist organizations and networks. Meanwhile we have been able to work with other issues, such as against the porn industry and a campaign together with Nätverket mot rasism [the “Network Against Racism”] against the European police-cooperation and the restrictive refugee-policies in the Schengen-agreement.

After the large number of nazi-murders 1995 there was a change in society. The discussion shifted. From earlier in connection with nazi manifestations talking about everyone’s right to freedom of speech, nazism instead began being seen as a threat. After 1995 one can notice an increased antifascist organizing and a more active State role through anti-racist campaigns and reversal on police interventions. The last three years there have been attempts at improving the contacts between all anti-racist/antifascist organizations. At an initiative by Hasans Vänner mot våld och rasism [“Hasans Friends against violence and racism”], a Stockholm-based group within the national association Stoppa Rasismen, Nätverket mot Rasism has been started. AFA has entered and helped building the Network. We have also entered the equivalent international network of anti-racist grassroots organizations, UNITED.

Within AFA we have no confidence in the State measures against fighting fascism. The latest five hundred campaigns against racism/fascism, it was established in a State study, has not had any effect (or adverse effect) in the work against racism. One of the reasons they have not tried starting any local and continuous antifascist/anti-racist work but instead go for spectacular gimmick campaigns whose purpose has been more to give the impression that the State is reacting against racism than trying to get actual results. In some cases the State campaigns have even suffocated the local anti-racist work through creating an interest, gathering a lot of names and then put the lid on. That is how both the “Rör inte min kompis”-campaign in the 80s and the “Ungdom mot Rasism”-campaign [“Youth against Racism”] in the 90s worked. The State campaigns have “depoliticized” anti-racism and lead the discussion away from making the State’s own role in maintenance of racism visible – the restrictive refugee policies and the lack of will to deal with discrimination.

The Swedish nazi movement has grown up under police protection. Without police protection the neo-nazi manifestations had been impossible. The neo-nazi concerts have been dependent on police not intervening and at several occurrences the police have convinced venue-renters to let the concert be held when the owner has wished to cancel the contract after it dawned on them whom they had rented the venue to. To “avoid scuffles” the police aided with buses to give nazis rides to the concerts and keeping antifascist demonstrations at a distance. As of the autumn 1995 one can notice a change in the police. They have become more active in the intervention against neo-nazi activities. We are strongly skeptical to these attempts. The police have been more interested in giving the pretense that they react against nazi activities, and they have only reacted after media pressure. We don’t believe one can legislate away social problems. Antifascist work which is to have effect must be undertaken locally at grassroots level by people working continuously based on their own every-day life. The State and authorities can never achieve that. We don’t believe that State or police have any genuine interest in fighting fascism, as they are not the ones hit by the fascist violence. We therefore can not put our trust in police or State undertaking the antifascist work. During the three first months 1998 the police have intervened and stopped three white supremacist-concerts. But it has not only been actions against the neo-nazi movement. The increased police-activities have also been used to try to suffocate initiatives from antifascist organizations. When “nazism” has become a police matter, antifascist mobilizing is seen as a disturbance of police work. “Regular people” should not go out detaining burglars, and they shouldn’t go out taking action against fascism either, since “nazism” is a police matter. In that manner one has attempted stopping antifascist manifestations and put the blame for failed police actions against nazism at the antifascist movement.

Activities are broadened


In autumn (1998) the AFA-network turns five years old. During that time we have not just kept fascism back but also broadened our own activities. A breadth which is noticed both regarding forms of actions and cooperations with other groups. One of our goals has been to refuse getting stuck in ruts, to neither let ourselves get sucked into the establishment nor being ejected into isolation. By broadening our cooperation at grassroots level with other social movements we have increased the areas of contact, broken our own isolation and created channels where we have been able to take a discussion about or activities. Purely self-critically the cooperation with other antifascist movements has forced us to be more open, straight and not enter cooperation with hidden agendas. But meanwhile our recurring, militant actions have lead to us maintaining a unique position in the antifascist movement and us not having to compromise our analysis and our antifascist profile. We have also during these five years learnt to conduct ourselves tactically and pragmatically relative to the militant form of struggle which we have been a part of establishing. We have not let the militance go to our heads and be transformed into a goal in itself. We have instead at each action and campaign first decided which political goal we wanted to achieve, to then decide methods to achieve that result. Protest activities, creating opinion through media, mass-militance and action group-militance has been allowed to complement each other. That is where our possibility of growth in the future lies: to both be an antifascist opposition and to work pragmatically. To both work in cooperation with other social movements and develop an anti-hierarchical, decentralized, militant and result-driven antifascist practice. And we have not forgotten that the AFA-network is only one means, suitable for the moment. The general goal is after all to create a broad and strong libertarian, socialist movement. A strong left is the best cure against racism, sexism, homophobia and capitalism.

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AFA (antifa) Stockholm: Nordic Youth – yet another fascist organization gives up

“Do you have the courage?” → “Decision of disbanding”

In the year 2017 a text was published by Nordisk Ungdom [Nordic Youth] where the members were urged to prepare for becoming “political soldiers” which “will have to sacrifice significantly more than blood sweat and tears”. Today, two years later, the organization is being shut down because it has been too hard for these soldiers to keep the operation alive. AFA [antifa] Stockholm explains here how this development looked and the reasons behind Nordisk Ungdom giving up.

Nordisk Ungdom (NU) was formed in the year 2010 with the ambition of becoming a countrywide organization which would modernize the Swedish fascism through new methods and new political alliances. During the first years one amongst others cooperated with radical Islamists on a foundation of antisemitism and conservatism meanwhile a hand was being stretched out to the radical leftist movement in hopes of cooperation against globalization and “society’s elite”. NU profiled itself initially as a fascist group with socialist traits, which except for immigration and multi-culture also went after neo-liberalism’s assault on the labor-rights, economic injustice and imperialism. In this way the founders, which previously belonged to Nationaldemokraterna [the National Democrats], hoped that the organization would be able to unite youth with socialist and racist values and thus lay the foundation for a new kind of fascist movement. The inspiration for this movement came largely from fascist projects abroad like Casa Pound in Italy or Junge Nationaldemokraten in Germany.

This political strategy became short-lived, partially because the socialist movement with organized anti-fascists at the front treated NU by the exact same terms as any other fascist street-group.  It sometimes happens that fascists try to use socialist rhetoric, but this will never change the fact that they fundamentally want to divide the working class and get us to hate our colleagues and neighbors instead of our real enemies. The AFA-network [antifa-network in Sweden] and other anti-fascists therefore at an early stage ensured confronting NU repeatedly which contributed to all local groups except the one in Stockholm quickly being disbanded and also the remaining Stockholm group became quickly strongly weakened, they only succeeded in hanging on because the leadership and the core activists lived in Stockholm.

After the experiment of uniting fascist and leftist-minded youth failed Patrik Forsén (19840325-0155) and a few activists  continued running the organization. For several years the group was searching for a way to grow and become relevant, but time after time they were hit by setbacks in the form of at three occasions having their premises exposed and their events attacked. Among the few activists that had stayed in the organization are apart from Patrik Forsén also Fredrik Haugen (earlier Hagberg) (19860924-0638) and Christian Mattsson (19900604-4433). Through the years the group experimented with various ideological alignments, from the initial will to approach the left to adopting the so-called “alt right”-movement’s rhetoric and thereafter an attempt with a radical-conservative variant of Catholicism.

During the years 2015-2017 NU achieved some media success and in number of active members by producing video clips of provocative actions, e.g. was organized attacks against the Pride-parade and the sit-in strike for unaccompanied refugee minors’ rights. At one of these occasions one person was injured when pyrotechnics was thrown straight into the group of youths that were performing a peaceful manifestation at Mynttorget [town square between Parliament and Stockholm Palace], which we previously reported about here. Meanwhile, NU’s members worked frantically with a new social center which they rented in false name in the municipality of Danderyd’s premises. Furthermore Patrik Forsén launched a number of side projects, foremost Skandinaviska Förbundet [The Scandinavian Association], which was to work as the (officially) youth-based group NU’s adult equivalent. These side projects however never lead to any larger success but remained air castles on the Internet.

On March 8, 2018 NU once again performed an action whose only purpose was to become a good video clip by trying to provoke the feminist demonstration which is being held on that date every year. This time however they were confronted by a number of anti-fascists which lead to the action failing and those that had participated got to leave the place with their tails between their legs. In May same year we published a compilation of the people which participated in Nordisk Ungdom’s activities and a month later the paper Arbetaren [“The Worker“, the anarcho-syndicalist labor union SAC‘s paper] published where the new premises were, which got them evicted and all energy invested in the project was for nothing. In November 2018 NU’s last demo resulted in open conflict between their own group and Nordiska motståndsrörelsen (NMR) [Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM), Nazis], because the latter during the march had become violent when anti-fascists on location protested against their demo. NMR’s behavior resulted in the whole spectacle ending in a fight between fascists, police and anti-fascists. This was something which NU did not appreciate at all which drove the until then relatively good relations between NU and NMR into the ground. Furthermore NU left walkover to NMR in the few contexts they participated in and were engaged in, e.g. the demo at Mynttorget. During 2018 and 2019 the level of activism in the group has been steadily decreasing and the number of members drastically declining until it was decided to officially disband the group.

– We have decided to dissolve the organization as we don’t deem the conditions for continued activity to be fruitful.

This Friday came the statement from Nordisk Ungdom and Skandinaviska Förbundet which declares that the organization ceases to exist. After a 2018 filled with setbacks the group’s spokespersons explain that they no longer can carry on with their activities because “activists are fired from their jobs, the union refuses to represent them, they are persecuted by authorities while left-extremists are allowed to harass and batter. The established media houses cheer the witch-hunt and gladly destroy the lives of young and old. Electoral rigging occurs widely. We are convicted in political courts, we are not allowed to rent premises, banks have shut down our accounts.”

[“One of us was beaten down yesterday.”]

Nordisk Ungdom participates in an episode of Hate The Neighbor. The show mixes documentary filming with standup about the show’s activities.

We in AFA Stockholm can not but congratulate ourselves and other anti-fascists around in Sweden which since NU was founded the year 2010 with joy and pride have been a driving force in making these fascists’ lives difficult. The anti-fascist movement has through all these years worked hard at identifying and confronting these fascists. It is we in the anti-fascist movement that see to it that these individuals’ employers, colleagues and neighbors get to know what they are up to in their spare time. It is also the anti-fascist movement which by “harassing and battering” the fascists which themselves attack peaceful manifestations, burst the illusion they are trying to create of themselves as strong, brave and angry white men. Nordisk Ungdom has been unable to retain the activists which in various batches have joined the group because they were constantly countered, something which becomes extra clear when one reviews the past year when the air went out of the organization once and for all.

AFA Stockholm has through the years seen many fascist organizations come and go. Svenskarnas Parti [Party of the Swedes], Fria Nationalister [Free Nationalists], Nationaldemokraterna [the National Democrats] and Förbundet Nationell Ungdom [the National Youth Association] are some exaples of the groups within the white supremacist-environment which during the 2000s have imploded. That Nordisk Ungdom now join the same destiny is not only important in the meaning that we have a fascist organization less to oppose but also means that the entire white supremacist-environment is weakened overall. NU has as the previously mentioned organizations been acting as a fixed point in the fascist movement and has had collaborations and alliances with groups and initiatives which now stand without protection and extra activists to use. We expect more castles in the air to fall and look forward to the domino effect it results in dissatisfaction, personal conflicts and further division.

Nordisk Ungdom is no longer organizationally a problem. But in spite of the organization’s weakness and the members’ incompetence a few of the former members can on an individual level still represent a threat. Some of the members will leave the political involvement behind and some will look for new contexts in other fascist groups, it has always been thus. We have previously published a compilation of NU’s members and sympathizers which can be read here. The article is relevant until we see that those mentioned are no longer active and urge those which feel affected to contact us to avoid our future attention.

E-mail: afa-sthlm@riseup.net

Follow us on our active twitter-account so you won’t miss our updates.

/ AFA Stockholm


Translated by b9AcE to the best of my ability, from the original text in Swedish. Any errors are to be presumed mine, not antifa’s.

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Swedish Anarcho-Syndicalist Youth Federation Gothenburg: Anti-fascist May Day in Kungälv

Handful of Nazis got protection from hundreds of police, yet got beaten  – SUF Göteborg’s [Swedish Anarcho-Syndicalist Youth Federation Gothenburg’s] statement on anti-fascist May Day in Kungälv.

The club began the day by gathering for a pre-meeting in Gothenburg, before we together went to Kungälv. On location we gathered together with other anti-fascists at the Travel Center at 11:30 to participate in Gothenburg’s Anti-fascist Front’s [Göteborgs Antifascistiska Front, GAF] counter-demonstration. Banners were handed out to the demonstration’s participants and the front banner was unveiled. According to the papers the demo consisted of about 500 people.

The demo went from Travel Center to Komministergatan [street], where GAF’s arrangement was ended and everyone could continue on their own. We then chose to together with the anti-fascist crowd of people move towards Nytorget [a town square]. The police had blocked the area around the place, so to even get close one was forced to two by two get let through into their corrals.

Once in there the police tried to push us into a smaller area to gain control over the location, so we linked together to stand against their assault. Reinforcements were quickly called in, police vans blocked off the area and in the corner of the eye we spotted the Nordic Resistance Movement’s [Nordiska motståndsrörelsen, NMR, the Nazis] demonstration march.

Their day did not start as filled of hope as ours – the parking lot they gathered on was according to rumor covered with slogans like ”FUCK NMR”.

At the most we were well over a thousand counter-demonstrators at Nytorget. A clear sign of how much stronger we are than the Nazis, who is spite of having mobilized from the entire country only managed to scrape together about 250 people.

When we spotted them we tried to exit at the side of the cordoning, which made the cops call in the cavalry. Anti-fascist counter-demonstrators threw firecrackers and pyrotechnics in response to this, which made the horses shy back and the police that sat on them whip furiously with their whips.

All solidarity to the cop-horsies, they too are victims of the police! Animals of course don’t belong in stressful situations like these.

After NMR had marched on towards Nytorget the crowd of people went closer to their assigned demonstration location to show what they could do. Fruit and other yummies soon rained over the Nazis while they lined up. In video clips from within their march one can see how the panic spreads when the thunderous sound of firecrackers was heard again and again from inside their own lines.

At the same time as that tumult appeared, anti-fascists at the front started tipping the fences that separated the crowd of people from the tiny number of ties-adorned and shield-bearing Fascists. The police had to once again call in reinforcements in the form of a line of riot police and a line of horse. When this was not enough several police vans drove forward and the riot police frantically used both batons and pepper spray.

Nigh hundred costumed Nazis

It was noticeable that the police felt threatened by the enormous wrath the Nazis awoke in the gathered counter-demonstrators. They by and by deployed lots of both uniformed and plainclothes police in the crowd – wherever one turned one eventually saw examples of the well known counter-demonstrator type ‘jacked dude with stubble, hoodie and earpiece’, which temporarily dampened the anti-fascist resistance..

It did however not seem as if the police had thought much farther than corrals, undercovers and horses, as NMR’s march back didn’t get one quiet moment. To protect the Nazis from the furious crowd the cops were forced to box in their demonstration march completely, see picture below.

In connection to this NMR also got in a violent confrontation with both police and bushes. The result was that several of them were apprehended or left Kungälv with injuries.

At this time it was also high time for us in SUF and other Socialists to go back to Gothenburg and hold our own May Day demonstration.

NMR had to wander back totally surrounded by police and police vans

We are proud of our contribution as an organization, that our effort at mobilizing made a difference, and how clear our cohesion in the club was manifested during the demonstration.

We are certain that NMR with all  the desired clarity were made aware what would have happened if they had not been protected by hundreds of cops. The reason they are ever able to hold demonstrations is because they have police escort from start to finish..

We want to thank all anti-fascists that were in Kungälv for standing up for what they believe in and really show whom May Day belongs to – that it will always be the labor movement’s day. We also want to thank the organizations that contributed to the arrangement around the counter-demonstration, especially our comrades in Göteborgs LS [Gothenburg’s Local Federation of the Anarcho-Syndicalist labor union SAC] that chose to postpone SAC’s demonstration to later the same day. When we stand united we can do anything!

Solidarity and thankfulness to all counter-demonstrators that were subjected to repression during the day – your sacrifices are meaningful.

Now we continue fighting for a Kungälv, a Sweden and a world free from Fascism.


Translated by b9AcE (https://soc.ialis.me/@b9AcE and https://twitter.com/b9AcE) to the best of my ability, from the original text in Swedish. Any errors are to be presumed mine, not SUF’s.

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Nazi group NMR met anti-fascist resistance in Kungälv, Sweden

May 1, 2019 the Nazis of NMR demonstrated in Kungälv. They succeeded in reaching their final destination but in spite of strong police protection they met a massive resistance going there and back. Over 500 counter-demonstrators showed that the Nazis are not welcome in Kungälv! A broad powerful anti-fascism lead to the Nazis walking bleeding and scared back.

 

NMR has been making an effort at Kungälv since for the election year 2018. They have had a number of public leaflettings and activities in Kungälv and ran two candidates in the municipal election. Low election results showed that their propaganda drive had not had great effect. They tried to once again concentrate on Kungälv by placing one of their demonstrations on May 1 there.

NMR gathered on the parking outside the cookie factory in Kungälv to get ready for their demonstration. At the same time anti-fascists gathered to walk in a May 1-demonstration against Nazism in Kungälv.The counter-demonstrators gathered at the Travel Center and walked towards central Kungälv.When the Nazis had started their demonstration anti-fascists went to their demonstration route and final destination Nytorget [a town square]..

When the Nazis came to Nytorget over 500 counter-demonstrators had gathered at the square to show that they were not welcome. Firecrackers and pyrotechnics rained over the Nazis when they went towards the square. When they had arrived the gathering was disturbed by both things that were thrown and by counter-demonstrators’ slogans and protests.

 

The anti-fascists were many and showed clearly that they did not want the Nazis there! Going back they walked with protection by police same way they came and the police could not protect the Nazis against those that did not want them there. Scared and sad they moved onwards on the demonstration route to finally get stopped by the police. The Nazis had attacked the police on several occasions during the day and were stopped until the police had removed those that were to be detained. 25 Nazis were detained for violent rioting, agitation against an ethnic or national group and threat to public servant.

According to own numbers NMR had succeeded in gathering a bit over 400 people at the demonstrations, out of which 160 in Ludvika and 270 in Kungälv. What for NMR was to be a day of showing strength and scaring their surroundings, ended in a fiasco where they met resistance and were bused away. Thanks to the responsible at the premises they should be at after the demonstration throwing them out, they could not have their finalizing activity there either. They instead ended the day by gathering 30-40 people at IKEA’s parking at midnight.

 

The anti-fascist counter-demonstrators were many and of all ages and in various ways showed their disgust against that Nazis demonstrated through the town. There was a strong solidarity and comradery among those that participated and we want to thank everyone for a united resistance during the day!

May 1 in Kungälv can be seen as an anti-fascist victory where it was not easy to be a Nazi. The struggle continues and Fascism must be stopped in all its forms. Get organized and continue making resistance against Nazis and their activity in the way you want to and are able to. All anti-fascism is needed.

If you have information about Nazi activity in Västra Götaland [County] or want to get organized in the fight against Fascism? Then don’t hesitate to contact us!

afa-goteborg@riseup.net

 

// Anti-Fascist Action Gothenburg


Translated by b9AcE (https://soc.ialis.me/@b9AcE and https://twitter.com/b9AcE) to the best of my ability, from the original text in Swedish. Any errors are to be presumed mine, not antifa’s.

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AFA [antifa] Stockholm: 10 years since the murder on the anarchist Alexis in Greece

Thursday December 6 marked ten years since the 15-year-old anarchist Alexis Grigoropoulos was shot to death by the police in Athens.

The police’s lethal shooting took place during a street confrontation between police and anarchists in the neighborhood Exarchia in Athens. The event triggered extensive riots over the entire country and was described as the largest and most serious in several years, to the degree that the Minister of Interior Prokopis Pavlopoulos offered to resign. Several union organizations also declared general strike which lead to e.g. public transport stopping and no airplanes could land, demonstrators also occupied the Technical University in Exarchia and other Universities in Athens while powerful protests against the banks were ongoing in both Athens and the country’s second largest town Thessaloníki. The anniversary of the murder of Alexis has since continued to be commemorated yearly on the day of death December 6.

We in AFA Stockholm participated with a delegation of activists on the streets of Athens to the memory of Alexis.

/Anti-Fascist Action Stockholm


Translated by b9AcE (https://soc.ialis.me/@b9AcE and https://twitter.com/b9AcE) to the best of my ability, from the original text in Swedish. Any errors are to be presumed mine, not antifa’s.

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