Archive for January, 2021

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”.

No Comments

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.


No Comments