Notes on far-right Sweden in politics and on the streets

While the SÄPO (Swedish National Security) warns that the Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) represents one of the greatest threats to Sweden’s safety and democracy, the NMR continues to spread its Nazi propaganda unhindered by law enforcement on the streets of Sweden every weekend.

We see its members up in the courts every so often but they get mild sentences. And usually it amounts to nothing more than a fine. 

Added to this is that because of new legislation which came into force from 1 January, anyone responsible for online publications can no longer be held to account for posting hate speech, as was the case before. Instead, they will get 14 days from the first official warning to remove the article or comment before legal action is taken. 

How many times can neo-Nazis and their supporters spread their hatred within 14 days?

Swedish politics at play

One can’t but help think this has something to do with the current political climate in Sweden.

Despite the Swedish Democrats’ (SD) tight bonds to NMR and other white-nationalist groups, we still see them gain support from other political parties in Sweden. Parties like the Christian Democrats (KD) and the Moderates (M), even the Centre party (C) have voiced support for the SD. But they have not yet committed to it. 

We have also seen the SD take control of Swedish councils alone or allied with the Moderates or KD. And slowly but surely their white nationalist agenda is being forced through and put into law there.

Like in Skåne, Southern Sweden, where out of 33 councils, the SD has control of 27 of them. 

SD had a public clear-out of politicians in their party just before last year’s election. They had been exposed by Expo as having connections with the neo-Nazi NMR. But shortly after the election they were welcomed back into the fold and in some cases even given high ranking jobs as advisors in various SD-controlled councils.

One troubling effect of the SD’s control of different councils is that they now have carte blanche to implement their white nationalist ideas and see how far they can push the public with their racist and hateful politics. And this is something they planned well in advance. Bringing Sweden “back” to a glorified “white-nationalistic, traditional values haven”. And if that doesn’t sound scary enough, the NMR has an almost identical plan. 

The aim is to gain control over Sweden one council at a time, force out those not compliant or unwanted, and at the same time promote and enforce white nationalist values.

The tactical pattern

We see this happening in places like Skåne right now. In Staffanstorp council, the SD and M joined forces almost immediately after the election. The leader of the local SD chapter was exposed by Expo as having been a member of a now banned Soldiers of Odin group on Facebook. It was also revealed that he was following several similar groups and sites on the website. 

Staffanstorp forced through a ban on headscarves in schools. They also placed immigrants in caravans on industrial sites, away from public view as it were.

In Sølvesborg, the home council of the SD leader, Jimmy Åkesson, they recently banned the Pride flag from their council building. They followed Staffanstorp in giving immigrants two choices: move to a different council or be placed in a caravan somewhere. And as if that wasn’t enough, they implemented restrictions on what kind of art could be shown in public spaces. So-called explicit art is now banned. In its place, “ageless and classical art that represents and harmonizes with the councils’ history, local identity and physical environment” will be displayed.

A third SD-controlled council is Hörby. Its council leader is Stefan Borg. He proclaimed that flying the Pride flag equalled paedophilia and necrophilia. They made drastic changes to the rights of immigrant schoolchildren to learn their mother tongue. A language test was introduced for the children which would certify if the child knew anything of its native language. If not, they would no longer receive classes in that language. 

Also introduced by the SD was a complete ban on any child learning their language if they didn’t have a parent or guardian who also used it. These new laws have hit the lone-traveling child immigrant the worst.

This is all part of their master plan to take over Sweden, council by council. Trying to disregard the SD as an insignificant little party is dangerous. It all appears to be going according to their plan.  They are in no particular hurry and are gaining support from other political parties in government. At the same time they are testing and implementing white-nationalistic rule in the councils they control. And this is just the beginning.

The Moderates are also implementing new rules and guidelines for their party.  They recently appointed the controversial former minister of culture in Chile, Mauricio Rojas, to lead their new hard line immigration policy group called The Immigration Commission.

Rifts in the neo-Nazi movement

And while all this was happening, the rift between different members of the NMR came to a head this summer which resulted in a split. The splinter group from NMR introduced themselves roughly a month ago.

These are some of the most violent and dangerous people in Scandinavia. The new organisation, called Nordisk Styrka (Nordic Strength), took with them a few of the leaders from the old group. As EXPO previously revealed, Nordisk Stryka’s leader is the neo-Nazi veteran Klas Lund.

Their wider leadership consists of, Emil Hagberg, Haakon Forwald (former leader of NMR’s Norwegian branch), Anders Rydberg, Niklas Yngwe and Ingemar Westerbring. A large number of members from other regional NMR groups have also joined them, like Julius Blomberg, Oscar Bergström, Fredrik Kosonen and Philip Olsson.

They are said to be planning major actions in Sweden. And the turf war between them and the NMR has already started.

It will be interesting to see which group the Irish far right will support. We know there are members of the far right in Ireland who have visited the NMR and want them to have an Irish chapter too. Although this would technically go against the NMR’s strictly blond and blue-eyed ideology.

But when has hypocrisy ever stopped the far right before?

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons – Frankie Fouganthin

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