Swedish police clash with dozens of anti-Nazi protesters
STOCKHOLM — Swedish police on Saturday clashed with dozens of demonstrators who attempted to disrupt a meeting organized by a neo-Nazi party in central Stockholm.
Protesters, some of whom were masked, threw fireworks, stones and bottles at police who had set up cordons in a park on Stockholm’s waterfront. Police responded with baton charges and also deployed mounted police and dog units to disperse the troublemakers.
“Our officers were under a lot of pressure,” police spokesman Lars Bystrom told Swedish broadcaster SVT.
A majority of the protesters were peaceful, but some “had tried to break through police cordons,” prompting the charge, he said.
Tensions surged when the roughly 100 members of the nationalist Party of the Swedes marched along a section of the Stockholm waterfront in full view of their opponents, local media reported.
Police had closed off large sections of central Stockholm to avert a direct confrontation between the extremist party and its opponents.
Several thousand people gathered at various locations, with the vast majority at Kungstradgarden, to protest the meeting at a nearby square.
Three police officers sustained minor injuries, while several protesters were also injured in the scuffles, police said.
Police said 15 people were apprehended on suspicion of violating a ban against wearing masks in connection with demonstrations.
At least two demonstrators had been arrested, with one suspected of attempted assault, Bystrom said. More arrests could follow after police have analyzed video footage from the clashes.
The Party of the Swedes designates itself as a nationalist party that says “only people who belong to the western genetic and cultural heritage” should be citizens.
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