Violent protest went on three continuous days following last Sunday’s outbreak in Husby, district of Stockholm. Cars and containers were set on fire in the riots triggered by a fatal shooting by police.
About 200 people in this largely immigrant suburb were part of the unrest, which resulted in numerous arrests. The mood of discontent had apparently spread to the neighbourhood of Fittja.
The riot was in response to the fatal shooting a week earlier of a 69 year, unidentified, man who had holed up in his apartment.
“This is not OK. We will not give in to violence,” Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said. “We must all help out to regain calm. The residents of Husby need to get their neighbourhood back.”
A tense atmosphere prevailed in the capital, and it has stirred debate in this Scandinavian country typically noted for its strong welfare state and egalitarian society. But the country has seen a surge in inequality unseen in any other of the OECD countries over the past 25 years.
While the police will not reveal the ethnicity of the man shot, there has been some strong comments among local politicians about the inability of these immigrants to integrate into mainstream Swedish society and culture.
“This is a clear consequence of this multiculturalism politics that Sweden adopted around ‘80s and increased in the ‘90s… And this is not a unique one single occasion… we have had these ethnic-based riots against Swedish authorities. We have seen this in Western Europe, that is very sad, and I think we will see more of this, if we don’t change the politics,” the chairman of the Sweden’s National Democrats Party Marc Abramsson said.
Local residents, however, feel they are unfairly targeted and treated by the police, who have used unreasonable force on the protestors.