Swedish Police Riots 2022

Firstly, this text establishes recent riots in Sweden either are the result of a conspicuous lack of judgment, or a deliberate attempt to incite violence by the police. Other factors than religion to the anger with right-wing extremist Paludan are considered:

  • Rasmus Paludan’s paedophilia & rumour authorities kidnap children
  • Political harassment prior to the event
  • Media & political hypocrisy.
  • Appendix: Rise of Swedish reformed Nazis.

Source: Extra Bladet (DK).

Malmö, Sweden. Recent riots either are the result of a disastrous miscalculation and ineptitude, or a deliberate attempt to incite violence by Swedish police. Right-wing extremist Paludan and his book-burning associates have been denied or banned in several European countries [1, 2] by authorities over the years. Furthermore, the Malmö-police in the South, could observe pandemonium to the north, whenever Paludan was around, days before they made their decision. In such cases, Swedish law is clear – police has the right to deny public gatherings.

This right of denial is codified in Swedish Public Order Act 2:25. (SPOA 2:25)

The police may prohibit public gatherings if: serious disturbance has occurred at a gathering of the same kind or, as a direct consequence of it, in its immediate vicinity; or the gathering has been shown to have entailed significant danger to those present; or serious disturbance of traffic

  Public Order Act (1993:1617) 2:25 § 

Last time he was denied in Malmö and Stockholm, public order and safety was emphasized. Sweden took the same stance as other European countries and decided on an even harsher two-year ban. Public gatherings were otherwise allowed, under special rules, with reference to contagion.

The hazard was widely recognised by the press which noted the direct relationship between right-wing-extremist gatherings and resulting unrest. Hundreds of news items established this connection anterior to the decision in Southern Sweden. The local press reported violent riots to the north in Linköping several days before, and nation-wide tabloid Expressen described the chaos in terms of ‘violent riots after Paludan’s Koran-burnings. There is no doubt the criteria in SPOA 2:25 were satisfied – the risk was virtually 100%, just days before the Malmö-police in southern Sweden made its decision. Furthermore, an event was in the end denied in neighbouring Landskrona due to the obvious security risk.

In view of a notorious history of bans and refusal to allow book burnings around the world, the Koran-burner was identified as a threat to security and order years ago, also in Sweden. Therefore, there is also enough factual support to critique the decisions and preparations at the inception of the tumult of 2022 to the north.

If the police on the other hand is assumed to have made a successful risk assessment, then they have understood the likely outcome, and it follows riots were desired, in accordance with the usual notions of risk and likely outcome. PR for the upcoming election and NATO debate present themselves immediately in such state of the world. The former case implies a complete failure to exercise proper judgement, and the police is the instigator in the latter. The law warrants accountability in both.

However, there is little political will to deal with the deplorable actions of the police at the moment. Instead, nearly undivided support has been given from politicians, even after public critique from leading experts.

Concluding Remarks: Police Efforts & Accountability

The legal situation at hand is remarkably simple in view of praxis: Police should give permission for public gatherings if they do not break the law, and law & order can be guaranteed. Negative decisions can then be scrutinised with proper procedures and debated in democratic fashion. The police failed miserably in their judgement and actions.

There are elements of idealism in law but the pragmatic side supports the former. Concerns regarding accountability and risk assessment, shields the constituency from an obvious political tool to exercise undue political power by creating or neglecting unrest, in the hands of the guardians. Thus, there are short-, medium and long-term considerations in terms safeguards for democracy at stake.

Rule of law may be regarded unfair by some, as authorities must take responsibility for tough decisions, but it is their job. The police cannot make rational decisions by ignoring realities, in particular the likely consequences of their actions, in view of overwhelming evidence. In essence, that is what accountability is about. In this case, they have done a terrible job and must be held responsible in order to encourage wiser choices in the future.

In conjunction with current Swedish political backdrop, the actions of the police cast a shadow of doubt on their impartiality in high-stake politics. Such signals must be investigated in order to safeguard democratic pluralism.

This stance does not imply sensitive events should be forbidden/denied/dispersed by default or neglect the law. Nor does it imply criminal actions by rioters should be overlooked.

Additional Factors – Paludan’s Paedophilia

According to Danish Extra Bladet (EB), Paludan has built a network of young boys, as young as 13, based on a chat service. The pretext is political, but he engages under-aged boys with violent sexual fantasies by referring to them in his pornographic stories. The boys are reported to have stated their age openly on several occasions. The sessions involve graphics of torture tools, and are recurrently late in the afternoon or by night.

Reports of Anti-Paedophilia – Protesters & Civil Society

According to the anti-racist magazine EXPO (founded by Stieg Larsson), Paludan visited some of the suburbs of Stockholm in late 2021 with police escort. He left quickly after people started to shout ‘paedophile’. The legal feasibility of this incident is likely due to the grant of Swedish citizenship. This confrontation happened just days after Danish Save the Children International filed a report of offence to the police, according to EB.

Similar demonstrations have been reported in 2022. A left-wing group concerned with class divisions and corruption among politicians shared a post on Facebook with an incident from a Stockholm suburb. Demonstrators reportedly held protest signs with ‘the paedophilia suspicions’ against Paludan.  AFA Scania refers to slogans with similar content from Rosengård: ‘Hide your kids – Rasmus is in town!’

Although obviously political statements, the reliability of these sources are high. The texts reflect pride when referring to these incidents. In the case of AFA, even when a supporter of the book burning is physically assaulted. When no legal transgressions have been made, there are few incentives to misrepresent insults like these by political groups against their adversaries. Unfortunately, no reference to opposition against Paludan’s paedophilia from mainstream media outlets was found. Rasmus Paludan was also disbarred and sentenced to months in jail for racism and defamation, among other things. His previous transgressions involve stalking.

Timing: Rumours Social Service Kidnaps Children

Outrage with social-preventive-care decisions concerning children recently escalated to a viral campaign against Swedish authorities on social media. One rumour asserted kidnappings targeted Muslim children. Mainstream-media emphasised a narrative of Islamist assault against democratic institutions or cultural misunderstandings.

Racism and hostilities from authorities, perceived or de facto, are especially sensitive concerning children. In any case it is indicative of the social-capital or trust in society between marginalised groups and the mainstream. It shows that people distrust authorities not due perceived passivity, but in fear of their activities in close connection to the book burnings. An extremist paedophile ritually burning one of the pillars of community among marginalised or discriminated groups appears as a plausible background source of negative attitudes against authorities actively protecting the troublemaker.

Political Harassment before Riots

Political provocation is norm, especially in southern Sweden. Book burning is an old Nazi display of power in a context where the reformed Nazis have 1/5 of the vote in recent polls. Recurrent right-wing terror, harassment and provocations using innuendos are also evident. Racism in Sweden is a well-known phenomenon regarded as an integral part of the system by experts, not merely random isolated incidents [1 2 3 4].

The following timeline exposes covert oppression of a law-abiding citizen in a country which on all official accounts is regarded as one of the best-functioning democracies in the world. It involves:

  • Poisoning
  • Break-ins
  • Illicit Surveillance
  • General Isolation
  • Harassment on Street
  • Workplace harassment
  • Exposure to Unnecessary Risks
  • Manipulation of Identity/Journals
  • Theft
  • Hacking
  • Abuse of Dating Apps

In addition to the more severe offences, I have been provoked in direct connection to politically sensitive events, the last time was April 14th by stalking.

These kinds of offences are calibrated in order to be executed in democratic environments. Ideally, they satisfy the following conditions:

  1. Perpetrators have no incentives to confess their offences
  2. Offences must be invisible to third parties
  3. No incentives for a target to make offences public

It is convenient to consider a SS-scheme where perpetrators use a set of strategies S1 to isolate victims, S2 to deal a crushing blow, and a meta-strategy S3 in the spirit of (iii) but to cover up any sequence of strategies.

Offences taking advantage of e.g. the cultural disposition of individuals or shocking private information can be used in this manner to calibrate the signal. If successful, only the targets will be able to read between the lines/take the hint i.e. be sensitive to the signal – even if the offence takes place in public, in the middle of the day.

I have written about this extensively and refrain to be more explicit than this due to the sensitive nature of the plausible space of offences in this case.

Media & Political Hypocrisy

The geopolitical situation shapes the media narrative in ways that tend to vilify immigrant groups, on the wrong side of a conflict, according to the agenda of an old US ally. Likewise media also recurrently glorifies wars of aggression by the US and its allies. These biases effectively reproduce prejudice and promotes hostilities against certain groups, sometimes unintentionally. In the previous escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine, Palestinian victims were effectively terror-shamed by the press with associations to terror or gave excuses for Israeli violence. Recent campaign to support Ukraine takes a rather lenient stance towards far-right units in accordance with international-relations considerations.

Swedish authorities engaged in human-rights abuses with psychological torture and arbitrary detention of publisher and leader of WikiLeaks Julian Assange, according to UN expertise. The legal system, police and media was particularly active in these transgressions. Attempts to debate freedom of thought and expression were ridiculed, and even the United Nations was scorned for its ruling in the press. The political silence was virtually unison. [Info SWE&Assange 1 2]

To select an ex-convict, book-burning, right-wing extremist with sadistic paedophilic tendencies, as the basis for a principled defence of democratic ideals – is not only incredible in view of previous realpolitik by the Swedish establishment. It exceedingly approaches proper trolling of the population at this stage. Most societies have similar contradictions but this choice of battleground is sensational to the extent it resembles staged polarisation.

Julian Assange is a recognised paedophile hunter.

Political Background

This appendix provides a broader context to the unfolding of recent social conflicts. It explains the creation of the reformed Swedish Nazis as a leading political force in parliament and the dismantling of the welfare model Sweden once was famous for.

The reformed Swedish Nazis (SD) have about 1/5 of the vote in polls since last election when they received 17.5%. They are treated like any other political party in media, especially after endorsement by the organisations of the business community. The political role of the reformed Nazis in the parliament is pivotal to maintain a remarkable democratic deficit.

Sweden underwent an almost unique privatisation of its large public sector since the 90’s. Not only have valuable assets like hospitals been sold at a bargain – Swedish citizens must reimburse private for-profit companies automatically through taxes. In essence profits in education, health and welfare sector are derived from taxes. This reform was enforced top down and exceptionally unpopular from start.

How the System is Maintained – Rise of Swedish Nazis

The political underpinnings of the democratic deficit is as follows. Only the reformed Communists (V) want to get rid of tax-funded profits, but this party rarely gets above 5-10%. Furthermore, the reformed Communists were used as a political stepping stone to legitimate Swedish Nazism. The anti-communist campaign in the 90’s and 00’s was not only about connecting the Swedish left with atrocities in the so-called really-existing socialist countries. It was consistently used to relativize Nazi atrocities. Propaganda in media was backed by academia to inflate Soviet atrocities[1]. This was done in a backdrop of anti-Russian sentiment regarding national security[2].

In this manner the Swedish Social Democratic party was shielded from a rapid bleeding out, flooding its left flank, as a consequence of switching to a right-wing agenda. The invigoration of the reformed communists was mitigated. In effect, this primed for flows to the right from a shrinking giant that once attained over 50% of the vote.

While inequality increased, and the natural enemy of the Nazis since WWII had been weakened, media neglected privatisation and concentrated on immigration. The political discourse about conflicts between classes was dissolved and replaced with identity politics, which happens to be the modus operandi of the reformed Nazis. Thus immigrants became the new political obstacle to be solved by political agency from the whole spectrum. Politicians refused agendas to roll back privatisation, and with the new media discourse, they could ignore them. This way of treating the democratic deficit predictably created distrust and frustration.

Simultaneously, the reformed Nazis were portrayed as underdogs. Although considered as right-wing bad-boys, historically not as bad as the Communists if establishment intellectuals are to be believed.

Recently a person of colour from Burundi was used as the last gesture of inclusion. She took the historical decision to collaborate with the reformed Nazis as the leader of the Swedish Liberals. The Liberals had previously maintained vocal resistance against cooperation, and thus blocking right-wing rule with support from the reformed Nazis. Once she had fulfilled her mission, she was replaced shortly thereafter in view of unsatisfactory approval ratings. The new leader was subsequently introduced as a rather traditional dominant Swedish male.

These phases amount to a successful strategy to transform politics by fragmentation of the constituency; marginalisation of class-based politics; and continuation of a neo-liberal experiment – a corrupt hybrid which has generated inequality and segregation with the very institutions that once worked for the opposite. These reforms created a playing field which reproduces conditions favouring hard-line right-wing politics.

The second pivotal role of the reformed Nazis is NATO, as they follow the mood swings of the majority in true populist fashion. Once against, but now open for membership as security and warmongering is the new normal. This move also increases cohesion in the right-wing block.

Remark: Rasmus Paludan (Hard Line) is to my knowledge not convicted for child abuse. He has not denied his sex-chat with kids but denies criminal acts. The term paedophilia used here is thus not necessarily what a court of law may consider relevant in order to deliver justice. The criteria employed rather is: Would his acts get him killed or injured, with positive probability, by parents of a randomly selected group? The answer likely varies across socio-cultural segments of society and scenarios affecting liability. The estimated total probability/share may thus differ.

Other Honourable Mentions: MeToo-type scandals showing work-place harassment of sexual nature is widespread also at the higher echelons of society. It is evident that one does not need to be particularly religious or jealous to worry or feel indignation. A crusade against a small subset of Muslim women for not wanting to shake hands took place in connection to these revelations.


[1] The horrific intentional mass killings under the Stalin Era amounted to roughly one million, according to the best estimates to date that I am aware of (Wheatcroft, 1996). Swedish propaganda by media and tenured academics inflated these figures to tens of millions. I think it ridicules victims on all sides, degrading them to the stuff of petty demagoguery. There are also two million premature deaths under captivity, but these figures include Nazis on a quest of extermination against Russia at the time. These numbers exclude the about 3.5 million who perished in famine, as serious contemporary historians reject this phenomenon as an intentional act from Stalin. (see e.g. Wheatcroft, 2018). Stephen G. Wheatcroft is professor of the School of Historical Studies, University of Melbourne

[2] The evidence supporting this claim is common knowledge as it is everywhere in newspapers and a known feature of Swedish history. This section is about invoking sequences of common-knowledge to solve historical puzzles.

Updated with comment 2022-04-26 06:26

Published by Manuel Echeverría

Licentiate of Philosophy. Independent Researcher.

One thought on “Swedish Police Riots 2022

  1. The legal situation at hand is remarkably simple in view of praxis: Police should give permission for public gatherings if they do not break the law, and law & order can be guaranteed. Negative decisions can then be scrutinised with proper procedures and debated in democratic fashion. The police failed miserably in their judgement and actions.
    This stance does not imply sensitive events should be forbidden/denied/dispersed by default or neglect the law. Nor does it imply criminal actions by rioters should be overlooked.

    Liked by 1 person

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