In the late evening on the 8th of March several left-wing activists were attacked in central Malmö by members of the fascist Svenskarnas Parti (Swedes Party). They were on their way home after having taken part in an International Women’s Day demonstration against violence against women. The attack took place immediately after the demonstration. One person is now in intensive care with serious head injuries and a further three have suffered knife injuries of various severity. The Nazis had been searching for potential victims the entire evening in the vicinity of the demonstration, in other words, the attack was not a coincidence.
This is not the first incident of such kind: the far-right violence against leftists has been growing of recent in Sweden as well as in Ukraine. In January, two men attacked a 16-year-old activist of the youth organization of the Social Democratic Party, they warned her to not promote her political views. In other cities the Nazis were watching the demonstrations on March 8, identifying individual activists.
The seriously injured 25 year old activist, who is currently being cared for in a sedated state in hospital, is a leading figure in the fight against racism and homophobia in the football world, a member of the revolutionary syndicalist union SAC and a devoted supporter of Malmö FF. He also helped to found ”Football fans against homophobia” organization. Based on this, his picture has been recently hung out on the Swedes Party linked website ‘Realisten’.
According to witnesses at the scene, a high ranking member of the Swedes Party – Andreas Carlsson was seen attacking feminists with a knife. Earlier this year he along with other members of the Swedes Party has travelled down to Kiev as ”Ukrainafrivilliga” (Ukraine Volunteers) to support the Svoboda party’s efforts in taking power. According to his report, some of the delegation’s participants have stayed, in order ”to enlist in the Ukrainian army” (probably referring to Maidan Self-Defence), while others, including Carlsson returned to Sweden only a few days before the 8th of March.
Interestingly enough, in his recent interview Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has said that “Svoboda” is the party of ‘European Democrats who work for our values”. Swedish left-wing activists firmly believe, it was this tolerance to the fascist parties, that gave the signal for the Swedes Party, that their violence will be tolerated by the public. Obviously, they could not but be inspired by the widespread presence of “Svoboda” and other far-right groups on Maidan, where those were able to impose their own ideological hegemony upon the apolitical citizens.
Ukrainian Nazi are so “grown-up” that they teach their Swedish colleagues. Feminist actions have been a dangerous occupation in Ukraine for quite a long time. For example, our comrades were attacked on the 8th of March, 2012, by the members of the neo-Nazi group “C14” that has close ties with “Svoboda”. They later attacked the demonstration of the left and liberal activists that took place on the 8th of December, 2012. The number of attacks has increased rapidly over the last year. Most of the victims are the members of the “Direct Action” student union. One of the Autonomous Workers’ Union members was also seriously injured. It is symptomatic that feminist demands caused the first cases of the far-right aggression on Maidan: the ultra-rights found the posters demanding equal pay and more kindergartens “provocative” and attacked the left feminists.
We are far from repeating Russian propaganda that all Maidan’s supporters are Nazis. Moreover, recent polls data give the reasons for optimism: despite the frantic self-PR, the leaders of “Svoboda” and “Right Sector” have an extremely low presidential rating. Most of the workers did not buy into the nationalist propaganda (constantly disseminated by the metropolitan intelligentsia). But it is clear to us that it would be wrong to dismiss and forget about the presence of the far-right in the Parliament, government and police forces. This presence is a serious threat to the entire society. In the coming months, the Nazis will help their senior partners in government in carrying out the neoliberal “deforms”, intimidating all the progressive forces that would attempt to resist them. Such were the historical functions of fascism: helping the capitalists to tighten the belts of the working class and neutralizing any resistance. Russian aggression is an additional “helping hand”, as it forces many workers to line up behind an unpopular nationalist-neoliberal government, throwing the workers into the arms of the politicians whom they would never trust in the “normal” situation.
Similarly to Ukraine, the rising wave of the ultra-right violence is being ignored in Sweden, it is brushed aside as some “internal squabbles of the marginals”. The price of such tolerance is a further shift of the society to the right. This phenomenon is common for Ukraine and European countries with the parties of the “neo-Fascism in a double-breasted suit” like the Hungarian “Jobbik” or the Greek “Golden Dawn” – close partners of the Ukrainian “Svoboda”. While expanding political terror in the streets, they are running for parliament and gain more and more real power, making a good use of the support from mainstream liberals.