Egg throwing met Wilders
(Source: Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet October 28, 2012)
Also see my previous article “Dutch far-right politician comes to Sweden.”
It was messy in Malmö, south of Sweden, when the Dutch politician Geert Wilders held his lecture yesterday. Protesters threw eggs and bottles at the visitors and tried to force their way into the meeting room. Simultaneously, both the audience and protesters were less than expected.
The risk of disturbances in connection with the controversial politician’s visit to the city was considered imminent. Wilders has a general threat against him and the police had prepared themselves with a police operation as extensive as at a football game at high risk, to ensure that the lecture could be held without violence occurred.
The 49-year old Geert Wilders is the founder and leader of the Netherlands’ third largest party, the Freedom Party (Partij Voor de Vrijhejd,) and outspoken critics of Islam. He is described as a figurehead in the anti-Muslim movement and was invited by the Freedom of the Press Society (Tryckfrihetssällskapet) with lectures, discussions and book signing.
Over 300 people who had registered to attend, was expected to arrive at Kockum Leisure (Kockum Fritid) in the Western Harbour in Malmö where Wilders was to speak at 2 pm. The number of visitors was considerably less. According to the police not more than 125 people showed up.
– We had expected more. Both the audience and protesters, says Ewa Gun Westford, information officer at Skåne police, who put the number of demonstrators at between 150-200 individuals.
When the audience arrived at the venue, uproar erupted.
– They tried to disrupt those who entered the lecture by throwing eggs and cans. A lady was hit by an egg and two men got egg on their costumes. I got some on my legs, says Ewa Gun Westford, who says that demonstrators also were blowing into whistles and chanted slogans.
– They were chanting the usual “No Nazis on our streets.”
Some protesters tried to get into the room but was stopped by police who formed a chain in front of the entrance. One protester was taken into custody by police. After the lecture, Wilders was escorted to Kastrup airport, according to Sydsvenskan.
Inger Carlqvist, journalist and founder of the Freedom of the Press Society, believes that the low number of visitors depends on two things:
– First, it was probably many that had applied and when they saw the left extremists throwing eggs and shouting unpleasant things, they turned around and walked away, and there were probably a number of fake notifications to fill up the meeting.
After all, she describes the meeting as a “great success.”
– We streamed the meeting live and it was seen by 7,500 people, she said.
When the participants would left the room, the demonstrators had already left.
– Perhaps they were freezing. When they had stood and behaved badly for a few hours, they dropped off one by one. When the meeting was over, it was completely empty outside, says Inger Carlqvist.
© 2012 Jonathan Axelsson
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