[Marxism] Stockholm is burning

Juan Andres Gallardo juanagallardo at gmail.com
Mon May 27 09:44:59 MDT 2013


Fourth day of disturbances by young immigrants
Stockholm is burning

by : Diego Sacchi
Saturday 25 May 2013

The news that arrives from Sweden is usually associated with the
presentation of the Nobel Prize or the “quality” of life of its population,
in a country frequently presented by right wingers as an example of
civility. But, for four days, the poor districts of Stockholm, the capital
of this Nordic country, have been a scene of a riot by young people, mostly
immigrants or children of immigrants, that reminds one of the acts that
took place some years ago in Paris and other places in France. In the
suburb of Husby (on the outskirts of Stockholm) is the center of a riot by
young people who, with the burning of cars, attacks on public places, and
confrontations with the police and firefighters, are showing their
discontent. On the fourth day, the confrontations began to spread to other
districts (like Kista, Rinkeby, Jakobsberg or Norsborg).

The flame that ignited the fire was the murder of a 69 year old man in
Husby by the police. The disturbance by the young plebeian immigrants is
the response to the permanent harassment and repression by the police and
an expression of the living conditions in the poorest districts. In Husby,
85% of the young people are immigrants or children of foreigners, 20% do
not work or study, and, compared with Swedish young people, where the
unemployment figures are around 6%, for the immigrants, unemployment
reaches 15%. As one social organization of the area expresses it,
“Unemployment, the poor schools, and structural racism underlie the reasons
for what is happening right now.”

The statements of the Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, declining
all responsibility and calling on the population of those districts to
combat the disturbances, awakened protest from different groups of society.
The leader of the Moderate Party (that forms part of the European Popular
Party [2 <http://www.ft-ci.org/article.php3?id_article=6414?lang=en#nb2>],
beside the PP that governs Spain, or Angela Merkel’s German CDU) is
attempting to remove all responsibility, when the disturbances are the
expression of the lack of health care, education, work and of the
ever-worsening living conditions in these outlying areas of the city. At
the same time, he gives free rein so that the police, accused of being
racist and repressive by the young people of these districts, will act to
restore “order.” For their part, the Swedish far-right, of the Swedish
Democrats, has used the situation to request the state of emergency and the
curfew in the area, and to accuse the immigrants of being responsible for
the situation. In the style of the European far right, like the French
National Front, Golden Dawn in Greece, or the growing UKIP of Great
Britain, they make the immigrants responsible for the aftermath of the
economic crisis, the growth of social inequality, and unemployment, seeking
to divide the workers and the poor into the native-born and the foreigners,
while they conceal the fact that the crisis was produced by the imperialist

The disturbances by the young immigrants are a reaction to the conditions
that they experience every day. Millions have to emigrate from their own
countries, escaping from the hyper-exploitation to which they are subjected
by the imperialist firms (as was seen recently with the massacre in
Bangladesh) or from poverty and war. In the European countries, they have
been holding the worst jobs, subjected to higher rates of exploitation,
with worse wages than the native-born workers. With the economic crisis,
they are the first to lose their jobs, to be discriminated against, and to
lack any social benefit. Xenophobia and racism are used by the bourgeoisie
to divert the hatred of the exploited towards the immigrant workers and to
attempt to divide the ranks of the workers between “native-born” and
“immigrants” and create a reactionary national unity.

The first response to this must come from the workers and their
organizations, demanding equal rights, the “legalization” of all the
immigrants and the cessation of police repression. A fundamental solution
that will guarantee equality, the struggle against racism and xenophobia,
can only arrive if the working class takes these demands into its own hands
in the context of confronting the control of the imperialist bourgeoisie,
by setting out a revolutionary solution.

May 23, 2013

*Translated by Yosef M.*


[1 <http://www.ft-ci.org/article.php3?id_article=6414?lang=en#nh1>]
Statement from Megafonen and its role in the disturbances in the suburbs

[2 <http://www.ft-ci.org/article.php3?id_article=6414?lang=en#nh2>]

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