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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 February 2000

Sweden's YRE exposes racist hypocrisy

WHILE TWENTY heads of government and politicians from more than 50 countries attended a conference to discuss the Holocaust in Stockholm, Elevkampanjen, (Sweden's YRE - Youth Against Racism in Europe) mobilised thousands of school students in three demonstrations around the country.

Laurence Coates, Socialist Justice Party, Sweden

Hosting the conference was Swedish Social Democratic prime minister G-ran Persson. Elevkampanjen and other anti-racist organisations were determined to spoil the party and expose Persson's hypocrisy.

The real record of his government and the other governments participating has been to step up harassment of asylum seekers, speed up deportations and, in practice, carry out many of the demands of the far right.

1,500 marched in Stockholm, despite police refusing permission, chanting: "No more murders" and "Keep the fascists off our streets".

Leading the demo were the banners of Elevkampanjen, the CWI banner ("Smash the EU - For the Right of Asylum") and the CWI's Swedish section Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (RS - Socialist Justice Party). 93 copies of Offensiv (weekly paper of the Socialist Justice Party) were sold and 33 new members recruited to Elevkampanjen.

In the northern town of Luleċ two schools went on strike and the 1,000-strong demo was the biggest youth march the town has ever seen. The Luleċ demo was front-page news in the local newspaper NSD, who quoted at length from the speeches of Elevkampanjen and RS speakers. Metro in Stockholm also had Elevkampanjen on the front-page.

At the Stockholm demo, 16-year-old Caroline Evander spoke on behalf of RS. "The EU and the politicians have put up a wall to stop refugees coming here. We can't rely on G-ran Persson and the politicians". To applause she added: "young people aren't just against racism, we're against capitalism", a sentiment that was echoed by many of the speakers. The youngest speaker at the demo was 12-years old.

In Gothernburg, 200 took part in a demonstration later the same day. G-teborgs Posten quoted Tommy Lindqvist from RS: "They (the government) have a conference on the Holocaust and that sounds very promising but the immigration policy they've introduced has clear similarities with what they did during the Second World War."

In the 1930s Jews arriving in Sweden - having fled from Nazi Germany - were turned back.

The demonstrations once again confirm Elevkampanjen's increasing support and the growing left-wing mood in the schools.


TONY BLAIR, who attended the Stockholm conference, has designated 27 January next year to be Holocaust Memorial Day. This is Blair's commitment to oppose racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance. But this fine declaration does not square with New Labour's racist and intolerant Asylum Bill which will place more obstacles in the path of refugees feeing to Britain.

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In The Socialist 4 February 2000:

Student Protest Grows

Rail strike victory

Immigration - what's the problem?

Tobogganing towards disaster

Sweden's YRE exposes racist hypocrisy


 

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