On the Swedish “Riots”: Megafonen speaks about Husby

Sweden_police

Κείμενο της αριστερής ομάδας Megafonen. Στο κείμενο φαίνεται πώς το “αθέμιτο” της διεκδίκησης επεκτείνεται πέρα από το ζήτημα του μισθού. Οι Megafonen έφτιαξαν ένα “ταμείο” στο οποίο μπορεί ο καθένας να καταθέτει χρήματα υπέρ των “πληγέντων από τις ταραχές”.

Δες και το ντοκυμανταίρ τους για την αποτυχία των διεκδικητικών αγώνων στα προάστια εδώ

Husby besieged by police officers. Go home? This IS our home

The effect of the police murder of 69-year-old man in Husby on Monday 13th May arrived today: a conflict between the cops and local citizens after four cars were burned in the evening.

Whatever we do, the police and the mainstream media will brand it as “mindless chaos”, this is what has always been written about the suburbs and its people, but actually it was a protest against Monday’s killings. This is absolutely NOT a coincidence, this is not an isolated riot. This is the only way to express frustration when other democratic avenues are closed. Those organising with us know that peaceful demonstrations have been held but the dialogue has been left unanswered. Police investigating their own and declare that no error has occurred, even though the truth is simple: what happened on Monday was the murder of one of our neighbours.

A foul odour of toxic smoke spread through the residential area and led many of us to come out, we came on to Husby streets out of curiosity, where we were met by masked police in helmets with dogs and batons drawn. The police went on the attack against the residents who had gathered in the square. Defenceless people were beaten with batons and chased away from their own area. We simply no longer entitled to stay where we wanted, outside our own homes. We had no right to question police methods when their response was to run after us again and again from several different directions with their dogs and batons. Without discrimination the  police beat our young people, parents gathered and the district’s own field assistants. People who chose to debate, argue and demonstrate against police violence now had batons thrown at them. This is when it became clear that the police’s violence was directed against all of us in Husby.

We, Megaphone and others from the area have tried to use other methods, we have used our democratic rights to gain a hearing and ask the police to be held to account. As recently as Wednesday 15th May, we held a demonstration outside the police headquarters in Kista, with up to 100 participants where we later marched towards Husby and held a minute’s silence at the square for the deceased. Here, we submitted our demands for an independent investigation and a public apology from the police. We have not heard of either the police or other authorities since.

We know that the riots today grew out of the frustration that is where people are constantly being ignored, they feel diminished and become silenced in all the same hang. Reactions tonight is a result of police brutality in our area.

We in Megaphone understand our area’s reaction, and we can explain Husby’s revolt is a response to police brutality against citizens, our neighbours. Megaphone is a constructive force, and our solution is to develop social programs in our areas. Events like this can only be prevented through equal opportunities for all – regardless of residence or migration status.

We believe in other methods of resistance, but our areas can explode when these incidents occur. We are committed to social change through regeneration of our area and politicians must understand this. They have to listen to us, the people. If they do it seriously, we can avoid similar situations in the future.

We demand social justice, they respond with batons and dogs.
They say “Go home.” This IS our home. And we defend it.
As long as our streets are filled with adrenaline-filled policemen with loaded guns, we go nowhere.
We stand up for our city.

A unified suburb can never be defeated.

/ Megaphone (megafonen)

Originally published in this press release, translated  from Swedish to English 

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