Diversity Macht Frei
May 5, 2016
A photograph of Tess Asplund, 42, with fist raised against the shaven-headed leadership of the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) in Borlänge, central Sweden, on Sunday has gone viral in the country.
“It was an impulse. I was so angry, I just went out into the street,” Asplund told the Guardian. “I was thinking: hell no, they can’t march here! I had this adrenaline. No Nazi is going to march here, it’s not okay.”
Asplund’s lone protest comes at a time when the far-right in Sweden is increasing its activities, according to Daniel Poohl of Expo, the anti-racist foundation in Stockholm, whose photographer David Lagerlöf captured the image.
The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party polls between 15% and 20% and holds the balance of power in parliament, while racist sentiments are fuelled by a fragmented landscape of internet hate sites. The avowedly antisemitic National Socialists of the NRM are the extreme wing of this spectrum, Poohl says.
… The NRM is known for targeting anti-racists, says Asplund. “I have friends who have been attacked by them and who have had to change their address. I have had calls at night from private numbers, screaming at me. It is hard to talk about the hate,” she says.
“I feel ashamed that we have this problem. The police say it is a democratic country, so they can demonstrate. But these are Nazis! It is horrible.” Asplund, who describes herself as Afro-Swedish, is unemployed, and active in the group Afrophobia Focus. Sweden was identified by the UN last year as having a particular problem with afrophobia, defined as hostility towards people with a background from sub-Saharan Africa.
It’s not OK for Swedes to express their opinion about being turned into an ethnic minority. An unemployed Afro-Swedish Afrophobia expert denies you permission.