Swedish youth politicians speak about events in Norway

“The worst that could happen is that we get a more supervised society”

Memorial for victims in Norway, Linkoping – Sweden

One week after the tragic events in Norway, politically active youths were gathered on the main square of one of the biggest cities in Sweden, Linkoping. “Norway is the country that feels closest to us in most things, so I really feel this in my heart”, says chairman of Swedish Social Democratic Youth League (SSU) in the district of Linkoping, Sweden, Lisa Enquist. SSU arranged an event to honor the victims in Norway on the market square of Linkoping. They invited people to light candles on the ground of the square. About five hundred people attended.

Lisa Enquist says “it is not the time yet to start a public discussion about the factors causing the events in Norway. This is the time to mourn and honour the victims. Today we want to show that we are against intolerance”. When asked what she thinks is the way to prevent that something similar happens in her own country Sweden, she says “We need to continue saying no to xenophobia and racism in all their forms, and fight against extremism that advocate violence”.

Carin Carlsson, chairman of the conservative Moderate Youth League, attended with a group of peers at the event, organized by their political

Memorial in Sweden

adversaries in SSU. “We want to show sympathy for the victims and their families but also support all other youth who work for freedom and democracy” he said. “What all the victims in Utoya, Norway, fought for, regardless of their political affiliation, is that we all want a democratic world where all people fit. We stand up for freedom and democracy and that fight continues. That’s perhaps the most important we can do to honor the victims in Norway”.

We asked Carin if she thinks the weapon laws should be changed. “I assume that a revision of the gun laws will be made now. However, I think the most important thing is that we don’t begin to shut ourselves in, but rather open up even more. The worst that can happen is that we would begin to live in a more supervised and tougher society”.

Also a couple of representants from the Sweden Democrats, known for wanting to restrict allowance for foreigners to enter Sweden, were present at the memorial event.

– I want to show compassion, to oppose incidents like the one in Norway and to show solidarity with the victims and their families, says Christian Nordin Olsson, Vice President of the Sweden Democrats in Linkoping.

– I was both frightened and disgusted that something like this could happen at all. When it happens so close to us, we realize that we are not protected against such events even in the North.

Christian Nordin Olsson. Photo by Urban Skargren

Christian Nordin Olsson is aware that some people might criticize far-right parties after the incidents in Norway but thinks it is immature.

– It’s very easy to start a collective punishment, but if you look at the manifest that Anders Behring Breivik published, he admires all sorts of ideologies, and praises Mao Zedong and even Stalinist ideas. It is also clear that he supports LGBT issues and even calls himself an anti-racist, so if one wants to “pick on a collective” you could pick on basically any movement.

We ask Christian if he believes in the equal right of all people.
– Yes, absolutely, he says.

By Urban Skargren