Do the riot thing! - support the Fittja 10 (sweden)
During the last year, riots and arsons have spread through urban areas in Sweden. Youth in poorer communities have started fires and attacked firefighters and cops on arrival. The unrest is clearly linked to a discontent with the situation they face; the segregated cities, the poor living conditions in their areas, the discrimination they face in mainstream society. Wherever they go they carry their areas? reputation with them.
But the answer politicians come up with is always the same ? heavy policing and maybe, maybe some social programs to keep youth busy and off the streets.
In Fittja, an underprivileged community in the outskirts of Stockholm, unrest and riots broke out and went on for some nights after a police intervention at a youth center on Sunday 25th October.
The Tuesday after, one person was arrested and the following day riot police raided the apartment the person shares with others in Fittja, arresting another nine people. The following weekend they were all detained, charged with preparing an arson and one also for rioting.
Police and media from the beginning claimed that the arrested were ?known members of Antifascist Action? who had traveled to Fittja after the unrest begun. The ten are described as ?criminal adults? and ?troublemakers from the outside? and depicted as the ones responsible for the riots and the damages in the area.
Repeatedly parallels are drawn to the riots in Rosengård in Malmö last winter, following the eviction of a center run by various neighborhood initiatives. Some people came there to get help with their homework, others came there to pray. Now, the company owning the building said the center was to be replaced with a school to teach the residents how to live in an apartment(!). For a while, the center was squated by youth from the area. When they got evicted, anger and frustration mounted. Activists living close by, joined them to show their solidarity with the evicted youth, like they had before with autonomous social centers like the Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen.
And indeed the picture drawn up by the media then shows many similarities to the one that is displayed today, the one of autonomous activists from outside the area causing unrest and destruction in an already vulnerable area.
It?s simple media logic ? a scenario with easily identifiable scape goats makes for a good story. Reality doesn?t have much to do with it, it?s more of a backdrop to the story. However, the people behind the headlines are real and they need our support.
The 22. december the remaining two of Fittja10 were sentenced, one to five months and
a fine of 1000 sek, the other one to four months in prison. One of them
has been incarcerated since her arrest in October and will most likely
have to stay in jail until the beginning of her prison sentence.
(The incarcerated individual appealed the sentence and has already been released as of this posting!)
Solidaridad con lxs detenidxs de Fittja
Una intervención policial en un centro de jóvenes en Fittja, a las afueras de Estocolmo acabó en tres noches de conflictos. Ahora diez personas se encuentran detenidas, acusadas de preparar un incendio y uno de ellas también de disturbios.
Durante el año pasado, disturbios e incendios se han extendido por las zonas urbanas de Suecia. Jóvenes de barrios pobres han prendido fuego y atacado a bomberos y policías cuando estos llegan. Los conflictos tienen claramente algo que ver con una desilusión con la situación que les toca; las ciudades segregadas, las condiciones de pobreza en sus barrios, la discriminación que muestra la sociedad hacía ellos. En todas partes llevan su mala reputación encima.