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Demonstrations Across France, Riot in Norrköping

April 14-20, 2022 | Issue 4 - EUCOM

Martyna Dobrowolska, Benjamin Brooks, Pètra van de Gevel, EUCOM Team

Léopold Maisonny, Editor; Demetrios Giannakaris, Senior Editor


Rasmus Paludan burning Quran in Sweden[1]


Date: April 16, 2022

Location: France

Parties involved: French Presidential Candidate Marine Le Pen; French President Emmanuel Macron; Anti-far-right protesters; French government; French police; French citizens

The event: Thousands of anti-far-right protesters marched across France to show their opposition to Le Pen. Many people declared during the protests that they did not feel represented by either Le Pen or Macron. However, people are willing to vote for Macron to prevent Le Pen from becoming the new French President. In Paris, a few clashes between police and protesters occurred at the end of the march.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Demonstrations across France will very likely continue amid the presidential election, very likely resulting in supporters of both candidates verbally and physically confronting each other. Clashes between protesters and the French police and acts of vandalism against stores will very likely occur, likely resulting in pre-election instability in France. The French police will very likely be unable to monitor all the demonstrations, likely being unable to prevent further incidents from occurring.

Date: April 18, 2022

Location: Norrköping, Sweden

Parties involved: Rasmus Paludan, leader of Danish far-right political party Hard Line; Protesters; Far-right groups; Swedish police; Swedish general public; Muslim and non-Muslim Swedish population; Swedish government

The event: Three people were injured in Norrkoping during a riot between predominantly Muslim protesters and the Swedish police after Paludan, who had permission to hold a series of demonstrations in Sweden, publicly burned the Quran. The Quran burnings resulted in a series of destructive riots, where cars were set ablaze, with the police and protesters clashing several times over the weekend.[3] The clashes with police are spreading to cities highly populated by Muslims, such as Linköping and Malmö.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Support for Muslim communities will likely decrease due to the destruction caused by the riots, likely decreasing social cohesion in Sweden. An increase in violent altercations between protesters and the police will almost certainly occur as conflict surrounding the burning of the Quran is unlikely to be resolved in the coming weeks, likely increasing violence and unrest in Sweden.

  • The violence from Muslim protesters will almost certainly increase far-right activity in Sweden, very likely increasing the use of anti-Muslim propaganda by far-right political parties like Hard Line. Far-right groups will very likely harass or assault the Muslim communities in the cities of Linköping and Malmö, likely resulting in Muslim communities reciprocating. This will very likely increase instability in Sweden, likely prompting the Swedish government to adopt police patrolling across the country.


 

The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)


[1]Rasmus Paludan burning quran” by FunkMonk licensed under Creative Commons

[2] French election: Thousands protest against far-right ahead of presidential run-off, Euronews, April 2022, https://www.euronews.com/2022/04/16/french-election-thousands-protest-against-far-right-ahead-of-presidential-run-off

[3] Three people injured in riots in Sweden, Reuters, April 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/three-people-injured-riots-sweden-2022-04-17/

[4] Sweden: three injured during protest against far-right rally, The Guardian, April 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/18/sweden-protests-three-injured-by-police-in-far-right-rally



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