The latest news from Malmö will come as no surprise to regular readers of Gates of Vienna. But what is surprising about it is that it was reported fairly and accurately in the Swedish MSM.
Is this a fluke, an editorial failure due to the supervisory staff of Dagens Nyheter being away on holiday? Or does it portend more honesty in Swedish reporting about cultural enrichment issues?
As a matter of interest, this article concerns the very same location that we visited back in May on our day-trip safari from Copenhagen. Ramels väg looks quite different in the daytime, but you can see the scars on the dumpsters and the melted sections in the asphalt where the nightly fires take place.
Our Swedish correspondent Henrik W. has kindly translated the article in question, and includes this prefatory note:
Sometimes the MSM throws us a curve ball and gives us an article where the blinders that seem so rigid in normal MSM reporting are off.
It happens surprisingly often during the summer vacation, and there’s been speculation to the effect that it’s the work of summer temps who simply don’t know the code of silence that normally surrounds reporting about issues associated with multicultural society.
Whatever the reason, this article is amazing, being published in Sweden’s largest daily Dagens Nyheter, and about as open and honest about the problems facing Swedish society in Rosengård and Malmö as you could possibly hope for. In particular, pay attention to the institutional helplessness and inability to deal with the problems displayed by everyone who represents the society in any way in general, and in particular the amount of abuse that Swedish police are willing to accept from “youths”.
And the article itself:
The police work three shifts to keep the peace in Rosengård- - - - - - - - -
MALMÖ. For two months the police have been working around the clock patrolling Herrgården, the area of Rosengård most afflicted by arson and attacks on firefighters and policemen.
“If we don’t stop immigration to Malmö, we’ve only seen the beginning of this,” says researcher Aje Carlbom.
On the 7th of May there was another fire in Rosengård. A warehouse that the fire brigade had doused the same night was ablaze again twelve hours later.
“It was no old embers that were smouldering,” said a resigned firefighter. “Someone’s used lots of lighter fluid to rekindle this fire.”
Behind the warehouse another firefighter stood on a ladder quenching the fire with a water hose. A bit further away a group of twenty or so youths were standing. A boy of around 13 years of age pulled out a stone from his pocket. He was dressed in a grey cap and a red jacket. He looked around, moved a bit behind the others and threw the stone at the firefighter. The boy missed, hitting the tin roof with a ringing sound right next to the firefighters’ head. Those who watched the boy during these events saw him turn away, instantly pulling off his cap stuffing it, into his pocket, and showing up in another place among the youths, only now without his jacket.
The police have not been able to arrest anyone, either for the arson or for the attacks on the police and the firefighters after the riots in Rosengård that peaked just before Christmas.
“No, it’s a hopeless task,” says Börje Aronsson, chief of police in Rosengård. “The guilty know their ’hoods well. They can vanish into a cellar and appear in a doorway down the street in different clothes. Or hide among other youths. If we catch someone we think is guilty, proving something to the satisfaction of a court is very difficult. Many are also too young to be sentenced.”
The warehouse fire on the 7th of May was the 250th that the Jägersro fire brigade has fought this year in Rosengård. 180 of the fires were classified as arson, of which 42 were in buildings and 138 elsewhere, such as in waste bins.
But ever since the boy in the red jacket threw his stone nobody has attacked firefighters in Rosengård. Because on that very same day the Police Commissioner in Malmö decided to upgrade Herrgården to “special event” status, That means police from the whole of Skåne [the Swedish province of which Malmö is the major city] are called in to patrol Herrgården around the clock, on foot, from cars, and on horseback.
“Ever since, we haven’t had a single instance of violence or threats against my personnel,” says Attila Jensen, chief of the Jägersro fire brigade.
Three weeks before the police initiated their campaign, Attila Jensen decided about an equally exceptional measure at the fire brigade headquarters.
“We decided not to go on alarms from Rosengård, unless it was fires with a clear risk of spreading. My firefighters simply had enough of threats and violence.”
The straw that broke the camels back came on April 7th.
“We were dousing burning waste containers in Rosengård. Suddenly one of the firefighters discovered that someone had cut gashes in the water hose. That was a sharp line that we felt had been crossed, but you almost have to be a firefighter to understand why.
“Our entire professional role is to do good and help people in distress. To meet with threats and violence is as arduous a psychic burden as the physical threat. After that event all the firefighters have been to a psychology seminar about threats and violence. I hope the seminar makes our personnel feel better when they go home from work.”
In the fire station kitchen, seven firefighters are gathered around the coffee table when Dagens Nyheter visits the station. A depressed feeling spreads around the table when Rosengård is brought up.
“Has none of you felt the urge to turn the hose on the miscreants?”
At first the firefighters don’t respond, sitting and watching each other. Then they erupt in laughter, as if caught out.
“If one of us had been hurt we probably would. But you never have the time to see who’s throwing. The kids are very nice when you talk to them. Then you turn your back and suddenly the hose is slashed.”
One of the 40 firefighters serving has had enough.
“I’ve asked for a transfer,” says Jörgen Söderlund. “I like it here, but I’m fed up with Rosengård. Going out to put out four containers a day and being met with that attitude.
“It’s been quiet for two months now, but the moment the police are withdrawn, it’ll start again. I’m sure of it.”
There’s a police station in Rosengård. But the special police command for Herrgården is situated at the Shell gas station that was attacked during the riots last Christmas. There is a tree, four or five patrol cars here, and a huge RV in the middle. Eight depressed policemen are sitting inside when Dagens Nyheter knocks on the door. Another two are on the way in. They’ve been assigned from Kristianstad, Laholm and Helsingborg [cities in Skåne], because the Malmö force is unable to man this station alone.
“Do you feel you do something important here?”
A long silence.
“Well, perhaps you should answer,” one policeman finally says to another, and jokes about the politically correct answer they should be giving. Because nobody in the big RV thinks they’re doing anything of importance with this around-the-clock assignment.
“If you speak with the public here in Herrgården, they think we do an important thing,” says Anna who serves under the local Rosengård police command. “They hardly dared to leave their apartments before. But the problems that are here, those we’re only pushing ahead of us.”
After a while the seven female and three male policemen start talking. They prefer not to be named in the paper.
“This massive police presence has had some effect, but where are the rest of the social institutions?” asks a police officer from Helsingborg. “This campaign costs many millions. And how much does it help if the schools, the social services and the parents are not engaged?”
“Is the assignment counter-productive?”
“Perhaps that’s going too far, but I’ve been thinking the thought. If you look a certain way you’ll get stopped for a police check. If someone is checked 17 times in a row, that’s not very much fun for him. And then our presence could very well be counter-productive. The anger grows instead of lessening. When you ask the guys in Rosengård why they throw stones at the police, the answer is always the same:
“‘The police bully us, they persecute us, they hit us.’
“Often, they’ll tell you a story of some friend who’s been in trouble with us.”
“They’re not exactly boy scouts, the guys we check on,” says Anna. It’s not like we can say “stop throwing stones and we’ll stop checking on you”.
On their way through Herrgården the first police patrol for the evening meets three men from Iraq.
“We are so grateful you are here, they tell us,” showering the police with praise. “We hope you’ll go on having many police here.”
Dagens Nyheter is welcome to photograph the men, but when asked for names, they become worried.
“We have children, and these guys, those who are making trouble, are dangerous. We don’t dare to give you our names.”
“Shouldn’t you adults help with keeping order around here?”
“We don’t dare. But every time there’s a fire in Herrgården it pains me here,” says one of the men and presses his right hand to his heart.
Outside the local grocery shop, as always, the youths gather as evening falls. Two of the female police try to talk to them. It’s not going very well.
The police aren’t popular. And the two policemen who are checking two cars and their criminal owners right next to the spot don’t help. The youths see it as another proof of police persecution. The policewomen have trouble sounding genuinely friendly when they’re called “f***ing whore” and “f***ing c**t” as soon as they turn their backs. They’ve been here enough to understand it, even in Arabic.
At midnight Fia from Kristianstad goes a last round with two colleagues through the area.
A group of youths are sitting at a playground and Fia sits down and tries to talk with a young man.
“I want restitution, he says. I want redress from those who called us monkey devils.” [during the Rosengård riots, mass media made a big story out of the fact that a policemen called the protestors “apadjävlar”, or monkey devils.]
“I can understand that,” says Fia. “But it wasn’t I who said that. I would never say such a thing.”
Just as Fia and the young man seem to be establishing some sort of understanding, a tough guy comes and sits down between them. He’s angry with Fia because he lost his driving license while waiting for a drug test.
“I wasn’t using, and I still lost my driver’s license. Typical police bullying.”
Fia tries to explain that that’s what the law says, and that the law applies to everybody. Then another young man jumps in, eager to inflame the situation. He wants to stop Dagens Nyheter from taking pictures, and he wants everyone who hates the police to raise their hands. But this warm evening the youths don’t feel like pushing any further.
Some nights later the tough guys won out. 15-30 youths attacked a patrol car with stones, a windshield was broken, and a container was set on fire. That was on Wednesday night.
“This contest in machismo, in manliness, is one of the causes of riots in Rosengård,” says Aje Carlbom. He’s a social anthropologist at the Malmö College and lived in Rosengård for three years to write his PhD thesis.
“A forgotten cause of the vandalism is the complex combination of culture and manliness in Rosengård. The boys are in a situation where different interests try to compete for their ideal of manhood. To show aggressiveness, courage, and to “fight the man” is a way to show that you are a enough of a man, belonging with the other men.
“Many families want their boys to adapt to the norms of patriarchy and become authorities that provide for and decide over women and children. Moslem congregations want them to adapt to religious norms. Criminal gangs offer fast cash. Finally the school and social services want to impart Swedish values about gender equality to the boys.”
Aje Carlbom thinks the Swedish values come dead last in the competition for the attention of the boys.
“The Swedish norms offer a very fussy image of what an admirable man is or should be.
“What happens when society can’t live up to the expectations of these guys?
“They see society as weak. Firefighters aren’t allowed to turn their hoses on stone throwers, but perhaps they should do so anyway. As an experiment. These boys need to face stiffer opposition.”
“Show more seriousness. The boys meet no consequences for their acts today. Even youths should be arrested in order to show clearly where the limits are. Schools should employ zero tolerance concerning, for instance, insults to girls.
“If you seek acceptance for a multicultural, diverse society among the broad masses, you have to show that you are on top of the situation. Unless you do that, there will be an uprising against multiculturalism.”
“Most people think these riots are caused by exclusion, unemployment and poverty…?”
“I have a very hard time seeing that connection. There are many unemployed but a vanishing minority that goes out throwing stones. I don’t know how much the Intifada and the uprising in Gaza inspires the stone throwers. Unfortunately, nobody’s done any research on the subject.”
“Many think the subject is too sensitive to research. In Sweden, many people show a immense tolerance toward the intolerance of the immigrants, but no tolerance at all for native Swedish intolerance. One can be tolerated, not the other. It is strange.”
“How can the problems be solved?”
“The more immigrants that come to Malmö, the larger the market for various ethnic products and extreme interpretations of Islam. It becomes ever easier to live as back home even if you live in Sweden.
“Segregation must be broken. The only way to do so is to stop the further inflow of immigrants to Malmö. But nobody in our political system supports that. What we see now is just the beginning. It will become worse.”
— Ole Rothenborg