Below is an open letter from a politician who left the southern Swedish city of Malmö for the country in order to spare his daughter all the diversity.
Farewell Sofielund — here I saw a man being shot dead
Farewell, my old, beloved Sofielund. Farewell, Möllan, where I played as a boy, and where I took my first steps into adult life. Farewell, exciting East Malmö, with all its fine restaurants and other shops offering good prices. I also say farewell to shootings, graffiti and gross damages.
During my fifteen years as a neighbour to Seved [neighbourhood in eastern Malmö, near Rosengård], I became an eyewitness to a man’s final steps in life, after he was shot in the head. My living room window was smashed twice, and I was burgled once. I have heard so many shots fired that I can tell if it was a pistol or a revolver. Additionally, we saw how drug trafficking came ever closer to my street, and then began to occur quite openly in my street, after police introduced CCTV. Only recently, teargas was shot into an apartment, because the festival being celebrated was too noisy.
That my move was less than two months ago feels somewhat surrealistic. After a seven-minute car drive from the Seved chaos, there is a totally different Malmö. I quite understand that other politicians have problems comprehending the problems in Seved, if they live in an area such as the one I live in now.
Of course, you may consider my move a cowardly act, and think I should have stayed, to fight for a better East Malmö. All those who know my political actions also know that I always have fought for lifting up Sofielund and Seved, but none of the politicians responsible listened, and now we harvest the crop. At the same time, I refuse to risk my daughter in order to prove a point. When my beloved daughter was five years old, she could swim 500 metres in one go, but she could not ride a bicycle. Where in this area should we let her ride a bike?
Now we just open the door, and she runs outside like a whirlwind, to visit some of the friends she made here. Thus, farewell to East Malmö. I continue to work for you, but can no longer live inside you.
John Roslund (M)
Deputy, Municipal Council
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