Meetings in Rosengård ten years later

Image

Image

Yesterday evening at half past five journalist, debater and political chief editor at the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet/The Swedish Journal, Tove Lifvendahl was in Malmoe and the eastern suburb Rosengård to present her new book. “I rörelse: Möten i Rosengård 10 år senare”/In movement. Meetings in Rosengård 10 years later”. You see her in the photo above. Tove Lifvendahl has also been working as Senior Fellow at the liberal-green think smithy FORES, been Chief of Communications for Svenskt Näringsliv/Swedish Businesses and has been a Conservative politician. Ten years ago she lived for a while in the Malmoe suburb Rosengård and then interviewed 26 young people residing there about their background, good and bad experiences, life situations, dreams and ambitions. She then wrote the book: “Vem kastar första stenen: Om stenkastning och utlänningar på Rosengård”/Who throws the first stone: About stone throwing and foreigners in Rosengård. Since 2003 many things have happened, both good and bad. The situation in Rosengård isn’t easy. Some houses are neglected, prejudiced notions and hatred against immigrants flourish, high unemployment rates, but also ambition, lots of competent and intelligent people struggling to survive, and entrepreneurs of both sexes. The frustrating situation with unemployment, prejudiced notions, clashes of wills and cultures are complicating things. Now in 2013 Tove Lifvendahl comes with her sequel, “Meetings in Rosengård ten years later”. She has returned from her job in Stockholm to the now young adults in Rosengård and interviewed them again to see what has happened to them. Ten years ago they were teenagers many of them, and now more mature thinking young adults.

Last week I became friends on Facebook with Tove Lifvendahl and when I told her that I wanted to come to the book presentation she welcomed me. Yesterday afternoon I had been swimming to stay fit and afterwards went to Rosengård. As I arrived I met my former pupil Arbresha Momcilla, a now young woman who is working for the property manager MKB. Arbresha belongs to an Albanian family and I was teaching her and a few of her siblings in 1999 – 2004 when they were in lower-secondary school. It was nice to see her thriving and still ambitious. In the tent pitched up at Örtagårdstorget in central Rosengård a table was placed in one corner, and on it Lifvendahl’s books, some information leaflets about FORES, and food for the guests. I bought the latest book and Tove Lifvendahl signed it for me. I will with great interest read it. She had written on the commercial leaflet: “It’s a coincidence that looks like a thought that this piece in the debate about the society is released the same year as the Husby riots has been tormenting the country. But I would like to say this: If you want to understand why it’s burning in Husby the story about Rosengård 2003 is a good start. But if you want to know how to put the fires out, you will find more answers in Rosengård 2013”. Tove was walking around, talking to different guests, hugging people she knows, just as Arbresha gave me a hug when we met. My dedication and commitment to give her and the others quality those years ago seems to have left its trace.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Our Minister of Integration, Erik Ullenhag, (People’s Party the Liberals), also had come. This week he’s staying in Rosengård and is working from there to get a better insight into the suburb’s positive and negative aspects. It’s Ullenhag you see in the two photos above. Also his party fellow Jasenko Selimovic, State Secretary,  is standing beside Ullenhag in one photo laughing. I was discussing with Erik Ullenhag a little and also with Jasenko Selimovic. Ullenhag was discsussing different aspects of integration, infrastructure and the importance of including all groups, both young, middle-aged and elderly, the old Malmoe and the new – to easen the conflicts. In his close vicinity I saw a couple of body guards in suits and small microphones by the ear.

After about half an hour of mingling Heidi Avellan, chief editor of the newspaper Sydsvenskan/the South Swede, entered a small stage and told us about Tove’s book. MKB and FORES also had been important in arranging this book presentation, and Avellan began interviewing Tove about her authorship and how she had got the idea with the book project. Lifvendahl told us readily and she gave us good insight into her will to contribute with a true description of what life is like in places like these. After a little while Tove Lifvendahl wanted to introduce some of the interviewees from the book. The first one was Anna Heide, a competent and beautiful young woman who now is working as CSR Chief at the property management company MKB in Rosengård. She started with MKB as trainee in 2002, two years later she got more responsibility and is managing many houses and areas in Rosengård. In 2012-2013 she became the new CSR Chief in the area. Anna Heide and MKB in Rosengård are also involved in the project “Malmoe – The True Story”. Then Tove Lifvendahl invited some even younger adults whom she had interviewed both now and ten years ago: Mandana Lalézar, Sevil Misirli and Amir Al-istarabadi.

Image

Image

Image

Mandana is now working as group chief at IKEA and has been working with them during four years. Her parents came from Iran and when she was interviewed by Tove the first time she and Sevil were class mates in lower-secondary school at  Apelgårdsskolan in Rosengård. She had been the hardworking, ambitious type already back then, and couldn’t see herself as a problem kid, as the prejudiced people like to see her and her loved ones as. Sevil Mesirli with her roots in the Balkans has been working on a luxuary yacht, but was treated like a slave and very badly, and decided to quit. Now she’s working in Stavanger, Norway and she likes it. That’s where the jobs and the money is, she says. Amir Al-istarabadi was ten years ago one of the bad guys, a small time criminal, throwing stones, stealing, creating disturbance and really far out. In his late teens he got the right support, was seen by good adults and friends, given the right support and a second chanse. Today Amir is a youth coach, has studied sociology at University and is now an educated social worker.

After Heidi Avellan had interviewed them all Tove Lifvendahl invited even more people involved in the book project on to the stage. They had participated in one way or the other. Finally Tove went around the stage and gave each one of them a book each. When all that was completed she began signing books for those who so wanted. As I left to go back home I pondered upon how well some of them had been doing, and it made me glad. The problems in Rosengård are there no doubt, and there are many aspects that must be dealt with both among the families who live there, attitude problems,  the landlords who own the houses, the teachers and headmasters, but also by the police, the journalists, the Swedish society as such and our government. Erik Ullenhag as Minister of Integration and Jasenko Selimovic as State secretary have much to do and contribute with in order to make our society less problematic. We all have to participate in various ways. It’s our city, our province, our country and we all inhabit the same planet. Why not work on many levels similtanously? How would you like to contribute? If you want to comment my text, the situation, the future or the debate you might do that here or e-mail me at anders.moberg676@gmail.com

http://se.linkedin.com/pub/anders-%C3%A5-moberg/7b/569/32/

Anders Moberg, September 26th 2013

Image

Image

Image

Advertisements

A registration based on racism

Image

Two days ago something was revealed by the Malmoe journalist  Niklas Orrenius, now working for the newspaper Dagens Nyheter/the Daily News. The news created feelings of resentment, anger and protests in many parts of society. It was revealed that the Scanian police had a secret file containing 4029 Romany people. Then another file with almost 1000 another names. Then another. There are Romany people who commit crimes and for that reason are meant to be in the police files, as part of a crime investigation. The scandal was that the files were not based on actual crimes. It was simply a question of racial profiling.

A file called “Travellers” built by police officers on order by their bosses contained a charter and lists where the police had mapped out 4029 Romany families, not just criminals, but also many people who are unpunished and living on the right side of the law. They had written down names, adressses, ages, added photos etc and drawn lines between different people and families to mark who was related to who. Not just grown up people who were living in different parts of Sweden existed in the file, but also people who were born in the late 1800’s and now are dead. Also more than 1000 children, even very small children. Of the 4029 Romany people in the first file 733 live in Malmoe, 528 in Stockholm, 380 from Göteborg/Gothenburg and 165 in Lund, as well as in other places. The 52 youngest in that first  file are only two years old.  The registration is a huge family tree made in the computer programme “Analyst’s Notebook”.

This created an outrage in media, among Romanies, the Ministers in the Government were asked if they had had knowledge about this, and a deeploading investigation has been demanded by the red-green opposition parties, but also by various debaters, officials and organizations. Beatrice Ask, Conservative Minister of Justice said: “I’m shocked, because I know we have laws and regulations which are very clear about how the police should handle people’s civic registration numbers, addressses etc.” Our Minister of Democracy, Birgitta Ohlsson, People’s Party the Liberals said in outrage: “If this is correct it just isn’t scary, it’s unethical and unacceptable. Moreover it’s also definitally illegal”. Here in Malmoe the high police officials held a press conference on the Monday afternoon. They explained that they didn’t know anything about it and put the blame on some detectives. County Police Master Klas Johansson said at the first press conference that he felt a spontaneous great awkward feeling about this. He added: “We want to get a judicial investigation about this.”… “We regret that many people feel a great unease by the information revealed. I’m a father myself. I feel strongly that we shan’t register very small children”.  Petra Stenkula, Deputy Chief of the County Criminal Investigation Department claims that there is no indication of the people registred are just Romanies, but “Travelling”.  This is according to her a cluster of information which is based on laws.  During the police press conference yesterday the three police officials in charge repeated their message: 1) They regretted that people felt insulted, and even worse that children and very small children are listed. 2) According to the Police Chiefs the name of the computer file “Travellers” didn’t mention ethnicity, but simply referred to travellers in crime. 3) The problem isn’t the registration itself, but how it has been handled. Peter Herkel, reporter at the freesheet City wrote in today’s issue that he had got an bad feeling in the stomach when he heard them repeat their message, because then they started defending the registration. When the journalists began asking questions yesterday about which crimes had been solved or prevented aided by the three computer files the answers became unclear. “It hasn’t resulted in any direct investigations, but been of quite good use in the preventive work” Thomas Nilsson replied.

Image

This Monday evening there was a protest demonstration at Möllevångstorget/The Mill Field Square here in Malmoe where 200 people participated. The protest slogan was “Stop the police racist registration”.  Since also law-abiding Romanies and small kids were listed as well the outrage was enormous. I had planned to go there, but was otherwise engaged. I however was in contact with Mujo Halilovic, chief of Romany Knowledge and Information Centre, Kristoffer Bogdanowicz and yesterday evening the young Romany rapper and activist Dusan Marinkovic whose maternal uncle also named Dusan was murdered in former Yugoslavia by Serb Nazis. I said to him that I hope that this revelation might lead to more awareness and understanding for how to really work, and Dusan replied to me: “We can only hope”. (Read more in my texts “A struggle for Romany recognition” from May and “Sweden’s official national minorities” from March).  Erland Kaldaras at the Romany Culture Centre says: “My first reaction is that it is very awkward and frightening. There are so many small children in this list”. Another Romany activist Rosita Grönfors said: “I believe there will be more if we start investigate it. History begins to repeat itself”. When Ivan Nikolizsson was three years old his family was murdered by the Nazis in Poland. He said in an interview in the newspaper Sydsvenskan in an article by Olle Lönnaeus that: “It’s like in the days of Hitler. It began with a mapping out and registration of Romanies. Then the executions began”. .. “We are Romanies, but also part of the Swedish society. I have never stolen even a nail. Still we are registred as criminals. The Government and authorities say that they want to help us. And then this? How shall we believe them?” Ivan’s grandson Michel asks. Michel Nikolizsson is 32 years old is married and has the daughter Vanessa. Michel claims: “I feel Swedish. I eat meatballs and dance around the Midsummer Pole. But ever since school I was bullied and teased. When we Romanies go to a shop they always look suspiciously at us. Some do not even let us in. Even when I should get married and buy a suit the clothes store refused to let me in.”

The police registration of Romanies has been going on for years and years. Detective Inspector Jeanette Larsson who now also is a lecturer and has educated also the police in value issues and human rights recalls that she in the 1990’s noticed that Romany people were registred in separated files and boxes marked with the letter “Z” for “zigenare”, “G” for “Gipsy”.  In 1998 Sydsvenskan revealed that a Detective Inspector was mapping out Romanies. The mass registration of Romanies began in 2011 after a crime investigation in 2009. The police feared a Romany family quarrel between two fractions in Staffanstorp. Mats Åhlund from the Crown Prosecution Service says that a  crime investigation will be made. The police though will make a report about law breaking as legal proceedings against the Secrecy Act after the information about the three big Romay registrations have been given to Dagens Nyheter.

The first Romanies came to Sweden in 1512 and different groups have been added later. Ever since the beginning they have been outcasts, persecuted, excluded and killed. In the 1700’s and 1800’s though Romany men became appreciated rifle men in the Swedish armies, and rewarded for bravery. But apart from that the treatment has been very rejecting. Since the end of World War II when one million Romanies at least were killed in the Nazi Holocaust the situation and treatment in Sweden has slowly become a tiny little better, especially since the 1960’s. In 1999 the Romanies were given place according to Swedish law as one of Sweden’s five minority peoples protected by Swedish law: the aboriginal Sámit, Torne Valley Finns, Finns, Romanies and Jews. In September 2012 the Romanies commemorated their 500 years in Sweden. What will happen now? Will we find a human, humanitarian democratic road onwards or a fascist, Nazi future? What society do we want?

Anders Moberg, September 25th 2013.

40 years on the throne

Image

Last Sunday on September 15th 2013 it was exactly 40 years since our present monarch, Carl XVI Gustaf, of the Bernadotte Dynasty, became our new king in 1973. He had then been sitting by his grandfather’s death bed in Helsingborg. Our present king was born at Haga Castle, Stockholm, on April 30th 1946 by princess Sibylla of Sachsen Coburg-Gotha. His father, the crown-prince Gustav Adolf, was happy to get a son who might succeed him and the new prince’s older sisters, “the Haga princesses” spoiled the little boy. On June 6th the baby was Christened in the Castle Church and given the names Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus. In January 1947 crown-prince Gustav Adolf was killed in an airplane accident at Kastrup, Copenhagen, and the Royal children were suddenly fatherless. In 1950 our present king’s great great grandfather Gustaf V died after having ruled since 1907. Gustav V was the first Swedish king who didn’t have himself crowned, so the last king seen in the royal crown, at least during coronation was his father Oscar II, (1872-1907). Now the little prince and his sisters had lost both their father and great great grandfather. The new king, their grandfather, took care of their upbringing and entered the throne as Gustaf VI Adolf with the motto: “The Duty first and foremost”.

As a young boy he went to school in Sigtuna among children to aristocrats, diplomats and wealthy bankers and merchants etc. In upper secondary school he learned fencing, and battled his school mate Rolf Edling, who in the 1970’s and early 1980’s became world champion in fencing during the Olympic games. Carl Gustaf graduated from upper-secondary school in 1966. Then he made military service for two years, and in 1968 the crown prince took his naval officer exam, and also a leadership course at the University College of Defence. 1968-1969 he also took courses in history, sociology, political science and economy at Uppsala University, as well as  financial law and economics at Stockholm University. The young man suffered from dyslexia and had problems with reading and spelling, but succeeded nevertheless.  He made educational journeys to the UN in New York, SIDA in Africa, Hambro’s Bank in London, The Swedish Embassy, and the dairy engineering company Alfa Laval in Nevers, France. The crown-prince was very interested in environment issues and already in 1972 he participated in the first global UN conference about environment issues in Stockholm. He also went to the Olympic games in Munich, Germany that year. There he noticed a beautiful brunette working as Olympic game hostess, Silvia Renathe Sommerlath. She was daughter of the German businessman Walther Sommerlath and Alice de Toledo from Brazil. During those Olympic Games Palestinians took the Israeli team hostages and killed some of them.

In 1973 the old king, Gustav VI Adolf became mortally ill when he was staying at Sofiero Castle just north of Helsingborg in Scania. At the same time a kidnapping drama took place in Stockholm. Some robbers took bank staff as hostages at Norrmalms Square, and the state had to intervene. On September 15th 1973 the old king passed away at Helsingborg Hospital with the young crown-prince by his side. The next day, the new king came back to Stockholm and was met by the government led by Prime Minister Olof Palme, (the aristocrat who became Social Democrat during his journeys in the USA).  On September 19th the young king, aged 27, was officialy made king during a cermony and took the oath. His name as king would be Carl XVI Gustaf and his motto as king: “For Sweden in the changing times”. In my drawing above from yesterday you see the king from that day to the left.  The king’s first state visit in 1974 went to Norway on October 8th.

His relationship to the young German-Brazilian beauty Silivia Sommerlath deepened, and on March 12th 1976 their engagement was declared and the king pronounced the famous words: “It just said click”The marriage was held in Storkyrkan/The Grand Church in Stockholm, on June 19th 1976. The evening before the wedding the Swedish pop group Abba dressed in 18th century costumes performed their new song “Dancing Queen” in honour of the Royal Couple.  Their first child was a girl who recieved the name Victoria. She was born on July 14th 1977. In the beginning she was “just” a princess since we still had male succession to the throne and when the next child, a boy called Carl Philip was born on May 13th 1979 he was proclaimed crown prince. But that would soon change. When the king entered the silver throne in 1973 the attitudes in society were quite unroyalistic. Socialists and Communists especially despised the Royals, and still do. The Royal Family was seen as distant from the people, sucking out the strength and money of the people and some debaters wanted to see a Republic instead. The male succession order also provoked democrats and more modern people who wanted to see a more gender equal society. Our present Royal Family have tried to adapt to the new order of things, has become more popular in their approach and more modern.  In 1980 the succession order was changed to make the first-born heir to the throne, in this case Victoria who now became our Crown Princess.  She has over the years also become the most loved of the members of the Royal Family for her charm, down-to-earth approach, nice manners, wisdom and healthy radiance.  On June 10th 1982 Princess Madeleine was born.

King Carl XVI Gustav has many interests and a role in society which gives him many advantages in life. He loves an active life, sports, wild life, techniques, motor sports, cars etc. He was an active boy scout in his youth, and since 1977 he’s honorary chairman of the World Scout Foundation, and since 1988 for the Swedish branch of the World Wildlife Fund, WWF.  He has also initiated the Royal Colloqium, which is an international environment symposium for scientists in environment issues and durable development. He’s an athlete and participated e.g. in the Vasa Race on skis in 1977, 1987 and 1997.  Between 1973 and 1989 the king made his official trips around the country, a Royal custom since the Middle Ages, called Eriksgata.  In 1976 he went to the USA and as first Swedish monarch met the residing American President.  In 1976 it was Gerald Ford. In 1978 the king met Brezhniev in the Soviet Union and Tito in Communist Yugoslavia. His interest for technical development has led to his participation at the Royal Technology Mission, arranged by the Engineer Science Academy, IVA.  The king is also a member of the Gastronomy Academy, because of his taste for good food.

He is our Head of State, and his work includes leading the cabinet meeting after change of government, and he opens the annual Kingdom Assembly. The king is also the Prime representative for the Swedish Military Authorities, and he accredits foreign ambassadors. Apart from this he makes journeys, represents Sweden on openings and fairs, visits and recieves world leaders and public officials.  When he can’t he’s replaced by Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip or Princess Madeleine.

In 1974 the tabloid magazine FIB Aktuellt published an article about the then new king called “The king’s secret love nests”, an article which led to lots of discussions. Some of the people mentioned there also appeared in the book “The Reluctant Monarch” from 2010.  In 1977 the cartoonist Janne Lööf made a comic strip album called “Ville” where the Social Democrat Prime Minister Olof Palme and the young king appeared as cartoon heroes or anti-heroes. This made Olof Palme very angry, but the king found it amusing. King Carl XVI Gustav also admired Olof Palme, despite their different values, and when  the Prime Minister was assassinated in February 1986 the king ordered the Swedish flag to be lowered on half pole in grief.

In 1984 the Swedish king critisized the Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland for the cruel treatment of seals during the seal hunts, a statement which provoked anger in Norway, but also among Swedish politicians and other officials, since the king is not allowed to make political statements, but nowadays is reduced to a cermonial role. In 2004 he had been to a visit in Brunei, and then said in his Christmas speech that year that he saw an openess in Brunei that was unexpected. Carl Söderberg, Head of Swedish Amnesty protested angrily and said that the king destroyed the work for Amnesty and the like who work for Human Rights, and the scientist Olof Petersson said that this was the beginning of the end for the monarchy. Later that year, in December the disastrous tsunami hit Central Asia and also Swedes died in it. In a speech on January 10th 2005 the king said: “I wish that I had a good answer. If I only as a king, like in the fairytales, could make everything right and end the tale with “and so they lived happily ever after”. But I am just like you, simply a grieving, searching human being”.  This speech was moving and much appreciated here in Sweden. The Royal Family has since then grown. Crown Princess Victoria fell in love with her gym coach from Ockelbo, Daniel Westling and they got married on June 19th 2010, a wedding which was very much noticed both here in Sweden and internationally.  Victoria’s and Daniel’s first child, Princess Estelle, saw the world for the first time on February 23d 2012. Also Princess Madeleine is now married to the finance counselor Chris O’Neill. The conflicts in the Royal Family is though, (real and/or imagined), often mentioned in media. 

The attitude to the Royal Family varies in the Swedish society. For Royalists it’s very important to keep the Swedish colours and the Royal Family intact as representatives for Sweden. The left wing in Sweden wants to get rid of them. There is also a variety of views inbetween these two extremes. The king’s appanage, the huge amount of money he gets for his work is a red sheet for many. Also his castles, hunting cabins, and privileged life is hated especially by people to the left. The youngest princesses’ lack of respect for traffic rules, the king’s adultery and love affairs etc. has provoked anger and resentment among people. The Republicans want a Republic state instead, like Finland, USA, Iceland or France for instance.  The problem is that also a government in a Republic costs lots of money too. History has proven that even Communist States keep a leadership that live a life in luxuary and oppress their populations. We see the same phenomenon all over the world, generation after generation, and independent of which religious belief we have, what ethnicity, social background or political system.

King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 40 years on the throne was celebrated last weekend. On Friday September 13th the exhibit “40 years on the throne – 40 years for Sweden” was shown at the Royal Castle. Last Saturday the Government gave the king as present a dinner at the Nordic Museum, and a Jubilee Concert at the Concert Hall/Konserthuset. Last Sunday on September 15th there was a Thanksgiving Service with Te Deum and dance at the castle. At three o’ clock the king proposed a toast and then there was dance on the Inner Courtyard. This last Thursday the 19th there was a reception in the Kingdom Hall. The last event which will celebrate the king’s 40 years on the throne will be the event “The environment for the times to come” on Saturday November 23d 2013.

We have a king who tries to do his best according to his upbringing and given role and change of time. Irrespective of what we think and like we live in a society which is fairly open, and within a democracy where we are more or less allowed to express our views and struggle to keep the democracy. We do not always agree or have the same ideas and values, but still it is a democracy. That democracy also ought to be preserved, or as our king says: “For Sweden in the changing times”.

Anders Moberg, September 22d 2013

UN’s International Peace Day 2013

Image

Today, September 21st, is the United Nation’s international peace day.  It’s commemorated in at least 100 countries all over the world. The idea is to continue struggling for peaceful solutions on conflicts and making efforts to prevent or end wars.  My drawing above from 1999 will represent the dove of peace.  Today is Saturday, but in order to reach also school classes here in Sweden, the international peace day was commemorated one day ahead yesterday.  Here in Malmoe there were events, plays, concerts, lectures, workshops, movies and discussions in several parts of town. In my part of Malmoe, Kirseberg/Cherry Hill, there were arrangements in co-operation between the Anna Lindh Foundation’s Swedish network, Imagenes del Sur, Amnesty, Feminist dialog, Kirseberg’s Leisure Time Administration, Filmcentrum Syd/Film Centre South and Kirseberg Library. A man called Patrick Gruczkun was the co-ordinator, 031-788 00 07, patrick,grusczkun@varldskulturmuseerna.se.

It began with mingle and book tables about peace at one o’ clock in the afternoon, and at two eight actors played one hour of a play called “Theatre for Amnesty”. Two young women in their late teens or early twenties from Amnesty had come to document the performance by taking photos and recording it on video. First the actress and singer Torun Wilderwind entered the floor. She was singing the story of the Moroccon princess Malik who’s father in 1972 had opposed king Hassan. She was then 18 years old. Her father had been killed and Malik, her siblings and mother were imprisoned. There she spent 20 years, but had managed to get her story out at the age of 38. “The story I keep inside of me”, as the Torun was singing. Torun was dressed in a pink Medieval-looking dress with long sleeves, and performed the number aided by Annette Lindén-E.

The next part performed by Regnbågsteatern/The Rainbow Theatre was a play by actor Miguel Angel Fraga called “Ord som sårar som slag”/”Words which hurt like blows”.  The five actors Peter Bengtsson, Kim Rosenbäck, Bo Handberg, Miguel Angel Fraga and Sofia Visser entered the stage and sat down on five chairs. As each and every one came in, one at a time, they began by saying “I have nothing against gay people, but”, “I have nothing against immigrants, but”… and then lesbians, Jews, trans sexuals.  When they sat in their chairs they began reading short articles about different hate crimes on this theme from the two quality papers Skånska Dagbladet and Sydsvenskan, the evening paper Kvällsposten, and the two freesheets Metro and City. All the articles the actors read were reports about hate crimes against lesbians, gays, transsexuals, immigrants, Jews. Then they re-enacted scenes from some real stories. A transsexual man who’s bullied because he’s dressed in drag, is mocked, loses hig job, abused, but then meets a woman who accepts him, marries him and loves him for who he is. Miguel Angel Fraga played a homosexual man from North Africa who meet up with a female acquaintance. He’s umarried, lives with a Swedish man, but his family back home doesn’t know about it. He also has a brother here in Sweden who when he finds out beat his brother up. When the woman meets him again, he has been visiting the family in North Africa, been welcomed and introduced to a woman whom he marries. His Swedish male companion gets sour and leaves. The gay North African man lives on, but is not happy.  The third story was about a man who’s married and has kids, but falls in love with another man. He’s beaten up, stigmatized, his wife throws him out and he moves in with the other man. This was extract from the play. It also includes descriptions of other hate crimes, like those against Jews.

Ord som demokrati, fred och frihet/Words like democracy, peace and freedom, were short texts and scenes.  Annette Lindén-E  performed a number called “The conflict is solved”, Juli Hammargren one scene named “Anna Lindh” and Torun Wilderwind, the fairytale-singer, ended with a new song in English.  The entire performance at the library took one hour.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Two hours later, at six o’ clock, it was movie time at Kirseberg Theatre. As I came there the mixed audience was served coffee, tea and cakes and could sit down for some small talk before the films. When we then entered the movie salon the co-ordinator Patrick Gruxzkun gave us an introduction of the international peace day, and what had been done earlier during the Friday in other parts of Malmoe.  Then Anna Larsson from Film Centre South/Filmcentrum Syd told us about her short twenty minute documentary from 2012. It was called “Let your dreams come true”. Anna Larsson had been in Cape Town, South Africa and met the 13-year old boy Sivuyile “Reggie” Nontombana who lives in very poor quarters, but through the organization “Life Zone” he gets to play football, where he excells. Through that organization he and the local soccer team got the chance to play an international soccer cup in Sweden. Larsson had interviewed “Reggie”, his family and friends, filmed him in school, and also when he was playing football on the dirty streets. The local inhabitants in the documentary tell us about the harsh life conditions, the crime, drug deals and dirty commong toilets, but also about the warmth between them. Anna Larsson of course also had shot scenes when Reggie and the rest of his team had played football during the soccer cup here in Sweden.  Larsson had made a short, but interesting film and she had used a respectful approach which made it natural and believable.

At half past six, Parvin Ardalan, an Iranian journalist, writer and feminist human rights activist, now living here in Malmoe, presented the evening’s main feature film. It was the Lebanese movie “Where do we go now?”/Wa-alán lueyn? from 2012 by Lebanese female film director Nadine Labaki. It’s about a village in Lebanon where both Christians and Muslims live side by side, and where the women in the village try by plots and female cunning make the men on both sides NOT to fight and kill each other. It’s a very warm film, funny, but also with dark and serious traits. The film has been shown on film festivals in many countries and won awards, and it deserves its prizes.  I wrote about that movie earlier this year in my web log article “Women’s role in conflicts and war” on March 10th. When I had done that it just took less than 24 hours before I had my first readers in Lebanon.  The importance with the international peace day today, with many of my texts on this web log as well, and all efforts in this direction by many people in various ways is to create a structure that make our lifes and our world a fairly good place to live around the globe.  After the movie by Nadine Labaki we gathered for a short chat outside, before we all left and took our new contacts and experiences with us. Now it is Saturday, September 21st, the UN’s international peace day. Can we use it properly? Can we shape structures which make our lives more dignified,or do we want human self-annihilation? Where do we go now? Wa-alán lueyn?

Anders Moberg, September 21st 2013

Image

Image

Image

Image

Göran Svedberg – A life of journalism

Image

Image

I first met Göran Svedberg in the photos above ca 12 years ago. Then we have met a few times over the following years and I’ve also joined him on a couple of his assignments as a reporter. Yes, Göran Svedberg is a journalist and an interesting man. A little time ago I asked him if he accepted an interview by me for my web log, which he accepted. He says that he’s reading two web logs, mine and foreign minister Carl Bildt’s.  Göran Svedberg was born in Forsa outside Hudiksvall, in April 1949. His father was working at the railroad with checking the signals for SJ (the national railroad), and his mother was a hairdresser. In school Göran found it easy, but didn’t like it very much.  When he was in upper-secondary school the family had moved to a railway junction called Ånge.  Göran was tired of school in those days and played truant a lot. Since he skipped so many classes his grades became lousy and he was expelled from school. When he was about 20 years old he decided that he must do something about it and became a pupil at the municipal adult school, in Swedish called Komvux. There he studied all the major subjects that he had lost by skipping upper secondary school, did well and within a year or two he had enough grades to get into university. Göran became a student at Lund University where also I and many others have studied. Göran focused on history and political science. 

While he was studying in Lund he also was working a little beside to make contacts. He was working at the photo laboratory Kungsfoto, and was given the suggestion by a co-worker there to ask her husband who was working on the evening paper Expressen in Malmoe if they had any jobs. This was in the summer of 1974. He was given a summer job there by the chief editor Edgar Antonsson, and did several coverages that summer. The first one was an interview with the famous Greek singer Demis Roussos who was having concert in Sweden. Back at Lund University Göran asked a career guide if he should become a history teacher for all his interest in the subject, but she said that there was too much competition for those positions. She adviced the young man to become either a priest or a journalist. Since the journalist education was shorter, (two years compared to the priestly one – five years) Göran chose the first. And he loved it. He ended up studying at the Journalist Training School in Gothenburg, JHG. There he studied 1974-1976. One of his class mates was the renowned Lars Adaktusson who later ended up as a TV-reporter and now has become a politician for the Christian Democrats.  After the studies in Gothenburg/Göteborg Göran got a proper job as journalist with Expressen in Malmoe. Back then they had an editorial office at Friisgatan. Göran met his wife to be, a beautiful Polish woman, got married in Dalby church, and continued working as a journalist. It was freedom under responsibility.

Image

In 1979 the editorial office for Expressen closed down in Malmoe and all the staff was moved to Stockholm. But Göran missed his family down here and came back from Stockholm after just a year. Now he started working for Kvällsposten/The Evening Post instead. In 1982 the nuclear power station in Harrisburg, USA, suffered a disaster.  Göran remember calling one of the high officials at the Swedish nuclear power inspection about the different kinds of reactors. In 1982 Mr Svedberg became the new crime reporter for Kvällsposten in Malmoe. He used to visit the local police station in Malmoe at Davidshall, talk to the different police officers about what had happened, then the city court and back to the office to write his pieces. When dramatic things happened he covered it as well as possible. One dramatic incident in the mid-80’s was a man in the old inner city’s western parts in Malmoe who was running riot with a sword. Another time a man from former Yugoslavia had been involved in a robbery at NK, (nowaday’s Hansacompagniet). During the following investigation, a police officer happened to fire a shot by accident in the man’s flat during interrogation. The bullet went through the wall and into the kitchen, shocking the girl friend who was there. When Göran wrote about it in the newspaper that police officer became very angry, and the other staff at the police station told Göran not to show himself there for a couple of weeks.

As we talk, sitting at the restaurant in central Malmoe, I notice Göran’s facial expression. He seems to be rather at ease and content, and I can understand why. He has experienced a lot, and continues to do so. His face makes a subconscious twist as he remembers the assasination on Prime Minister Olof Palme in Februray 1986. That morning Göran got a call on his phone by some colleagues in Copenhagen, Denmark, who wanted to know more about the assasination. He was shocked and had to learn more. He took the plane to Stockholm, saw the spot at Sveavägen, and talked to the police there.  In connection to the Prime Minister assasination Göran and a couple of others made a journey to Bundes Kriminal Amt in Wiesbaden, Germany. Some clues in the investigation went in that direction and German police arrested among others people from the Scientology Church. When Göran, the photographer Lasse Svensson and Göran’s colleague from Sydsvenskan, Ulf Matsson, came to Wiesbaden, they too were searched and interrogated by the German police. Since Göran back then had black hair the German police officers thought he looked like a Yugoslav drug dealer. Back home he nevertheless continued writing his articles about the investigation of Palme’s assasination.

1987- 1990 Göran Svedberg was news editor at Kvällsposten which he just mentions briefly. Göran’s face lightens up when he recalls the next job, as foreigner correspondent in the USA, 1990 – 1992. He got to meet many enticing people high and low, see many places and cover a lot of events. He met the crime novelist Mickey Spillaney on a boat, and Spillaney told Göran about his new book, and shifted his t-shirt a couple of times, even if they were very similar. Göran met Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson and then Carl Bildt in New York and also asked George Bush Sr a few questions, alongside Lars Adaktusson. Svedberg has met celebrities like Tina Turner and Michael Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne and AC/DC, seen lots of boxing games in Atlantic City, and Mike Tyson. Tyson also chased a photographer working with Göran when the photographer had taken a picture of the boxer kissing a woman.  Göran met the Swedish pop group Roxette during their break-through tour in the USA, saw Davis Cup and talked to Björn Borg when he tried to make a come-back as top tennis player. He also went to South America when some Swedish people had been murdered there.

Back home in Sweden Göran became chief editor at the new TV station TV4.  He says that in the beginning the only ones who really knew TV were the technicians and cameramen. The reporters, newsreaders and quizz masters had mostly come from Radio or newspapers. As chief editor for commercial TV station 4 he was working 1992-1998. They did lots of rubbish, especially during the first years, he recalls, but some successes, like “Fångarna på Fortet”/The Prisoners on the Castle, “Rena Rama Rolf” and other things. Göran is most proud of two things from those years. During the World Mastership in football the Swedish team did really well. When they came back to Sweden they were celebrated in Stockholm. TV4 in Malmoe wanted to celebrate them too, and since several players came from Scania, even more important. No-one in Malmoe or the rest of Scania had planned any celebration, so Göran and the others went out with the news that they planned to do it at Stortorget/The Major Square in Malmoe. The journalist Patrik Ekvall had the right contacts and succeeded in persuading some of the foot-ball players to get down to the Malmoe celebration. When TV4 went out with this piece of news they were joined by Sydsvenskan and Radio Malmöhus. That way 10 000 people were gathered on the square to celebrate Martin Dahlin, Thomas Brolin and the others.

Another thing he is proud of from the TV4-years was the Nedira fund, http://www.nedirafonden.org. A reporter on the TV-station from former Yugoslavia learned of the girl Nedira Muratovic who suffered from the illness Apert’s syndrome, a severe handicap which needed surgery. They wanted to help the girl and gathered through their campaign half a million kronor in order to help her. She was nevertheless helped in another way, and they stood there with this money. So Nedirafonden was founded, in order to help children from the Balkans and other parts of Europe to get medical care in Sweden. During the war in former Yugoslavia and afterwards many good things were done. Clothes were gathered etc. Kurt Sköld was an important person in the foundation of Nedirafonden, which though doesn’t exist any more. When Göran left his chief post at TV4 he was replaced by two or three new ones. Since 1998 Göran Svedberg has continued as a stringer. He writes for eight-ten magazines, and he has found that it is easier to get in contact with people when you work for weekly or monthly journals, cooking magazines, gardening- , technical magazines and the like, rather than as reporter from an evening paper and tabloid press. People are more uneasy when those appear since they don’t want to be nailed or dragged in the dirt. Göran is a columnist for several magazines and some newspapers.

In 2000-2001 he made a journey to the south of Ukraine, and visited Gammelsvenskby/Old Swedish Village, or Zmievka, as it called in Ukrainan. It is situated by the western shore of the Dniepr River. During the 13th century Swedes emigrated from the mainland and ended up in the eastern parts of the Baltic Sea, in the Gulf of Finland, off the coast of Estonia. There on Dagö they settled and continued speaking Swedish. In 1721 Sweden lost this part of the Baltics to the Russians in the peace treaty of Nystad. In 1780 the local population on Dagö protested against the Empress Katerina the Great of Russia, and they were banned and sent into exile on August 20th 1781. The death march went through Belarus and on May 1st 1782 they arrived in southern Ukraine. There they settled, built a village and still live there. Since their kind of Swedish is very archaic you can still hear and see the old traces of what Swedish once used to sound like. Göran Svedberg made interviews with the local population and wrote a book “Gammelsvenskby – En by i Ukraina”, with beautiful photos by Erik Mårtensson. It was released in 2001 at JR Hain Publishing Company and was much appreciated, also by the Swedish Royal Family.  In 2005 IKEA released a book called “Living in ten metropolitan cities”. There Göran was well payed for writing the pieces about Warzcaw and Moscow. He went there and made several interviews. In the autumn of 2008 he joined the Swedish king Carl XVI Gustav and queen Silvia on their journey to Gammelsvenskby. Just before that trip a school class from the village visited Malmoe, and during three days I gave them lessons in Swedish, as part of their experience here.

Apart from his journalism Göran 2005-2010 also imported Vodka and tried to sell it here. “Vodka Gammelsvenskby AB” the company was called and he kept the bottles at a farm in Skivarp. Now he has also started a travelling bureau, “Caucasian Tours”, http://www.caucasiantours.se with journeys to Georgia and Ukraine. Göran is here co-operating with local people in Tbilisi, Georgia, Travel Fabric in Malmoe and Field Wood Travel in Ystad. They offer 1) a guided tour around Georgia, 2) company journeys, 3) Horse riding journeys and 4) Wine and Dine journeys.Trips to Ukraine and Gammelsvenskby/Zmievka are also planned.  Göran believes that these journeys might attract well-off Swedes who want to see something new.  No doubt Göran Svedberg has lots of things to do, much to offer, and is a man full of knowledge and experiences. When we said good bye on that restaurant two days ago we promised to keep in touch. His life as a journalist has been interesting along with everything else.

Anders Moberg, September 19th 2013

Image

Stop Afrophobia!

Image

Image

Image

Ten days ago, the Sunday September 8th, a 32 year old immigrant from Gambia, Yusupha Salah and his 1,5 year old son Junos were out walking in the Malmoe suburb of Kroksbäck. Yusupha lives there since nine months ago with his Danish wife. Then suddenly when he was walking across a bridge in the area, five metres above a highly trafficked road, he and his son were attacked by a group of men.  Ten men altogether joined the attack. They shouted: “Beat it you bloody blacky”. “Take your son and leave, otherwise we’ll kill you both”.  Then they began beating Yusupha infront of his little son, and also tried to put him over the bridge. Many people saw the incident, but didn’t dare to intervene. After a while the police came to the spot, and the man was saved. He had been hanging by the side of the bridge above the cars below, but had managed to hold on. The police put this in the category “hate crime” and “physical abuse”. Malcolm Jallow Momodou from the Afro-Swede’s Forum for Justice/Afrosvenskarnas Forum för Rättvisa said that the police has a tendency to diminish the Afrophobic and racist crimes. He also said that if an ordinary Swede had been attacked in a similar way it had been called what it really was: attempted murder. On Saturday September 14th at four o’ clock people had gathered at Möllevångstorget/The Mill Field Square to protest against the attack, but also against Afrophobia and general racism. The slogan was “Stop Afrophobia Now!”.

Several speakers had been invited to participate in this manifestation, and bit by bit the Mill-Field Square was filled with people who wanted to show their suppport. The manifestation “Stop Afrophobia Now!” was held simultanously at Möllevångstorget in Malmoe, in Stockholm and Gothenburg/Göteborg. The first speaker for the day was the rapper, lecturer and hip hop artist Behrang Miri who came to Sweden from Iran as a child. He’s also involved in many anti-racist movements, including Afrosvenskarnas Forum för Rättvisa. He said that we all must show our disgust for the Afrophobic attacks, and the structural racism we see in society. Jallow Momodou also said that Afro-Swedes experience this racism and exclusion every day, even if the physical attacks doesn’t happen every day. Jallow demanded that the government and Swedish authorities must take the demeaning attitudes against Africans and the Afrophobia seriously. He want them to put in money for the work against the Afrophobia in society. When the statistics from Brå came of last years hate crimes in the Swedish society it showed that in 2012 there had been 3980 reports to the police which then had been labelled “hate crimes”, i.e. when someone is verbally and/or physically attacked because of his or her skin-colour, ethnicity, religion or sexual bent. Of these 3980 reports 940 had had Afro-phobic motives. That was the biggest group. Then there had been 710 homophobic reported hate crimes, 310 Islamophobic, 220 Anti-Semitic crimes against Jews, (most of them here in Malmoe), and 200 Christian-phobic. Then there were others as well, which numbered 20-40 each. This is nothing new, and we see a similar tendency every year. All who were present at Möllevångstorget agreed that every hate crime was one too many. Jallow Momodou also told us about the worrying situation for Africans in different European countries. He told us about two cases in Germany and Austria where the local police had arrested a couple of African men, based mostly on their looks, beaten and mistreated them in jail and there had them killed in gruesome ways. Not long ago another African immigrant had been beaten up and abused by local Malmoe police, which I wrote about in a text in late May. Everyone who knows me also know that I have respect for the police in many ways, but also is critical to certain values and behaviours that do exist, and this is one. That kind of racism is utterly unacceptable. Then again, I’m white, and does not have to live the experience of being attacked for my skin-colour.

The next speaker was Hanna Thomé from the Left Party. She was among the many speakers who pinpointed the importance of protesting against the horrendous Afrophobia. Leandro Mulinari, a young man who’s active in Asylstaffetten told us about an experience when he had taken a sauna with some middle-aged Swedish men at Ribbersborg and had heard them discuss in a racist and diminishing way about all the immigrants in town. That had made him so angry that he protested.

All the speakers had important things to say, and there were 12 speakers all together. Anders Thörnblad from the Environment Party the Green was the next one, followed by the young woman Birgitt Vega from InterFem. She pinpointed the importance of acting against this racism, and for gender equality as well. Mujo Halilovic leader from Romskt Informations- och Kunskapscenter, Romany Information and Knowledge Centre shared with us his views. The Romanies in town and in society in general are often excluded and met with spite. Jallow Momodou told us about a conference which will be held at Malmoe University in October. It’s about the African slave-trade in the 1600’s up to the 1800’s and also its legacy. Here in Sweden the slave trade was forbidden by law in 1847. Behrang Miri also said that a new platform for intercultural and inter-religious work is shaped. Andreas Schönström from the Social Democrats and responsible for the labour market held his speech and he too said that the work against racism never must die, and that Malmoe Municipality works hard in different ways to oppose it.

A  young woman in hijab/veil listening to the name of Amra was the next speaker. She took her place on the foot of the statue Arbetets Söner/The Sons of Labour and gave us her view. Since she also represented Malmoe’s Young Muslims, she also included islamic aspects on the topic. The leader of the Left Party, Daniel Sestrajcic, held a long fiery speech, where he pinpointed the gap between people and the social classes as well as the racism. He was followed by Anja Sonesson from the Moderate Party/The Conservatives, and her speech was quite short and showing on their party work against racism. Filip Wallander, who’s a teacher and scientist at Malmoe University in social work and also representing the network Ett Enat Malmoe/A United Malmoe said that compared to Kalmar where he’s also been active in his research-work Malmoe is much more aware, and active to do something against the problems in society.

A choir consisting mainly of middle-aged Swedish women came and sang beautiful songs from Africa for us, and the atmosphere on the square grew. An old human rights activist and Afro-American, Madebuku Diakate, from New York, USA, was the last speaker. He had been active in the US civil rights movement early on, and to honour that he wore a barett, showing his allegiance to the Black Panthers. Since he came to Sweden many years ago he has been acting as a mentor and nestor for many of the younger civil rights activists and it was very clear that he was respected and revered by many there. A call that echoed on several occassions at Möllevångstorget this last Saturday was “What shall we do? Stop the Afrophobia!! When? Now Now Now!”. However, it must not just be a chant or a nice slogan or a goal on a political charter, but be implemented and followed by real action. The following day, on this last Sunday, this manifestation was followed by a new against racism and Afrophobia. The demonstrators then, (900 of them), walked from Möllevångstorget and into the central parts, showing their stand. As I walked down to Södervärn/The Southern Defence  to take the bus home at half past six that Saturday evening I had a good feeling in my stomach. If we all do something to improve the attitudes in society, work for both ourselves and for others, we have done something good in life.

Anders Moberg, September 18th 2013

Where is Malmoe heading? – A political debate

Image

Image

At three o’ clock in the afternoon two days ago they were standing there, the new head of Malmoe Municipal Council, Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Social Democrat, and Anja Sonesson who’s in local opposition, but belonging to the major party, The Moderate Party/The Conservatives in the now ruling government here in Sweden.  In the first picture above you see Katrin Stjernfeldt-Jamme to the left and Anja Sonesson to the right.  One year from now there’s the next national election, something we have every fourth year in Sweden.  These two local top politicians now met for a debate about the status and future of the city, at least according to political rhetoric and goals.  The title of the debate was “Vart är Malmö på väg?”/Where is Malmoe heading?” It was arranged by the newspaper Sydsvenskan/The South Swede, and the debate leader was the reporter Elin Fjellman Jaderup. One had chosen to have the debate in the premises of Moderna Muséet/The Modern Museum at Gasverksgatan 22 in the central parts of town.  I arrived ca 45 minutes before the debate started, because they only had 100 seats, and the late-comers couldn’t get in, but either had to leave or stand in the doorway or outside the room.  The audience mainly consisted of middle-aged people, but also some younger.

The three main topics for the day were some of the most common: school, jobs and integration.  When the Social Democrats came to power again in 1994, after a few years of conservative-neo-liberal rule, Malmoe municipality had a budget deficit of more than a billion kronor. After the 1994-election the parties began to if possible co-operate over the socialist-green and conservative-neo-liberal borders.  They managed to – in part – create improvements in the city which then still was a rather grey industry city, with industries closing down or on decay.  The Öresund bridge between Malmoe, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark was built in the 1990’s. Then Malmoe University was founded and began competing with the long established Lund University nearby. The fashionable Western Harbour was constructed with the 190 meter high Turning Torso, a modern, attractive suburb near the water. Also a tidying up of many parts of town was made.  Squares, plazas, bridges and quarters were improved and re-designed with illuminations, sculptures, green areas, cafés, bike paths etc. The latest was the City tunnel for enhancing the rail-way traffic and completed two years ago.  However, Malmoe is also very segregated. When Stjernfeldt-Jammes’ predecessor, Ilmar Reepalu, (S), became Head of the Municipal Council in 1994 he said that he would end the segregation. He became a pensioner this summer and was replaced by Stjernfeldt-Jamme. Today the gap between people and different parts of town is even wider than in 1994.

The Conservative-liberal Alliance, which in Malmoe only consists of The Moderate Party/The Conservatives and The People’s Party the Liberals have for several years critisized the Social Democrats for not having been able to improve the situation for the school. The results between the “finer” areas in town and the more less fortunate ones are huge.  Also the School Inspection has criticized the situation harshly. The social problems are immense. But also ca 45% of this city’s population has another mother tounge than Swedish. The city is filled with islamophobia, racist attacks on black people, on Muslims, antisemitic attacks on Jews and Anti-Israel values, antizigani attacks on Romanies etc. 15,2 %  of the Malmoe population are unemployed, compared to 8,5% in Sweden generally. In May 2011 it was less than 9%. The youth unemployment is almost 26%, and for people who have immigrated 28,3%.  When the Social Democrats and the Green Party in May 2011 launched “Jobboffensiv för hela Malmö”/Job strategy for all of Malmoe”  the Newspaper Sydsvenskan later found distinct corruption in it. High Social Democratic party members had contacted company owners and department bosses in order to help unemployed relatives, friends and party loyals. There was also lots of unsalaried work, and suspicion of bribery in some cases. Some officials were forced to leave their posts, while others who had been involved were allowed to stay, probably because of the “right contacts”.

The debate then? Both Katrin Stjernfeldt-Jamme and Anja Sonesson are trained politicians. On several of the topics they had fairly similar views, even if the ideological differences were there.  It was quite clear from the audience reactions that Katrin Stjernfeldt-Jamme had most sympathizers present. When Sonesson criticized the Social Democrats for not having been able to improve the school situation, Stjernfeldt-Jamme replied that neither had the government side.  Also the behaviour of certain politicians were used to hit on each other, and both said that one shouldn’t make party politics of common ground, which both of them actually did sometimes. Sonesson was one of the politcians who had been participating in the manifestation against Afro-phobia the day before at Möllevångstorget/The Mill-field Square.  She had found it awkward that her party had been harshly critisized for that phenomenon by some speakers, while that racism wasn’t part of her party’s views.

Image

When it comes to co-operation over the ideological borders both said that they keep the doors open for many different constellations, within limits. The Moderate Party/Conservatives can’t co-operate with the Left Party (the former Communist Party), but with the Social Democrats and the Environment Party the Green in some issues, while Katrin Stjernfeldt-Jamme said that she prefers her present red-green alliance, but in some cases might co-operate with the Conservative-Liberal side. Both of them said that they intend to keep the Sweden Democrats at bay, which have Nazi roots.  When the reporter Elin Fjellman Jernerup asked them questions concerning the labour-market the two adversaries had slightly different views and solutions, but the Conservatives now suggest a fifth job tax reduction for employers, while the red-green opposition on a national level want other solutions. She also critisized the government for not been reducing the unemployment rate. They also were asked questions about the connection between house-building and rents to employment, high salary and attractiveness for the city. Unemployed and poor people are often neglected. Where and how should one build to create new houses and flats, and create a better infrastructure? Sonesson put much focus on making Malmoe more attractive for the wealthy people, and bigger companies. “It’s important with good service so that those who pay lots of taxes wish to live here”, she said. Sonesson and Stjernfeldt-Jamme had some different views on traffic. Sonesson wants to improve the situation for cars to come to companies and flats in the city, while Stjernfeldt-Jamme wants to focus on greener solutions: make it cheaper and easier to go by train and busses, and bikes. On the final questions about their views of Malmoe in 2032 they had rather similar ideas: They both want Malmoe to be inventive and popular, a modern and aware city which is a Mecca for entrepreneurs, creative people, families and companies. Also new, attractive buildings and areas.  That is the political vision, and I do not doubt that part of that will be realised. The social wellfare and care for people is also important. That same Sunday which the debate was held we had election to who would be in the Swedish church boards. The Sweden Democrats had said that they wanted to use that election to get a stronger foothold in the political landscape. When they became part of the Swedish Parliament in 2010 a new law was passed by the other Parliament parties which said that Sweden is a multi-cultural nation, in order to oppose their racist agenda.  Lots of information about the church election was spread on social media recently, mainly to oppose the Sweden Democrats in the election. I was one of those many who went to church two days ago to make my contribution. Long queus were seen outside the churches all day all over Sweden. The Social Democrats got 32%, the Green party made a fairly good election,  The Conservatives ended on 22% and the other parties in the Alliance receded. The Sweden Democrats got 6% in the church election. I for one will continue struggling for a good society and dignified humanity according to my mid-ideology. We’ll see what the future will be for the city I live in, the country as a whole, and for our world.

Anders Moberg, September 17th 2013

Image

Image