18:41 GMT28 October 2020
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    The Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM), a rightist Swedish political force, has been allowed by the police to partake in this year’s grand week-long political gathering on the Swedish island of Gotland - Almedalen Week, which kicked off on July 1 and will continue till July 8.

    Swedish police have come under criticism for letting Sweden’s Nordic Resistance Movement take part in the event on Gotland, according to Swedish media. The leading LGBTQ rights group in Sweden, RFSL, has reportedly attempted to appeal against the decision but was rejected.

    The police have also been lambasted on Twitter, with some calling for them to take action:

    The police’s approval is, however, in line with Swedish law, which stipulates that any public event and demonstration should be permitted by law enforcement.

    The Nordic Resistance Movement seeks to create a Nordic republic made up Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. The police commissioner in charge of security during the event told Swedish newspaper SvD that the police have a "good dialogue" with the party.

    Criticism over the event as a whole is certainly in abundance: in one tweet, a lady is shown being pulled away by police for security reasons, as she sticks her middle finger in front of the marching right-wingers. Other Twitter users have tried to convey the message that the presence of the Nordic Resistance Movement isn’t about exercising free speech:

    Yet, many have praised the major 2018 event: 

    Some have come up with visual proof of the massive support another right-wing Swedish political party, namely the Sweden Democrats, has recently enjoyed with the national working class:

    Another user has pointed to the fact that the NRM has for some reason attracted too much attention, stealing the thunder from other issues:

    "I think NMR gets a lot of attention in Almedalen. Everything else is drowned by it. Politicians in democratic parties, you have the power to do something about it…What I hear are words. What I want to hear is: use existing legislation or create new."

    Another woman came up with a meme depicting her emotions after the comparatively conservative Sweden Democrats “start talking” at the event:

    The Almedalen Week, which celebrates its 50th jubilee this year, takes place every year in early July and is considered the biggest political event in Sweden. It will round off at the end of the week, on July 8. NMR has doubled its numbers at Almedalen this year compared to 2017, when it caused controversy by attending the political festival for the first time.

    Last year, the week hosted over 4,000 events and registered over 40,000 visitors. It is believed to be one of the most important platforms for parties to put their forward political agendas across Sweden, with this year’s event being crucially important in light of the upcoming Swedish parliamentary elections, due to take place in September. It is notably the first time that the Nordic Resistance Movement will be up for vote.


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