Political Violence: Swedish Populist Leader Attacked with Fireworks on Campaign Trail

Sweden
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images

Populist Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson was targetted by an attack earlier this week when an unknown individual shot fireworks at his car following a European Parliament election campaign meeting.

The attack occurred in the municipality of Mariestad on Thursday afternoon following a campaign meeting after Akesson and his bodyguards had entered his vehicle, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.

According to Anna Göransson, the police’s press spokesman in the Western Region, the attack saw the individual throw so-called “bangers” at the populist leader’s car — a loud firework that was banned in the United Kingdom in 1997.

“In connection with Jimmie Åkesson leaving Mariestad, someone threw a banger against his car or behind the car. An application has been prepared — one for attempted assault and one for violence against an official. There is no arrest or suspicion, but an investigation is underway,” Göransson said.

Sweden Democrats Press Manager Henrik Gustafsson reacted to the incident saying that it proved the growing polarization in Swedish politics.

Even Sweden’s Social Democrat prime minister Stefan Löfven condemned the attack, saying, “Every attack on our elected politicians is an attack on our common democracy. The incident makes me extremely dismayed and I want to express my empathy for Jimmie Åkesson and his family at this moment.”

The attack comes only a week after a 15-year-old boy, who was campaigning for the Sweden Democrats, was physically assaulted by a group of people after he had attempted to take pictures of them for an attack earlier in the day when one of the members of the group allegedly threw their drink at him.

The incident this week is not the first time Akesson has been personally targetted. In May of 2017, Akesson’s home was attacked while his partner and son were there.

The attackers threw eggs and launched fireworks at the home and even attempted to break in.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

 

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