Members of the Swedish public have expressed outrage after police in the multicultural city of Malmö granted permission for a Black Lives Matter protest that attracted thousands of demonstrators.
The protest, which took place on Thursday, attracted around 2,000 participants but police only made two reports despite gatherings of more than 50 people being banned in order to combat the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.
Ewa-Gun Westford, a police press spokesperson, said that the Malmö police had received a large amount of criticism from the public for letting the demonstration go ahead. “We’ve got angry emails, angry phone calls and comments on social media on this,” she told newspaper Aftonbladet.
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When asked about the coronavirus regulations that ban demonstrations of more than 50 people, Westford said “It is indeed an educational dilemma, but we found no way to say no. Now we will look at that issue specifically if there will be more applications for permits. It is also a national issue that we will look at further.”
The protest is not the first to break coronavirus rules since they were implemented earlier this year. A pro-migration protest that took place in Gothenburg also violated the gathering limit, but officers made attempts to reduce the size of the demonstration at the time.
The Malmö protest came just days after another Black Lives Matter protest took place in Stockholm that saw thousands of demonstrators defy coronavirus measures, supposedly in solidarity to protests in the United States following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.
During the protest, a female police officer took to her knee and held up a sign saying “white silence is violence.” Some have reported that police have received formal complaints about the officer’s conduct.
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