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(en) Sweden, 1 may reports

From Mikael Altemark <altemark@home.se>
Date Fri, 2 May 2003 15:57:32 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

As usual libertarian celebrations of the international workers day were held
in numerous cities, about 25 locations saw powerful demonstrations with
red and black banners and calls to put an end to the capitalist and statist
sickness. Many places saw a greater focus on workplace struggle, and
specifically calls were made in support of the struggle of the Kommunal
strike (LO-affiliated union for public service workers) who have ended
their agreement with their employee counterparts.

A long and seething
discontent with low wages and a general disrespect for the importance
of their work has forced the union bosses to call a strike soon involving
60 000 workers. Of course SAC and has called sympathy strikes for members
working within the same sector that have been given noticed. While
the care-sector workers are taking the battle for recognition of their
the chairwoman of Kommunal "earns" a wage many times the amount of
the membership doing the actual struggle. At the same time social
democract politicians - tied to the LO through the unions support
of the the social democrat party - have acted as strike-breakers
at several locations, putting a focus on the problems that arise when
workers organizations of struggle are tied and strangled by
political parties.

The wet and cold weather discouraged some people, but many filled
the ranks of the stockholm syndicalists and anarchists as 1500
young and old people marched together in the SAC demonstration.
But first the workers movement of Stockholm traditionally gathered
before the monument "La Mano", built in remembrance of the brave
antifascists who travelled to Spain to fight Francos forces.
>From there a couple of hundred anarchists marched of to join
forces with the syndicalists. Speeches were held, amongst others
by Shora Esmailian of ISM Sweden and SUF about the situation
in Palestine. A representative of the Social and Healthcare syndicate
of Stockholms LS - SAC told about the sympathy actions
for kommunal they are organizing. The demonstration ended with
the Stockholm Anarcha-feminist Choir singing revolutionary songs.

In Sweden's third biggest city Malmö 600 people gathered
for the demonstration called by Malmö and Lund LS of SAC,
the syndicalist youth federations in both cities as well as
Autonomous Resistance, Street Action and antifascist
groups. Before ending the meeting they marched to the sound of
Judas Priests "breaking the law" and then singing the

In Uppsala 200 persons gathered for the SUF and SAC
demonstration behind the slogans "6 hours workday",
"equal pay regardless of sex", "global justice" and
"no to privatizations! yes to workers control!".
Speakers cited Ricardo Flores Magon, Martin Luther King
when explaining that without social justice, the world
is involved in a constant war, regardless if it is
USA-initated bombs over other countries. A representative
of SAC told about the 10 year anniversary of SUF, who
he participated in forming in Uppsala in 1993, and
subsequently the crowd sang "happy birthday to you"
and cheered.

In Gothenburg 1500 people participated in the syndicalist
demonstration. "- We can change the world, everything
else is bullshit!" one of the speakers said as she talked
on the subject of refusing to live on one's knees.

Several cities also saw Reclaim the City-actions later during the
day, in some cases the day before. In gothenburg a party was
held with confrontantions with police, who used pepper spray
against the protesters.

Smaller cities like Linköping, northern Umeå RTC-parties
were also held to celebrate 1 may.

In Stockholm 1500-2000 people gathered to dance to heavy music and
paint political slogans on the street in one of the more
fashionable parts of the city. Clashes with police commenced
though, and numerous stores had their windows smashed and bottles
were thrown at cops. A citizen witness described the reason for
the confrontations in a national daily with the words - "What
triggered the fight was when three police suddenly apprehended
a guy doing graffiti, pushed him down on the street. When they
pushed him up again his nose was bleeding and this triggered
the violence. The police used excessive force and acted

The cops did chock attacks on the mass of people, surrounded them and
then the crowd was spread all over the city, with small groups of youth
moving around the city, smashing windows and engaging in confrontations
with police. Confrontations continue as this is written and
police were at first preparing busses to ship arrested people to distant
locations in Stockholm, a usual tactic during recent years, but now
instead they plan on dispersing the youths.

Mikael Altemark, SUF International Committee

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