1 MAY. Fredrik Vejdeland summaries the Nordic Resistance Movement’s 1 May 2023.
Is there room for laughter in difficult times? Of course! Not only does it help steel oneself against adversity, it also rubs off on others and contributes to conducting smart and creative actions. This is what the Nordic Resistance Movement did in several locations on 1 May.
On 1 May this year, the Nordic Resistance Movement organised a town square rally in Sundsvall for nationalists in the northern parts of Sweden, while those in the southern regions upstaged other groups’ events, turned their rhetoric on its head and made a mockery of the authorities.
Personally, I appreciated these actions and I know I’m not alone in that. At any rate, there was a lot of laughter among our activists during the day, and a lot of good political points were gained by what we did.
In Sundsvall the day began with a really well-executed town square meeting. Pär Öberg was in top form, Simon Holmqvist showed why he should give speeches more often and Anders Gudmarsson made a great public speaking debut. I would have liked to have been there, as it looked like everyone had a good time. Öberg again demonstrated his powers of persuasion by setting up a debate; admittedly, it was with a clown, but that was dictated by the quality of opposition available on the day.
Meanwhile, the Nordic Resistance Movement in the southern reaches were in full swing, counter-demonstrating, infiltrating and sabotaging the Social Democrat meetings in Stockholm, Växjö and Trollhättan.
In Trollhättan, Resistance members got the jump on the Social Democrats and occupied the exact spot where Peter Hultqvist was going to speak. This type of activity has become somewhat of a tradition in Nest 2, as the same thing happened to the Left Party in Munkedal last year, before the left were hounded around the whole city.
The police force eventually came to Hultqvist’s rescue in Trollhättan, cutting short the speech by a Resistance Movement member, whose deep voice drowned out the former defence minister’s ramblings, even without the use of a megaphone. Hultqvist was rattled, changed his speech and started ranting about Hitler in a bunker, but his diatribe was easily overshadowed by the Resistance Movement’s speech. Hopefully our address persuaded many listeners to reflect on how the Social Democrats have betrayed the Swedish workers.
In Växjö and Stockholm, the socialists’ parades were infiltrated by activists holding placards featuring socialist messages, only written in plain Swedish. Some of the slogans were almost identical to those uttered by their politicians, such as Mona Sahlin’s call for employers to employ Muhammed rather than regular Swedes.
In Växjö this caused the Social Democrat officials to run around like headless chickens and for the police to lead Marcus Hansson away on two occasions – the second time right in front of the Social Democrats’ stage during their speeches. In Stockholm it took 20-25 minutes before the Resistance Movement’s messages were discovered. At least one of the socialists then resorted to violence and pushed a Resistance man, which resulted in the socialist almost falling over. The comrades subsequently took the opportunity to heckle the Social Democrat politician Mikael Damberg, occupy the space outside the LO trade union headquarters and scare away anti-fascists with their mere presence.
What the Nordic Resistance Movement did on 1 May was largely about ridiculing the power structure through satire. Satire has frequently been important – sometimes decisive – in revolutionary movements or during major political events. During the French Revolution, Voltaire’s pamphlets encouraged the masses to laugh at the king, which helped unite the resistance. In Germany during the 1920s, a certain Joseph Goebbels – together with his satirist and wingman Hans Schweitzer – got the entire Berlin police force to laugh at their own chief, Bernard “Isidor” Weiss. The Alt Right movement played a large part in getting an American president elected with the aid of memes. Satire is definitely not to be underestimated.
Those who master the art of satire show they are forward-thinking, creative and viable. Such a force is attractive and has a bright future ahead.
So, on 1 May, several smart and innovative actions were conducted that both disrupted and disrobed the authorities, with great success. Hopefully, this is something we will see even more of in the future.