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Gothenburg Trials: The Supreme Court will not pursue the attempt to ban the Resistance Movement


RESISTANCE MOVEMENT. The Supreme Court announced on 10 June that it will uphold the Court of Appeal’s acquittal of the Nordic Resistance Movement in the Gothenburg Trials.

Nordic Resistance Movement demonstration in Gothenburg, Sweden

During the so-called Gothenburg Trials, the system attempted to make it illegal for the Nordic Resistance Movement to conduct public activism, which in practice would have led to a ban on the organisation. The trials were a result of a report by the apparatchik Erik Nord, the chief of Gothenburg Police.

Erik Nord attempted to frighten the public away from attending the Nordic Resistance Movement’s authorised demonstration in Gothenburg in September 2017 by making the threat that participants would be guilty of incitement to racial hatred.

Nord said to SVT prior to the demonstration: “The recommendation to those who demonstrate is that if you do not want to break the law, do not appear in uniform, do not march in step and do not shout slogans in unison. We will arrest those who are guilty of incitement to racial hatred on the spot. A demonstration is not a free zone.”

In a now deleted press release, he also stated: “This might include uniform clothing or clothing of a certain type and colour, certain attributes or emblems, and a uniform appearance; for example, marching in step with flags and shields. There is scope to take into account various factors in an overall judgement, even if each person individually is not considered to be spreading a message of a particular kind in the eyes of the law.”

Nordic Resistance Movement defendants at the Gothenburg Trials

Fourteen participants in the demonstration were charged with incitement to racial hatred in accordance with Erik Nord’s statement – including Pär Öberg and Fredrik Vejdeland from the Nordic Resistance Movement’s National Council. If they had been convicted, more people would have likely been prosecuted, and it would have been a big step towards completely banning the Nordic Resistance Movement from operating on the streets and squares. However, all of the accused were acquitted in both the District Court and the Court of Appeal.

The prosecutor appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which on Thursday announced that it will not pursue the case but will instead let the Court of Appeal’s acquittal come into legal force.