Did you know this was happening? I did not know this was happening:
Rioters have set fire to 30 cars and torched a school and a nursery in poor immigrant suburbs of Stockholm. Three nights of unrest in one of Europe’s richest capitals has marred Sweden’s reputation for social justice.
Swedish police said Wednesday they had arrested eight young men during a third night of urban unrest in low-income suburbs of Stockholm from Tuesday into Wednesday.
The rioting had erupted on Sunday after police shot dead a 69-year-old man on May 13.
Police said officers had acted in self-defense when the man wielded a machete in the northwestern suburb of Husby. The shooting was being investigated by a special police unit.
A group Megafonen which works with youth in deprived areas, accused police of being heavy-handed and targeting immigrants indiscriminately. Cuts in services and closures of youth centers have fuelled discontent, said its spokesman Rami al-Khamisi.
Immigrants? Like what, Italians? Poles? You don’t learn their countries of origin in that story, from Deutsche Welle, but you do learn it in this BBC report:
More than 80% of Husby’s 12,000 or so inhabitants are from an immigrant background, and most are from Turkey, the Middle East and Somalia.
Ah. More from Deutsche Welle:
The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party, which has risen to third in surveys ahead of a general election due next year, said the Stockholm riots were the result of an “irresponsible” immigration policy.
“Never before has so much money been spent on immigrant-heavy suburbs as today,” party leader Jimmie Aakesson told the daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.
Anna-Margrethe Livh of the opposition Left Party wrote in the Svenska Dagbladet: “We have failed to give many of the people in the suburbs a hope for the future.”
From The Economist earlier this year, a report on how mass immigration is tearing Sweden apart:
Yet the relationship between the state and its clients is strained. “In Sweden having a job is everything,” says Tobias Billstrom, the minister for immigration and a former MP for Malmö; but in Rosengard only 38% of the residents have one. Angry youths have taken to rioting, torching bicycle sheds and recycling centres as well as cars.
Per Brinkemo is a former journalist whose life was changed when he wrote a book about a Somali boy who was brought up in war-torn Mogadishu. He now runs an organisation that specialises in helping Somali refugees from the basement of a Rosengard block of flats. The centre’s walls are decorated with pictures of high-ranking visitors and prizes awarded to Mr Brinkemo. But he is no fan of government policies, pointing out that politicians have little sense of how difficult it is to integrate Somalis into Swedish society. They hail from nomadic societies where trust is reserved for the clan, literacy is rare and timekeeping is rudimentary. Three-quarters of Somali children drop out of school. “For Somali immigrants [coming to Sweden] is like being transported to Mars,” he says.
Mass immigration is posing serious problems for the region. For the Nordic countries to be able to afford their welfare states they need to have 80% of their adults in the workforce, but labour-force participation among non-European immigrants is much lower than that. In Sweden only 51% of non-Europeans have a job, compared with over 84% of native Swedes. The Nordic countries need to persuade their citizens that they are getting a good return on their taxes, but mass immigration is creating a class of people who are permanently dependent on the state.