Mink Machine

Ten years since the Gothenburg Riots

Exactly ten years ago an European Union summit was held in my hometown Gothenburg, featuring George Bush, Tony Blair, Jaques Chirac and other suits. The situation was a bit tense, since previous meetings had stirred major demonstrations and hostilities in Nice, Seattle and Amsterdam.

I was in Boston at the time. I remember waking up and reading the morning paper where the headline was “President Bush going to Goteboorg, Sweden”. The next day I saw a newspaper frontpage where a policeman on horse was brutally pushing a young masked man against a wall. Then I saw the caption beneath it: “Riots in Goteboorg, Sweden”.

At this time the media world was a bit less online, so we only received short bits and pieces from friends and relatives back home by telephone since we had no web access in our cell phones. Strange tales of burning streets and cobblestones being thrown at policemen wearing encounter suits. This was a few months before the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the world seemed smaller.

When I got home I browsed through all media I could find to absorb the details. Heard about friends and their friends who were caught in the middle of it all. Even though I had run this site for 7 years at the time, I had not started blogging yet but I wrote a small summary in Swedish: Transatlantiska kravaller

Today ten years have passed. These days very few people talk about the riots and it feels a lot longer than ten years. I watched a documentary where they interviewed the young man who was shot in the stomach by the police and nearly died. Today he is 30 years old and released from prison, but he claims he would do it all over again if he had to.

Based on the reports and analysis I’ve seen, it seems clear to everyone that the police was way out of line and their action back in 2001 probably still have a lot of influence on the way demonstrations are held in Sweden these days.

Comments

No comments yet.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured stories

A journey through Iran

A journey through Iran

"I woke up freezing on a Persian rug with aching back. Behind a corner I saw the damned rooster that kept me awake during many hours."
Reliving history in Washington D.C.

Reliving history in Washington D.C.

"As I entered the heavily guarded Rotunda in the center, some of the most famous documents in the world laid before me."
The urban maze of Tangier

The urban maze of Tangier

"There are exciting things waiting around every corner and my bucket list is long, but the Medina has a mindset of its own regarding time and space."
Good morning Montenegro

Good morning Montenegro

"One would almost think that all this secrecy was made on purpose to keep the hordes of tourists away. Let them all perish in the crowds of Dubrovnik while the people of Montenegro can enjoy their beautiful country on their own. Or something like that."
Roaming the cobblestones of Istanbul

Roaming the cobblestones of Istanbul

"Inside the church there are still traces of rune inscriptions made during the Viking age by Varangians, an elite guard made up of Scandinavian immigrant warriors."
Roaming through Banff

Roaming through Banff

"Even though the main town is surrounded by mountains with names such as Sulphur Mountain, it is as far away from Mordor as one could imagine."

Instagram

Seville
Venice
Fever Ray
Rome
Basel
Kuala Lumpur