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 ordinary blogging yet but I wrote a small summary in Swedish.

George W Bush in Eastern Berlin George W Bush as seen in eastern Berlin.

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.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.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."
Chilling in Chile

Chilling in Chile

"My weary feet has reached Valparaiso. After almost a month of traveling across the South American continent I realize that this is as far south as I will come, due to weather conditions."
Greetings from Moldova

Greetings from Moldova

"But Chisinau is an unexpected gem in the wilderness. Even though Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, the capital has its fair share of impressive buildings and post-Soviet architecture."
Alone in Kyoto

Alone in Kyoto

"I tried my best to sneak across the building, but the floor revealed me each time. I suppose I would make a lousy ninja."
The lakes of Lombardy

The lakes of Lombardy

"The town of Como, largest settlement around Lake Como, attracts a lot of people with big wallets. But I preferred to take the funicular up the mountain to the Brunate region, where you get a much better view of the lake."
Visions of Singapore

Visions of Singapore

"By extensive use of landfill with sand bought from Indonesia and Cambodia, the bay area has expanded greatly in the last few years and tall buildings pop up everywhere."

Instagram

Seville
Venice
Fever Ray
Rome
Basel
Kuala Lumpur