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Black Lives Matter protest in Sweden descends into violence and vandalism (VIDEOS)

Black Lives Matter protest in Sweden descends into violence and vandalism (VIDEOS)
The Swedish city of Gothenburg has been shaken by street violence, after an initially peaceful ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest turned into a riot. Police clashed with demonstrators, who threw stones and smashed storefronts.

Defying the Swedish government’s coronavirus guidelines – which ban gatherings of more than 50 people – an estimated 2,000 people assembled in the city of Gothenburg on Sunday, to show solidarity with the worldwide protests that broke out after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer nearly two weeks ago.

Although the protest began peacefully, by late afternoon groups of demonstrators began throwing bricks, stones, and flower pots at police officers. In one city park, thugs kicked and punched police officers, and fought with each other.

“Several guys who normally cause problems for us in certain suburbs have been involved in the unrest,” police spokesman Christer Fuxborg told the Gothenburg Post. “In our opinion, these are individuals who are here to destroy.”

This will to destroy was focused on a number of businesses in the center of the city. Rioters smashed windows, and in one video they apparently turned on one of their own who attempted to stop the carnage.

By the end of the demonstration, police had arrested a number of people, at least one of whom was charged with a weapons offence.

One producer with video news agency Ruptly was caught in the crossfire while filming a clash between police and protesters. “They hit my camera and hit my face,” he said, referring to the protesters. “Then a group of them ran towards me and started pushing and kicking me. At this point the camera fell from my hands and they started kicking the camera.”

The producer said that he was brought to safety by police, who used pepper spray on the protesters.

Since the death of Floyd, riots and protests have sprung up worldwide, with Sunday’s demonstration in London drawing thousands of people. The Swedes have taken up the cause with enthusiasm, assembling in Stockholm, Malmo, and Gothenburg during the last week. In Stockholm on Wednesday, police used tear gas to disperse a protest.

However, some officers sided with the protesters. In one scene from the Swedish capital, a tearful white police officer dropped to her knee in solidarity with the activists.

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