Malmö gears up for massive demonstration

Around 20,000 anti-globalization protesters are expected to march through the streets of Malmö on Saturday, in what some observers are calling the largest demonstrations held in Sweden in decades.

“This will probably be the biggest demonstration [in Sweden] since the end of World War II,” organizer Peter Johansson told reporters at the European Social Forum in of Malmö.

The four-day forum has requested that police keep a discreet presence at the march, and only a few dozen officers will be visible along the demonstration route, Anders Svensson, who is in charge of protest security, told AFP.

“That is one of our demands to police,” he said, adding that organizers wanted to avoid a repeat of the 2001 clashes between protesters and officers in the southwestern city of Gothenburg, when 250 people were injured, including three demonstrators shot by police.

“We will have a very low profile. We won’t have lots of policemen in the streets (but) we will have officers (on call near) the demonstration,” Malmö police spokesman Lars Förstell told AFP.

“We will have plenty of police resources to take care of whatever might happen,” he added.

The demonstration, titled “Power to the People — Against Capitalism and Environmental Destruction. Another World is Possible!”, will begin in a working class neighbourhood on the outskirts of Malmö.

Protesters will then march 7.5 kilometres into the centre of town.

Calls for independent activists to demonstrate on Friday evening have also been circulating on the Internet.