World Bulletin / News Desk
A march by the Swedish neo-Nazi Party of the Swedes (Svenskarnas party - SVP) in the city of in Jonkoping on Thursday forced the local church to sound its warning bells for the first time since World War II.
"We chose to ring the bells because we think it's a threat to our open society when our streets play host to messages that do not respect every person's value and dignity," church priest Fredrik Hollertz told The Local.
The ringing of the church bells non-stop for two hours, which is done to warn locals of a threat, was the first time warning bells had been heard in the city since 1939.
Around 450 police officers were allocated to control the protest, which was marked by sporadic scenes of unrest. As a result, 19 protesters were arrested amd another 32 were temporarily taken into custody.
The march had to be rerouted after counter-protesters blocked a road that the neo-Nazi group had planned to take. A controlled explosion on a suspicious package was also carried out near the protest site.
Sweden has traditionally been known for its tolerant attitude towards migrants and foreigners, but recent attacks on mosques, as well as an attack on a Muslim woman for wearing a headscarf, have challenged this view.
On Friday Sweden's Metro newspaper reported that four Roma men had been denied service at a restaurant in the capital Stockholm after being told the restaurant did not serve Roma customers.
Last Mod: 02 Mayıs 2014, 16:37