The streets of Jönköping were a place of unrest on May 1, as neo-Nazi Party of the Swedes (Svenskarnas parti – SvP) marched and were met by protests throughout the city. 19 persons were arrested for contempt of police and some 90 people bussed away from the scene.
The march was temporarily held up by anti-racist protesters, who sat down in the street and blocked the way. Eventually SvP was able to continue the march, but on an alternative route.
The Swedish Church (Svenska kyrkan) also chose to protest the neo-Nazis. For the first time since 1939, the church bells in Sofia church and Kristina church rang to warn the public against danger.
The bells continued to ring throughout the Nazi march – for two hours straight.
”We did this to show that their march endangers our open society. It felt important - and we've heard from many people who appreciated our taking action," said the priest Fredrik Hollertz.
Some 450 police officers were on duty in Jönköping. There were no reports of any serious clashes between neo-Nazis and protesters, although one person in the SvP march reportedly had a bottle thrown at his head. Two suspicious objects were also found and blown up by the police's bomb technicians, although it is unknown whether or not the objects were explosive.
”We had some disturbances, but they were still manageable. Let's just conclude that the demonstration was able to go through as planned," said police spokesman Lars Byström.