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Students clean up Fittja

Sebastian Chaaban/Metro Sweden · 22 Maj 2013
Uppdaterad 22 Maj 2013

The centre was vandalized and cars set on fire. Then the students at Fittjaskolan Botkyrka norra-school decided to clean up the mess. “It felt good to make it nice again, says 14-year-old student Dilnaza.

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Foto: Urban Brådhe

The riots in Husby, a suburb north west of Stockholm, on Monday night spread to Fittja, south of the city. Kids were throwing stones at police and commuter trains. Bus stops and city lights were smashed, the entrance to the tube stop was covered in graffiti and two cars were burnt during the night.

Then the students at Fittjaskolan Botkyrka norra decided to clean up the mess and show a completely different side of their community.

“In the morning we spoke to the students about what had happened in Husby and now in Fittja. We talked about what you can do, and if you can make a change,” says Hanna Adolfi, who is a teacher at the school.

“And the conclusion was that you can make a difference. We presented the proposal, that if you were to clean up the centre you would show that we don’t want it to be like this and that things aren’t just negative.” she says.

All the classes in year eight were given one hour to go to Fittja centre and tidy up together.

“I felt angry and sad that people had destroyed and trashed things where we live. But it felt great that everyone were helping out to clean up all the glass, erase the ugly things they had written and make it look nice here again,” says student 14-year-old student Dilnaza.

Close to 60 students, voluntarily, helped collect glass, clean up graffiti and rubble in the centre.

People who are living around the square appreciated their initiative. They came up and thanked the students.

“Many of us thought at first, why should we pick up what others have destroyed? But it makes a change and it felt good to be able to help,” says 15-year-old David.

It only took the students an hour to clean up the centre. Their initiative was applauded by the Botkyrka city council that called and promised to treat them to cake.

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Sebastian Chaaban/Metro Sweden
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