As of May 24th, police in Stockholm are seeking reinforcements to help contain riots that have spilled into what is the fifth – and impending sixth day. Approximately 30 more cars were set ablaze by youths who also cast stones at police officers attempting to restore order
The riots have called attention to a class division in Stockholm, exposing the gaps between the well-off citizens and the foreigners who have difficulties in acquiring work and education and as a result feel segregated. According to The Guardian, “the violence [Thursday night] was less intense than in previous nights.” According to police, about 8 people mostly in their 20s were arrested overnight. The riots were apparently sparked by the death of a 69-year old Portuguese man who was gunned down by police on May 13th. Many youths feel that they are being racially profiled and the police have demonstrated this in their remarks towards them.
Some of the young men rioting in Stockholm have used unemployment as their excuse to burn cars, attack people and generally cause disorder. However, they have access to welfare, education, and community support. This excuse is flimsy at best. Others have used the death of the above-mentioned man in Husby as their motivation, citing police violence and racial inequality. The Stockholm youths, though they feel they may have been wronged – definitely chose to express their displeasure in the wrong way. Surely there’s a better way to get your point across than setting your neighbors car on fire… no? Hell, maybe not!