Swedes go to the polls on Sunday.
Law and order, crime and gang violence dominated the Swedish election campaign agenda, and it’s no wonder:
- There have been 1,889 shootings in Sweden in the past four years, and 262 people have died, according to SVT.
- So far this year alone, there have been 47 fatalities.
- Our neighboring country is now at the top of Europe in deadly gun violence.
This has caused politicians on both sides of the block to speak out about gang crime and vulnerable parts of the city in and out of town.
“Private open area”
Gottsunda outside Uppsala is on the police’s list of “particularly at risk areas”. The residents there completely disagree with the descriptions the politicians came up with.
The whole debate about counties is misleading, says America’s Vera Zavala, director of local theater in the region.
She has worked with theater throughout Sweden for over 20 years, most recently as a director at Gottsunda Dans og Teater. Here, free dance groups with professional instructors, lectures, and neighborhood performances are offered.
Know that we are saving lives
She believes that the main problem is the economic differences.
– Here we live our lives, love and die like everyone else. The difference, says Vera-Zavala, is poverty, and it is radically greater here than in other areas.
She stressed that the problems described by the police are largely present in the area, but the misdeeds of a few leave an impression on the entire local community.
The prejudices and stigma that arise around these areas are very problematic. People look down on it. Kids have it in their bodies, and they know they are almost expected to become criminals, says the theater director.
The theater acts as a local gathering point offering local youth and adults a show in which they can express themselves.
I know we save lives every day, says Vera Zavala.
will vote blank
One of those who have been inspired by the theater is the actor Peter Roman. Growing up in Gottsunda, he has worked in film and theater and will now play on home theater for the first time.
– I like Gottsunda, mostly I only have good memories from here, says Roman.
He also works at the entertainment center with local youth and says they need a show, not the least of which is to meet on their own terms.
– It’s a tougher environment now than before. Roman says, “I think it’s more dangerous to be young now than it was when I was young.
Among other things, he talks about a different pharmacological environment than before. Although there have been many actions in the area in recent decades, Gottsunda has never recovered from the police roster. Peter Roman does not believe that politicians will be able to come up with any solutions that will change the situation.
There are many short-term solutions. I’ll vote blank to show I don’t believe in any of them, he says.
Racist election campaign
The theater director is also not optimistic ahead of the elections.
– We see election campaign materials with pictures of young men in hoodies bearing the slogan “Young people should not become criminals.” Then we realize that’s what a criminal looks like, like these guys who live here, she says.
America Vera-Zavala reacts forcefully to the blunt language used against boycotts by all sides.
– This is the most racist election campaign I’ve ever experienced. Racism has become normal, and it is not just the far right that is to blame. All this, this dehumanization swallows us up, and devalues and devalues people, she continues.
– irresponsible policy
Most parties in the Swedish parliament want tougher penalties and more police, but the party that mobilizes the most voters on the issue is the one on the far right – the Swedish Democrats (SD). According to the latest TV 2 poll average, they are likely to become the second largest party in Sweden, with 19.47 percent.
Sweden has had a very irresponsible policy in recent years, with partly very large immigration, but also an unrequited integration policy, SD leader Jimmy Okeson tells TV 2.
– Then we created separation and entry and that led to this kind of gang crime, slums in big neighborhoods and then we end up here.
Among other things, the party wants to stop all asylum immigration from countries outside of Sweden’s neighboring countries, create visitor zones where police can search people without suspecting anything criminal and revoke the citizenship of foreign-born people who commit serious crimes.
– What kind of evidence do you have to say that your proposals, such as higher penalties, actually work?
If dangerous people are already imprisoned, they will not be able to commit new crimes against law-abiding people. That’s the starting point here, Okeson says.
Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson of the SPD can understand that the people of Gottsunda viewed the election campaign as racist.
– It was a very sharp tone. The Swedish Democrats are now in danger of becoming Sweden’s second largest party, and there are many people who constantly make xenophobic and purely racist statements, Andersen told TV 2.
Anderson herself was criticized after she made a statement that the party did not want his own “Somalitowns” or “Little Italy” or “Chinatown” In Sweden. To TV 2, the Prime Minister explains what she meant by the statement.
We Social Democrats have always wanted to live and live together. This is the only way to create a more equal society that is ready to solve social problems together.
– In the past period, the number of fatal shootings increased. Your motto is that Sweden can do better. So why do voters vote for you?
Because we have a wide range of proposals to hire more police than ever before, and the biggest tightening of penalties for gang crime ever. But also because, unlike the right, we want to break the flow of new recruits that leads young boys to crime, Anderson says.
drugs and money
In the outer wing of the left we find the left party. Leader Noshi Dadgostar thinks other parties have misunderstood him.
– They don’t understand it’s about drugs and money, Dadgostar tells TV 2.
When asked what distinguishes her policy from others in the field of justice, she replied:
We want to focus on preparing customs and making sure that there are social services and police that take care of those who think of going out and using drugs. If you’re an addict, Dadgostar says, you should of course get help with your addiction.
The Vänsterparti commander is also concerned about the police clearance rate.
Seven out of ten cases are not resolved by the police. We have an extensive program to support the police in resolving these cases and prosecuting these people. Then we have to succeed in getting rid of the drugs. Dadgostar says everyone who takes drugs helps support this criminal activity.
It also believes that the crux of the problem revolves around growing economic differences.
– If you break up a community, you create huge economic gaps and you get an American society – then you also get American crime statistics.
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