Nick Griffin, chairman of the BNP is off to Sweden in December it seems and it isn’t for a spot of Christmas shopping.
Griffin has been invited to speak at the annual Salem march on December 10th held near the Swedish capital Stockholm. The event is held every year in commemoration of Daniel Wretström, a 17-year-old skinhead who was beaten and stabbed to death in December 2000. Over the years it has brought together a whole menagerie of racists and Nazis from across Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. This year is no exception.
Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting characters sharing a platform with the BNP chairman.
Eriksson’s involvement in far right politics goes back a number of years. He first hit the headlines when he along with a mob of violent Nazis attacked the Stockholm Gay Pride march held in 2003.
Following this he moved over to the violent “Info14” network run by Robert Vesterlund, who was linked to the murder of the trade union activist Björn Söderberg in 1999. Eriksson, who is a regular speaker at the Salem march, peppers his speeches with anti Semitic sentiment, once describing Holocaust Memorial Day as “The date which, for several years now, has made the most disgusting of sewer rats crawl out of their filthy holes, kneel to the star of hate and lick the blood splattered feet of the new world order”.
He doesn’t just direct his poison towards Jews however, describing immigrants in Sweden as a “black-brown, spice-stinking slew that should be sent packing”. Not surprisingly Dan Eriksson once described Adolf Hitler and the Nazis as a “Breath of fresh air”.
Hardline Neo Nazi, Carlsen was until this year a leading member of the Danish National Socialist Movement (DNSB). He left in February of this year to form his own political party “The Danish Party”.
Carlsen appears to like having his photo taken with a swastika flag and once told Swedish Newspapers in 2008 that he saw Adolf Hitler as “a great man” and although there were Jews who died because there was war, “the systematic extermination in gas chambers, I do not believe” Carlsen also has a violent past, having been arrested on a number of occasions for assault and violent disorder.
Söderman was until recently the deputy leader of the Neo Nazi Swedish Resistance Movement (SMR) and also attempted to launch a Swedish section of the US white supremacist movement “The Aryan Nations” which the FBI has labelled a terrorist threat.
A regular visitor to the Salem march, Söderman spoke in 2003 where he concluded his speech by leading the crowd in chants of “Sieg Heil”. Also in 2003 Söderman was one of the speakers at the annual Rudolf Hess rally in Wunsiedel,Germany.
Providing “entertainment” to the Salem rally is Ken McLellan, singer with the notorious Nazi rock band “Brutal Attack”. McLellan is known to have a violent temper and in 1999 gave a fellow Nazi and former Nick Griffin lap dog Adrian Woods, a horrific beating at a pub in the Derbyshire.
Woods was formerly the leader of the “Surrey Border Front” as well as having stints in the NF and the BNP. He moved to the East Midlands in 1999 to start a new life after falling out with Griffin’s followers, and after a fight with McLellan, suffered a broken jaw and several broken ribs and was reported to have been rushed to intensive care.
The violence took place following an argument where Woods mocked McLellan for singing nationalist songs when he had fathered two children with a black woman.
With thanks to our colleagues at EXPO in Stockholm.
Hope not Hate