Police attack queers during the Stockholm Pride parade

During this years' Stockholm Pride, Swedish police attacked and manhandled queers protesting against the fact that cops get to have their own bloc in the Pride parade despite their continous involvement in violent deportations of queer refugees, hunting down of irregular migrants, as well as the fact that their presence make queer people feel unsafe at their own event.

Submitted by Struggles in Sweden on August 8, 2013

During this years’ Stockholm Pride, the cops, the Armed Forces, the Prison and Probation Service yet again marched together other (similarly queer-phobic) parties and corporations under the slogan “We are family”. We are sick of their pinkwashing and them trying to score cheap political points with the general public. Cops aren’t family and they never will be. When cops attend Pride, this excludes other, much more marginalized groups; undocumented migrants, wanted people, asylum seekers, women and LGBTQ people who have been met with sexist and queer-phobic attitudes when reporting assaults, etc.

Therefore we, a couple of friends, together decided to carry out a silent protest during which we would carry two banners and march along with the police section of the parade. One of the banners read “Does the Pride police help deport HBTQ refugees?” with the other reading “Queers still not loving police”. We walked in silence, one banner in front of the police section, the other at its side. After only having marched about a hundred meters we get rushed by cops coming from several directions, with them screaming that we must move at the same time as they are gripping us and dousing us with pepper spray. Then they proceed to pin us to the ground, drag us around while continuing spraying us. This all takes place right in the middle of the Pride Parade and in front of thousands spectators who line the route along Sveavägen in central Stockholm.

As the protesters lie pinned to the ground, screaming for help because of the pepper spray burning eyes and bodies, the police start shouting to each other to decide just under which law they attacked us. In other words, the police have attacked their fellow Pride participants without quite knowing why. They decide to pick out a group of us and literally throw them against a wall, then proceeding to hold them down on the ground, surrounding them to keep them from getting away, still without being able to answer why. Several of the people who got doused in the eyes were wearing contact lenses scream for a doctor as they are unable to see. Eventually the police come to the realization that it is in accordance with paragraph 13 of the Police Act (disturbing the public order) that they have acted and after a long while they split us up, forcing us into two police vans that will take us away.

They first force one of the activists into one of the police vans, who is then forced to lie down on the floor, followed by us two who are next in line, who they pile on top of the first person, with all of us kept down on the floor when two cops seat themselves on top. After having forced everyone down on the floor the police van leaves, and one of the cops says “Well, that’s us sitting here together with you people while someone is being raped”. When we react by pointing out that are people in the bus who have been subjected sexual abuse and that joking about rape may act as a trigger he laughs, saying “And everyone male is a rapist then?” He refuses to state his name when we ask for it and hides his badge in his pocket. One of the activists who asked for access to medication repeats the request, but is denied. They start to let us off one by one, and we ask that of them to not let off the person whose anxiety is getting stronger and stronger alone. It all ends with them stopping the van, and letting off the person, who, when asking whose responsibility it will be in case of a fit, gets the answer that “that’s your own responsibility” from a cop who slides the door shut as the van drives off.

All of the activists are released at different locations, except for one who they lock up in the detention facility for more than six hours. They cut off all means of communication, so there’s no possibility of asking for necessities or go to the toilet, and they also shut off the water so there is nothing to drink.
During all of this, the police keep persisting in gendering us in ways we don’t feel comfortable with. Genderqueers constantly had to hear that they are “girls” who should sit down, stop resisting, and so on. Despite several people pointing out the fact that they are not girls and do not want to be addressed as “she”, the police choose not to listen, except for one instance when they use “him” instead. The activists addressed as “him” then ask the police if they know what the T in HBTQ stands for. Another thing we question is what the police are doing at Pride when they so obviously are trans- and queerphobic.

There is nothing new about cops feeling threatened by the criticisms leveled at them by queers. During the Gothenburg HBTQ festival in 2012 the police hosted a talk on hate crime. When people showed up to question what business the police had attending a Pride event, the cops were offended to such a degree that they sought out one of the persons at the Pride event area the following day. After having been shoved some distance away from the area, the activist was informed that the critical questions meant that a case had been opened to investigate this “disturbance of the public peace”. At this years’ Malmö Rainbow Parade the police attacked people dancing in the streets with the black bloc who did not move away quickly enough, forcing them down onto the wet pavement while also apprehending two people for disturbing the public order.

We are fucking mad. Mad at the fact that cops are behaving like violent psychos, attacking queers attending the parade. We are mad about the fact that there were thousands of people around us who just wanted to watch Happy Pride, who – with the exception of those passers-by who helped us with water and eye rinse – did not react at all when cops battered us right in the middle of the parade. We are mad at the fact that we are sitting here, bruised, scraped and with burning skin at the same time as the gay police are gaining legitimacy at the same time as they just keep on abusing their monopoly on violence, hunting irregular migrants, deporting queer refugees. But – we are fucking pleased with the fact that you obviously feel so god damned threatened by us.

/ Queers still not loving the police



10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by plasmatelly on August 8, 2013

Cracking post! Thanks for that.


10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on August 8, 2013

Hi, thanks for posting this.

Boring note about formatting etc: if you edit an article you need to approve the revision afterwards so it shows to all readers. Also, with the tags please do not create any new tags. Only match to existing tags. If in doubt, just leave the tags blank and an admin will add the relevant tags later. It's much easier to add tags than to remove incorrect ones. Cheers!


10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jojo on August 11, 2013

A gripping account of crazy police action against queers. Yes. I think thy are frightened of queers or anything that challenges their conformist minds. Are they frightened too that maybe, very secretly and deep down inside, that they might be queer too; or that some of their mates could be queer and maybe contaminate them. Does "queerdom" spread? Like in: Our father which art in heaven - Thy Queerdom Come!

Of course, all their violence, shouting and butch posturing is to try and ward off infection from contact with queers - like a crucifix and garlic scares off vampires - and proves to all watching, and to their mates - very important this, what your mates think about you, after all, if they suspected you were queer you might suddenly turn into one, and wake up in the morning in a pink frock and lipstick - and proves through sheer mindless and noisy aggression that you are straight as a bean pole and know how to treat queers. Make out they're part of your family: get them on the floor, squirt pepper spray in their faces, sit on top and have a nice talk about rape!

The police are the toe-rags of the ruling class and don't appreciate how much they stink.


10 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Danubian on August 15, 2013

Great report. These so-called family values are a joke, they are based on nothing but blind submission to an irrational social arrangement. Obviously it is preferable to have two liberal minded hbtq parents than a regimental heterosexual arrangement.

Then that disgusting insinuation that somehow the victims of police gender violence were preventing police from stopping gender violence (rape)... Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.