By Sarah Oulahna
Critics immediately washed over after the announcement of the authorization by the police of the Nazi movement’s NMR demonstration at the same time and place as the Gothenburg annual book fair. However this situation does not seem to slow down the regulars.
This Thursday the police officially authorised the NMR (Nordiska Motståndsrörelsen), a nazi groupuscule, to march through the city centre of Gothenburg. The demonstration is supposed to take place on September 30 and start at the Swedish exhibition centre, Svenska Mässan. The polemic rose because at that very same date, Svenska Mässan hosts the annual book fair which attracts thousands of people from all over the country. Concerns have been uttered by critics and politicians on the ethics of allowing such a demonstration as well as regarding the security of the book fair.
The other possible issue is a drop in the attendance figures of the fair as the nazi march may dissuade some people from going. This is not an option for Hedvig Wallin, 24, who declares that she would never miss it : “Sure I do find it unpleasant because it is no place for such a demonstration. But I am going to attend the book fair anyway because I go every year and I feel safer knowing that they [the event organisers] have increased security.”
Indeed, talking to Göteborgs Posten, Maria Källsson, responsible for the book fair, set out to reassure the visitors, announcing that the security means would be increased during the event. That was not enough to convince Gunilla Ericson, 69, to visit the fair on the 30th : “ I am used to attend every year but when I heard about the manifestation I decided to stay away from the fair. At least on that day. Violence can spread out so quickly, I would rather stay completely out of the city centre on that day.” The book fair lasts for 4 days and usually welcomes around 100 000 visitors a year, it will take place from September 28 until October 1st 2017.