The purpose of the campain #ochjagprotesterade (and I protested) is to notice that we need to protest against racism before it’s too late. It calls upon Sweden to, in unity, with the UN’s racial discrimination act introduce a ban on racist organization. Follow the campain #ochjagprotesterade on social media.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SHOE INSTALLATION
- Collect shoes. Call second hand stores and ask! Hopefully you can return them after the manifestation, but don’t promise anything if there happen to be a sabotage. We had about 600-700 pairs, but it probably works with less too.
- Construct some sort of frame/box to keep them in.
- Print or order a sign. Available for download HERE.
- Write a press release about why you’re doing a shoe installation, preferably with demands of a ban against rasist organization.
- Write a text that you can share with a picture in social media. Use the hashtag #ochjagprotesterade. Visit Make Equal’s social media for inspiration.
Its up to you if you want to do it in secret as activists or if you want to create a public event and encourage more people to join in. If you do the latter, we would recommend to apply for permission from the police. You apply for a permission on the website of the police (fill in “begagnande av offentlig plats) or head to your local police station.
Questions and answers
What do you want to achieve with #ochjagprotesterade? We want a ban on racist organisation. We have joined the UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and it says that we should ban organisations that promote and incite racial discrimination. The Swedish Constitution also states that freedom of association may be restricted in the case of organisations that use violence or persecute groups based on ethnicity. Racism benefits from being visible and normalised. If we introduce a ban, it would be more difficult for them to recruit new members, and to control the political discourse as they do today. A democracy must also protect its minorities and those who are vulnerable. Freedom of expression must not be used at the expense of other human rights.
Why are you doing this? We want to show what would happen if we let the normalization of racism proceed. What the utmost consequences of racism and nazism is and that we need to protest before it’s too late. Just like the Niemöller poem says. Nazist organizations are allowed to take more space in our public spaces, more often than so on other
Would a ban restrict freedom of expression? Militant Nazi organisations are a threat to other people’s freedom of expression. On the other hand, it is a legal restriction on freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is a human right, but we can, and should restrict freedom of expression. And there are already many restrictions – for example, you cannot threaten, defame or incite a group of people.
We have freedom of opinion in Sweden, so we can’t ban people from being racists! A ban on organisation is not about the opinions – but about people not having the right to organise on the same terms as other groups, e.g. linked to organisation numbers, premises, funding, etc.
Is not racist organisation already illegal, since we have signed up to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racism (CERD)? UN conventions are not legally binding on a country that has ratified them unless they are implemented in its legislation. So we can be criticised for non-compliance (which we are) but the UN cannot sanction us for breaking what we have committed to.
The Constitution says that freedom of association can be restricted for associations that persecute a group of people on based on ethnic origin or skin colour, so it is already illegal, isn’t it? The constitution regulates the parliament and what laws can be passed – not how citizens or authorities can act. The constitution thus makes it possible, through the restriction on freedom of association, for legislators to criminalise racist organisation, but this is not done today.
So who is to decide what is racism? If there is a change in the law, it is up to the legal profession to define and set limits. The law will always need to draw boundaries, and there will always be grey zones for the legal system to test.
We already have the law on incitement to hatred, isn’t that enough? Since the police themselves say that the legislation is not clear enough, and since Nazis are repeatedly allowed to use our public spaces at the expense of others, we do not think that the existing legislation is sufficient. Moreover, we believe that criminalising the organisation itself would cover more aspects than the law on incitement to hatred can do. It would, for example, limit the possibilities for funding and recruitment.
But if racist organisations are criminalised today – won’t left-wing organisations be criminalised when other political parties come to power? We have a lot of support in Swedish legislation to create a law that only covers Nazi and racist organisations in Sweden. The Swedish instrument of government states that freedom of organisation may be restricted when its activities “involve persecution of a group of people on the grounds of ethnic origin, skin colour or other similar factor”. Just as the UN Convention reads: “which promotes and incites racial discrimination”. These formulations do not include left-wing organisations.