Image: A screenshot from Stundin.

Neo-Nazi Event Spurs Protest in Iceland

 In News, Society

A protest titled “Iceland Against Nazis” will be held tomorrow in Reykjavík in response to the appearance of a neo-Nazi group that waved flags and handed out flyers in downtown Reykjavík yesterday. Stundin reports that members of Icelandic nationalist group Norðurvígi were among the group, which also included Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish neo-Nazis, at least two of whom have been convicted in their home countries for violence and hate crimes.

Distribute flyers to homes

Norðurvígi is associated with the so-called “Nordic Resistance Movement,” which has members in various Nordic countries, some of which travelled to Iceland for yesterday’s event. On Wednesday, Icelandic police were made aware that members of the group were distributing flyers and putting stickers on lampposts in residential neighbourhoods in the capital area. On Thursday, the group appeared at Lækjartorg square in central Reykjavík, where they waved flags and distributed flyers.

Yesterday’s neo-Nazi gathering in Reykjavík was attended by Swede Simon Lindberg, the NRM’s leader. Lindberg has been convicted for hate crimes and violence against LGBTQ+ people. A video taken by Stundin reporters shows Lindberg calling bypasser Snæbjörn Guðmundsson a “race traitor” for ripping up one of the group’s flyers.

A few Icelanders were among the neo-Nazi group, including Arnar Styr Björnsson, who told reporters he was “very impressed by what the German National Socialist Party stood for. I don’t think everything that’s said about the Holocaust is true… I haven’t really acquainted myself with it in particular but I think it’s lied about a lot.”

Organisation banned in Finland

NRM has members in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. In 2016, members of the organisation killed a bypasser who vocally opposed the group during a street event in Finland. The organisation was banned in that country in 2017.

Icelandic police were present at the neo-Nazi event yesterday, but did not interfere. Eyrún Eyþórsdóttir, Associate Professor of Police Science at the University of Akureyri, stated that there is no doubt that it is against general criminal law in Iceland to declare the supremacy of white men over others. “I really don’t understand why the police didn’t stop this. All of the movement’s messages focus on the superiority of the white man. The focus on Islamic terrorist groups has been so great that police haven’t paid as much attention to neo-Nazi groups.” Eyrún says Swedish police would have at least confiscated the flags being waved at Lækjartorg yesterday.

Protest to reclaim space

Tomorrow’s protest will be held at Lækjartorg at 3.00pm “so that we can reclaim the space they took to spread their message of hate, violence and discrimination against oppressed groups,” organisers state in the Facebook event. As of publication, nearly 500 have replied attending to the event.

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