Letter from the convicted antifascist #freejoel


antifa stockholm

So, today the verdict will fall. The question is if it will be in proportion to what happened in the Stockholm suburb of Kärrtorp? Will it be in proportion to the verdicts that were delivered to the nazis? Probably not. The prosecutor have called for a 7 year punishment. This is the very same prosecutor who was happy with a few months of jail-time for the Nazis who attacked the peaceful manifestation. The same prosecutor who, in the closing argument, said that it was enough to ask people to go to a peaceful manifestation to be judged as a leader.

I have no illusion about walking out today as a free man. I would lie if I told you that I wouldn’t think it would feel hard with 7 years of jail-time, but it wouldn’t change anything. I am and will always remain a devoted anti fascist, and on the outside someone else will stand in my place. This letter will be the last I write to this page, after that my wish is that it will be used for the support of other anti fascists. The witch hunt for anti fascists has only just begun, and many more are waiting for their turn to stand trial for what happened in Kärrtorp. In any case, this is my letter.

I grew up in the town of Linköping during the 80’s and 90’s. At that time Linköping was the center for the production of white power-music in all of Europe. There were several Nazi organizations and the streets were crawling with fascists. The Nazis murdered, assaulted and threatened people. For a fact, in 1997 they attacked a peaceful anti racist demonstration in the same way they recently did in Kärrtorp.

I remember how I, as a 7 year old, for the first time got called a wog/wetback. This was in 1986. Today it’s 2014, and today when my 6 year old son was on the way to visit me he got called the same thing. Some things never change. Racists spread their disgusting hate, and the fascists attack anyone who dare stand up against them.

The police were not able to defend the anti racist demonstration in Linköping in 1997, just like they were unable to defend the manifestation in Kärrtorp sixteen years later. The difference is that in Linköping only a few dared to defend themselves, in Kärrtorp we were over one hundred. We stayed together, and we drove the Nazis away!

So, about the violence. This is where the arguments about different sides of the same coin come to play. Narcissists like the so called journalists Janne Josefsson and Jan Guillou shed crocodile tears and talk about how it should be impossible to claim self defense when someone has gotten stabbed in the back. But to understand the violence we have to take a look at what actually happened:

About 30 nazis attack a peaceful manifestation. The Nazis had armed themselves with stick, glass bottles and knifes. At least one of the nazis rushed the peaceful manifestation with a drawn knife in his hand. Several knifes were later found in the vicinity of where the nazis finally got arrested. Several of the Nazis who participated in the attack have previously been convicted of violent attacks when people have been stabbed, even killed. At the time of the attack there were only six policemen present, all of whom have said that they had no possibility to protect the manifestation, they were outnumbered. The nazi who got stabbed was in the first line of attackers, heavily involved in fighting with the anti racist demonstrators. He got stabbed at the Kärrtorp square, before police reinforcements had arrived. All of this is already proven, all of these things are facts.

It might seem cold and merciless to stab someone with a knife. But please consider the situation and what the swedish nazi movement have shown capable of (several stabbings and even murders during the recent years) and that the police themselves have said they had no means to protect us. Ad the fact that at least one of the Nazis, probably more of them, had drawn knifes during the attack. Sum all of this together and then maybe you can get a glimpse of all of the things that were rushing through my mind at that time. With that said I want to ad that violence must never ever become a mean of its own, it must always be analyzed and other ways of action must always be considered. In Kärrtorp it was a tactical necessity to strike back.

Finally I again want to thank everyone who have showed their support for me and my family. It means the world to me. And to all of you who continue the struggle against racism and fascism in your schools, at your workplaces, in art and music or on the streets – I love you!

Stay together and take care of one another.

Keepers of the Faith /Joel