Sweden: CWI members receive award for anti-fascist activism

"Tremendous recognition of he party’s long and hard work"

Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden) members, Mattias Bernhardsson and Joel Eriksson, were rewarded on 30 November for their role in fighting against nazism, with a scholarship of 25,000 SEK each. The all-Sweden Foundation – Artists Against Nazis invited Mattias and Joel to enrich Nalen in Stockholm to accept the award. Among other winners of the award was Judith Popinski, who survived the Holocaust and is still active in the struggle against fascists.

At the end of March, Mattias Bernhardsson and Joel Eriksson were attacked by Nazis on their way from a demonstration against the war and occupation in Iraq. The next day, Bernhardsson was attacked near his home by masked men, armed with knives.

Mattias Bernhardsson accepts award

"I will never allow myself to be silenced, and I hope you will not either", said Mattias in his speech at Nalen, which was met with applause.

Both Mattias and Joel have continued their political work and activities against racism and nazism. Mattias was involved in organising protests against a Nazi march on 28 November in Stockholm and participated in another demonstration against racism on 30 November, just before the awards ceremony.

Mattias declared that racism comes from the top, from politicians who blame refugees for societys problems, and how violent Nazi groups are growing in the shadow of the racist party, Sverigedemokraternas electoral success. As a City Councillor for Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden) Mattias has fought against Sverigdemokraternas.

This award is a tremendous recognition of the party’s long and hard work in the fight against Nazism and racism, said Joel Eriksson

Later in the evening. Judith Popinski, who survived the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, received a standing ovation for her speech.

"Judith’s story reminds us of how important the fight against Nazism is today. Since 1980, over 20 people have been murdered by the Nazis in Sweden and we must never turn our back on them", said Mattias, who as well as Joel, will donate the money he received to Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna and its campaigns against Nazism and racism.

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December 2009