Last Sunday a xenophobic, rightist party was elected into the Swedish Parliament.
I and many others immediately felt Sweden become a colder and rougher country to live in. My Facebook News Feed soon drowned in status updates about how sad and disappointed people felt. A lot of people didn’t let it stay at sharing their feelings in status updates. Several Facebook groups were instantly founded and people were given the opportunity to show their discontent about the election result, for example Sverigedemokraterna ur Riskdagen – Ja tack (The Sweden Democrats out of the Parliament – Yes please) and The Swedish news paper Aftonbladets’ campaign Vi gillar olika (We like different) who together have more than 400 000 likes.
17-year-old Felicia Margineanus went even further and founded the Facebook manifesto Get together för jämlikhet KL 18 på Plattan (Inget bråk, bara kärlek!)(Get together for equality at 6 pm at Plattan (No fighting, just love!) and challenged everyone to participate in a peaceful protest against racism and xenophobia. As a result, over ten thousand people gathered at Sergels torg in Stockholm this Monday.
The Sweden Democrats got 5,7 % of the votes in the election. As tragic as that may be, it’s still important to point out that 94.3 per cent of the Swedes did NOT vote for SD and that a huge number of people are opposed to the party and its xenophobia. And even though social media didn’t play that much of a role in the Swedish election of 2010, it is now a force to count on when it comes to opposing the racist tendencies in Sweden.