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Designed to be a space where pan-organisation activist groups and member groups gather to hear news about NRM operations and take part in practical exercises, the slogan of this year’s iteration of the annual organisation weekend was ‘victory in the election’.
NRM registered as a political party in Sweden in 2015, but the slogan promoted over this weekend suggests an increased focus on gaining support and making an impact in next year’s Swedish general election. Attended by roughly 50 to 75 people, the weekend included a speech from the leader of NRM, Simon Lindberg, who stated that their intention is to be ‘seen and heard, spread its ideas, recruit new members, and thus be victorious’.
Self-described as a ‘battalion of free White people’, the declared goal of NRM is the establishment of a pan-Nordic white state. Its official activist handbook reinforces the point that NRM is not pacifist, and that physical struggle is to be expected, a driver aptly reflected in violent attacks perpetrated by NRM supporters against homosexual people, ideological opponents, and more recently Muslim refugees.
However, messaging from the November weekend suggests that NRM is determined to build credibility through non-violent activism such as stickering, leafleting, and online activism. And signs are that this directive is already being enacted. On 25 November NRM activists campaigned outside the Overby shopping centre in Trollhattan, coinciding with Black Friday sales and the crowds that those draw. To date, on-the-ground activism from NRM appears focused on smaller cities across Sweden, seemingly in more conservative areas where they feel there is a better chance of attracting support, including recent activism focusing on Christmas events in Kristianstad and Gavle. But, despite their efforts in more subdued attempts to appeal to a sympathetic audience, NRM remains a persistent violent threat, one with a sophisticated way of recruiting young members that is beginning to blur the boundaries between violent and non-violent right-wing extremism.
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