Around 1,000 people, defying social distancing rules, demonstrated in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in Stockholm on Wednesday.
Police turned up to disperse the crowd in the evening, as organizers of the demo had received permission for just 50 people to gather at a square in Stockholm’s city center for a maximum of two hours. The restrictions were due to the risk of infection during the COVID-19 epidemic.
“We’ve been in dialogue with the organizers and they have done what they could. Now we are encouraging demonstrators to leave the site … for health reasons,” a police spokesperson told Swedish Television.
At the request of the organizers, the crowd did disperse from the square by around 7 p.m., but they continued their action by marching through the city center.
Earlier on Wednesday, demonstration organizers had said they encouraged participants to keep a distance, to wear face masks and to use hand sanitizer.
Sparked by the death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, demonstrations and riots have swept the United States over the past week. Solidarity demonstrations have been held in cities around the world.