Torch rally in Stockholm, a personal account
As the Swedish Clean Clothes Campaign we formed a group
of 15 activists. We had written a song, made our own black
sportswear outfit and had rehearsed for hours. We were going
to welcome the Olympic torch to Stockholm, July 1, 2004.
We planned to run in different formations and scream out
our song very close to the torch.
From the papers we knew where and when the torch was going
to pass certain places in Stockholm. A lot of celebrities
were involved in the official torch rally. We imagined that
the streets of Stockholm would be crowded with people, all
waiting to get a glimpse of the torch and maybe a fancy
celebrity, such as the Swedish prince, carrying the torch.
We all went to the Stadion, the arena where the Olympic
Games took place in 1912. At midday we arrived. This was
the place, in half an hour the torch was supposed to show
up. But there was no crowd, only some people working with
the official torch rally. And they looked like they didn't
appreciate our presence. In fact they looked like they were
going to call the police. There was no media, except two
journalists from two different left wing papers.
We decided to change the venue for the action to a park,
Kungsträdgården, in the centre of Stockholm.
In Kungsträdgården different activities took
place the entire day, and it was here that the torch was
going to end up later the same afternoon. Some of the activists
passed that park earlier and said that there already were
a lot of people there. Five minutes after we left the Stadion
the police arrived. So the torch people had indeed called
the police. But we were already long gone.
We performed the running action on the main shopping street
in Stockholm and ended up in Kungsträdgården,
and we disturbed the official the-olympic-torch-in-Stockholm-programme,
which was carried out from a big stage in the park.
Our action resulted in two articles in two left wing papers,
an upset host on the stage in Kungsträdgården
and a lot of fun. But we never saw the torch.