Heavy clashes during Sian demonstration in Bergen

SIAN actionBergen,Police.SIAN action.Photo: Eivind Senneset / NTB scanpix
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Chaos and clashes broke out during a demonstration held by the anti-Islamic group Sian in Bergen on Saturday morning. The Sian leader was injured.

Both Sian supporters and a number of counter-protesters had turned up. In total, several hundred people were present at the square when some people jumped over the fences that were supposed to keep the counter-protesters at a distance.

“Sian eventually chose to halt the demonstration due to stone and egg throwing, and because someone tried and partially managed to break the barricades,” says Operations Manager Per Algrøy of the West police district to NTB.

Several protesters also threw objects at police and tried to tear down the barriers. Pepper spray or tear gas seemed to have been used, but the police will not comment on this for the time being.

Around 2 pm, the police stated that they had control of the situation.

Knocked down
One person is said to have been knocked down, allegedly Sian leader Lars Thorsen. Pictures from Festplassen show Thorsen being led away by the police from the podium, while it looks like he is bleeding from the head.

Bergensavisen’s reporter on the spot states that a group of four or five people stormed the stage just after 1 pm and resorted to violence against the Sian leader:

– There were no organized counter-protesters who attacked. There were some young people who came running from the side and beat Thorsen straight down. He seemed dizzy and lay on the ground for a few minutes before getting up.

The police can’t comment yet on whether anyone has been injured or whether they have arrested anyone. Video images show the police taking several people from the demonstration area and towards some police cars.

There were many different groups in the square, and some were quieter than others. Some of those present held up flags, including from the Red Party and Socialist Youth.

Unrest
This is not the first time a Sian demonstration has caused unrest. At the end of June, tomatoes, eggs, saucepans and bottles were thrown at Sian leader Lars Thorsen when he was to speak at a demonstration at Mortensrud in Oslo.

– The demonstration at Mortensrud is now over. The police had to intervene to maintain calm and order on the spot. No people were reported injured, nor arrested, the police reported at the time.

On 15 August, the police had to end a Sian demonstration at Furuset in Oslo after up to 50 counter-protesters had caused unrest. One person was arrested.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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