London, Amsterdam, Paris, Kassel and … since the legendary Tusenmannamarschen on March 6th, a veritable breach of the dam for democracy, also Stockholm: Around the world, people gather on March 20 to protest the disproportionate corona measures and to defend their freedom.
While the demonstrators and policemen in Stockholm play a turbulent game of cat and mouse à la Tom & Jerry, the mainstream media persist in lazy framing or cowardly silence. If it weren’t so very serious, one could laugh heartily at this bizarre comic satire.
The Toms, who had been seen unmasked in the cityscape the day before, adorn themselves with masks to celebrate the day, block the streets with their vans, gather in packs on the edge of the action and maneuver their horses between parked cars to cross sidewalks and paralyzed lanes to put a stop to the protesting Jerrys.
But the clever mice beat the stupid tomcats one happy trick after the other. Since the so-called pandemic, the basic right to freedom of speech and assembly has turned into a joke. Meanwhile, one wonders what is more dangerous: The “killer virus” or citizens who are critical of the government. The Swedes ignore the approved minimum number of 8 participants and do not even register demonstrations. For people from countries with mask compulsory and lockdown, it is difficult to understand what the Swedes have to complain about. For today, let’s just let it rest on the fact that the Swedes might see through more quickly what the goal is to be achieved with the measures and defend themselves against it in good time according to the motto “resist the beginnings”.
They are running all over the place in a wide stream, as if several hundred friends had agreed to go for a nice walk together. They are spread out on both sides of the sidewalks, stop in groups at intersections while others walk on, change their route quickly and agile and move peacefully in a zigzag through the capital, regardless of the neon yellow-black escort.
In order not to be surrounded and to end up in a mousetrap, the demonstrators had already agreed days beforehand on social networks to distribute the collection points to three different places. From Mynttorget, Sergels Torg and Norrmannsgatan they all set off towards Kungsträdsgatan at the same time. The hunt begins.
Completely taken by surprise, the police do not know how to act and try to locate the leaders. Little does she suspect that the participants just as little know who is actually behind the gathering. The call for this worldwide campaign went anonymously through the net. After a rally on Kungsträdgatan, the crowd streams back to Norrmalmstorg together, followed by the press, video streamers and the police.
While the well-to-do mainstream receives refills of Crément in the sunny outdoor area of the surrounding cafés and restaurants, fellow citizens are arrested for demanding freedom, democracy and truth. Even a chorus of “Shame on you!”, which flares up while protestors being led away, does not cause any empathy, let alone an awakening. If anything, you only get short pauses in conversation and uncomprehending shaking of the head.
Leaving fewer broken pieces behind than a Tom, the police act relatively quickly and inconspicuously. It strikes purposefully, makes its victims disappear in vans and regroups itself in a flash, as if nothing had happened. This way, bystanders are not frightened too much. Contrary to what an agile Jerry would prefer, the demonstrators don’t run away. They do not even fight back, but remain on their course peacefully and persistently. They maintain their dignity, offer dialogue and hand flowers to officials.
Just as our series duo never dies, no matter how deep they fall or concrete flattens them, those arrested also reappear after a while. Officially, they are not “arrested”, at least not yet, but only “apprehended” and “escorted” from the scene.
The whisper mail reveals the next stop. At the foot of the statue of Carl von Linnés in Park Humlegarden, people gather again and chant their demands. While the press has found their backdrop, the Toms have to push a transporter out of the mud that has no business on the lawn. The rider squadrons fit in much better, but luckily they keep a proper distance. An angry citizen, disguised as death, dares to venture under the aerosol-laden air. In one hand the scythe, in the other his warning message: “Death supports this demo.” In the midst of spiritually awake people who have understood that death is a part of life and that it makes no sense to no longer live for fear of dying, one is almost sorry that it does not achieve the desired effect. Nobody feels provoked, some try a conversation. What an irony of fate that even “death” does not know the numbers of Covid deaths and falls for the focus of media propaganda about irrelevant new infections.
The Jerrys run nimbly north to gather on the Odenplan. The Toms try again and again to contain the crowd and to set up blockades. They fill entire intersections with their neon yellow and black uniforms and reinforce their threatening gestures with black gas masks. While I stop in front of a man with outspread arms who is holding posters in both hands and wants to explain another scandal to the people around me, a police van drives up. Masked policemen jump out and force him into the interior of the car. He yells for help and struggles. The door is slid, the car drives off. A few residents look out of the window curiously, one can hear them thinking: “Everything will be right, after all, the police are my friends and helpers.”
On the Odenplan, dark figures with black masks stand out from the happy crowd. Provocateurs? Right-wingers? Aged antifa kids? One will never know, you don’t understand them behind their cloth rags.
“Exercise is healthy,” laugh the Jerrys and move on to do something good for the Toms as well. In the pedestrian zone Drottningsgatan the situation becomes completely absurd. On the busy street, the demonstrators can no longer be distinguished from the shoppers. While in other countries of the world the metropolises are orphaned to ghost towns, in Sweden life goes on, with a low pulse, but at least. People stand in line in front of the shops to respect the minimum number of entries. The mask has not yet established itself as a political symbol to make visible which “religious” community one belongs to. The officers with gas masks ran quietly as if on cat paws so as not to frighten the unsuspecting citizens. Even the plainclothes police took off their masks for better camouflage.
The march pushes through the crowd and shouts “Freedom Sweden!” Passers-by react worthy of a democracy: Some thumbs up, others curse, some stand with their mouths open and have no idea what is going on. But the police vans are already waiting in the side streets to grab the loot after all. Informed by radio, they know exactly who to fish out to put an end to the protest. But it goes on even without a spokesman, because everyone is a leader. The day of protest comes to an end at Sergels Torg. With happy hugs and “see you soon” to the police.
It can only be a matter of time before the cops realize that the mainstream media reports have nothing in common with what they personally experience:
They will remember their professional oath to serve and protect the people.
They will consider whether they prefer to hide in silence or bravely do their duty to remonstrate.
Sometimes Tom and Jerry are enemies and sometimes they are friends. So they are definitely frenemies. That is at least a good basis for democracy.
We’ll manage the peace part even better than them. With and without a uniform.
by Stella Kongonis