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Europe

Massive Anti-Globalisation Protest Puts Sweden on Alert

Some 20,000 anti-globalisation protesters are set to march in Sweden on Saturday in what is expected to be one of the biggest demonstrations ever held in the Scandinavian country, organisers and police said.

A hooded demonstrator runs in front of a burning car during clashes after a protest march of thousands of people against the upcoming G8 Summit in Heiligendamm in downtown Rostock, northeastern Germany, Saturday, June 2, 2007

Swedish authorities fear outbreaks of anarchy such as these seen in Rostock in 2008

"This will probably be the biggest demonstration (in Sweden) since the end of World War II," organiser Peter Johansson told reporters at the European Social Forum in the southern Swedish town of Malmo.

The four-day forum has requested that police keep a discreet presence at the march, and only a few dozen officers will be visible along the demonstration route, Anders Svensson, who is in charge of protest security, told reporters.

"That is one of our demands to police," he said, adding that organisers wanted to avoid a repeat of the 2001 clashes between protesters and officers in the southwestern city of Gothenburg, when 250 people were injured, including three demonstrators shot by police.

"We will have a very low profile. We won't have lots of policemen in the streets (but) we will have officers (on call near) the demonstration," Malmoe police spokesman Lars Foerstell told reporters.

"We will have plenty of police resources to take care of whatever might happen," he added.

The demonstration, titled "Power to the People -- Against Capitalism and Environmental Destruction. Another World is Possible!" will begin in a working class neighbourhood on the outskirts of Malmo.

Protesters will then march 7.5 kilometres (4.7 miles) into the center of town.

Calls for independent activists to demonstrate on Friday evening have also been circulating on the Internet.

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