– It is very beautiful to see that almost no Muslim youth are here today, and at the same time see that those who have shown up and distance themselves are not Muslim youth. We Muslims have always demanded this support. They are here on our behalf, says Nasim Rizvi, deputy chair of the Drammen and surrounding faith and philosophy forum (DOTL).
There was little attendance during the Sian demonstration in Drammen, and everything went peacefully. The last time Sian was in Drammen, six people were brought in. Primarily these were persons under 18 years of age.
The atmosphere on Strømsø square was then described as very amp the policewhen several kilos of eggs were thrown at the legal demonstration.
Managed to drown out
– What we saw last is not typical of us Drammen people and Muslims. Something extraordinary happened. We do not want to have this stamp hanging on us, and now we finally see that the whole of Drammen has mobilized. I am glad that we Drammen people managed to drown Sian, she says.
Volunteers acted as guards
A couple of people were provoked by Sian, but before they had time to react, members of DOTL or Buskerud immigrant council with yellow vests were quickly in place to calm them down.
The leader of the Buskerud Immigration Council, Bijan Gharahkhani, lined up with roses, and says that the purpose of the vests is to act as guards to preserve peace.
– I think the police have done a very good job here, and the whole community shows responsibility. Everyone has pulled the load together, he says Gharahkhani.
– Important with peaceful resistance
Magny Nilsen, leader of Rødt, had previously arranged a counter-demonstration at the same time as the Sian demonstration. But they chose to cancel this and instead supported the DOTL and Buskerud Immigrant Council.
– Several mosques and not least the municipality have encouraged people not to show up, you encourage the opposite, why?
– Racists are not welcome in Drammen, therefore it is important to show resistance in a peaceful way, she says.
The police station chief is grateful
Chief of Police Øyvind Aas is happy that things went more smoothly the last time Sian was in Drammen.
– I am grateful for the good forces in the city.
He goes on to say that thanks to the experiences they made last time and not least more volunteers who got involved, this resulted in a peaceful counter-demonstration.
He says that there have been several who have pulled the load together, among the municipality, voluntary organizations and the religious community.
This time, the police had blocked up large parts of Strømsø square, which was last open. In addition, there were inspection posts, where everyone who wanted to get closer had to be checked by the police.
One of the measures the municipality took was to arrange a free concert with the artist Hakeem for the young people in the city.