Simon Lindberg

Simon Lindberg is the Swedish leader of the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM). The NRM subscribes to a nationalist socialist, or neo-Nazi, ideology that is decidedly antisemitic, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, pro-white, and pro-Hitler. The NRM has held numerous anti-immigration rallies, and has hung signs throughout Sweden, Finland, and Norway reading “Refugees Are Not Welcome.”Haakon Forwald, “– Et seiersår for Den nordiske motstandsbevegelsen!,” Friehtskamp, January 8, 2017, https://www.frihetskamp.net/et-seiersar-for-den-nordiskemotstandsbevegelsen/; “Så våldsamma är nazisterna i Nordiska motståndsrörelsen,” Expo Idag, December 9, 2016, http://expo.se/2016/sa-valdsamma-ar-nazisterna-i-nordiskamotstandsrorelsen_7198.html; David Charter and Isaak Bowers, “Neo-Nazis on the march in Sweden,” The Times, December 12, 2016, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/dcnazi-3dwxnps2g. Since 2015, NRM’s branch in Sweden (NRM-Sweden) has gained a massive following. The group registered as a political party in July 2015 and has held rallies garnering crowds with as many as 600 people.“Registrerade partibeteckningar,” Valmyndigheten, accessed May 26, 2017, http://www.val.se/det_svenska_valsystemet/partier/lista_registrerade_partibeteckningar/kontaktuppgifter.html; “Our Path: New Politics for a New Time,” Nordic Resistance Movement, 2015, https://www.frihetskamp.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Our-Path.pdf; David Charter and Isaak Bowers, “Neo-Nazis on the march in Sweden,” Times (London), December 12, 2016, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/dcnazi-3dwxnps2g; “Så våldsamma är nazisterna i Nordiska motståndsrörelsen,” Expo Idag, December 9, 2016, http://expo.se/2016/sa-valdsamma-ar-nazisterna-i-nordiska-motstandsrorelsen_7198.html; Heba Habib, “Neo-Nazi rally in Sweden leads to injuries, arrests,” Washington Post, September 30, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/neo-nazi-rally-in-sweden-ends-in-clashes-between-police-andcounterprotesters/2017/09/30/711bb76e-a5ff-11e7-b573-8ec86cdfe1ed_story.html?utm_term=.5c576842f067.

NRM members are known to have carried out attacks against the LGBTQI+ community, Muslim asylum seekers, and political opponents, using smoking flares, tear gas, knives, and guns. Since the 1980s, NRM members have killed at least three people. In a 2016 interview with NRM-Sweden, Lindberg said that he joined the group because its members were “strong in the streets, they dare to fight back the scum.” Lindberg has previously used social media platforms to spread conspiracy theories and hate propaganda and has exploited the coronavirus pandemic to his own advantage, writing on the NRM’s official website, “Covid-19 might be precisely what we need in order to bring about a real national uprising and a strengthening of revolutionary political forces.”Michael Colborn, “As world struggles to stop deaths, far right celebrates COVID-19,” Al Jazeera, March 26, 2020, https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020/3/26/as-world-struggles-to-stop-deaths-far-right-celebrates-covid-19.

Since the start of 2015, NRM-Sweden has grown more than one-third in size by advocating against Sweden’s open-door policy to Muslim asylum seekers.“Registrerade partibeteckningar,” Valmyndigheten, accessed May 26, 2017, http://www.val.se/det_svenska_valsystemet/partier/lista_registrerade_partibeteckningar/kontaktuppgifter.html; “Our Path: New Politics for a New Time,” Nordic Resistance Movement, 2015, https://www.frihetskamp.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Our-Path.pdf; David Charter and Isaak Bowers, “Neo-Nazis on the march in Sweden,” The Times, December 12, 2016, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/dcnazi-3dwxnps2g; “Så våldsamma är nazisterna i Nordiska motståndsrörelsen,” Expo Idag, December 9, 2016, http://expo.se/2016/sa-valdsamma-ar-nazisterna-i-nordiska-motstandsrorelsen_7198.html; Heba Habib, “Neo-Nazi rally in Sweden leads to injuries, arrests,” Washington Post, September 30, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/neo-nazi-rally-in-sweden-ends-in-clashes-between-police-andcounterprotesters/2017/09/30/711bb76e-a5ff-11e7-b573-8ec86cdfe1ed_story.html?utm_term=.5c576842f067. Many of the NRM’s co-founders and early members came from the now-defunct White Aryan Resistance (Vitt Ariskt Motstand, or VAM) and its offshoot National Youth (Nationell Ungdom). The VAM, a network of Swedish neo-Nazis formed in the early 1990s, was notorious for carrying out attacks against immigrants and gay people and for funding its violence through bank robberies. The group splintered into several white-power groups in or around 1995, among them National Youth, which would go on to serve as the NRM’s youth movement.Stieg Larsson, “A Study on Racially Motivated Crime and Violence in Sweden,” The Expo Foundation, September 2002, 34, http://expo.se/www/download/final_sweden_racialviolence_raxen3.pdf.

Lindberg has been the leader of NRM since September 2015. Under Lindberg’s leadership, the NRM has vastly expanded its propaganda network and created 19 additional Swedish-language podcasts and web TV channels.Bulent Kenes, “NRM: a Nordic neo-Nazi organisation with aims of establishing totalitarian rule across Scandinavia,” European Center for Populism Studies, April 28, 2021, https://www.populismstudies.org/nmr-a-nordic-neo-nazi-organization-with-aims-of-establishing-totalitarian-rule-across-scandinavia/. In addition, there are between 300,000 and 400,000 unique visitors per month on the NRM’s website.“NMR: A Nordic neo-Nazi organization with aims of establishing totalitarian rule across Scandinavia,” European Center for Populism Studies, April 28, 2021, https://www.populismstudies.org/nmr-a-nordic-neo-nazi-organization-with-aims-of-establishing-totalitarian-rule-across-scandinavia/.

After the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Lindberg congratulated the perpetrators and urged the U.S. far right to build more coordinated networks resembling the transnational connections in Europe.Isaac Stanley-Becker, James McAuley and Rick Noack, “Hesitant reactions to Charlottesville spotlights divisions within Europe’s far-right,” Washington Post, August 15, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/hesitant-reaction-to-charlottesville-spotlights-divisions-within-europes-far-right/2017/08/15/517fba4e-812a-11e7-9e7a-20fa8d7a0db6_story.html. On September 30, 2017, Lindberg organized a far-right demonstration in Gothenburg, Sweden. The march was originally intended to pass by a synagogue, in an act against Yom Kippur, the Jewish holy day. A Swedish court intervened prior to the demonstration and shortened the march route so that it would not pass near the synagogue. NRM members clashed with police when they were unable to venture out of the court-ordered route. At least 35 people, including Lindberg, were arrested.Heba Habib, “Neo-Nazi rally in Sweden leads to injuries, arrests,” Washington Post, September 30, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/neo-nazi-rally-in-sweden-ends-in-clashes-between-police-and-counterprotesters/2017/09/30/711bb76e-a5ff-11e7-b573-8ec86cdfe1ed_story.html.

In January 2018, a Swedish court convicted Lindberg of “contempt for groups based on their race, skin color, national or ethnic origin by shouting ‘Sieg Heil’ while raising his right arm upwards” during a November 2016 rally. The court initially recommended one month in prison but reduced the sentence to an 800 krona ($98) fine because the NRM had a legal permit for the rally.“Sweden convicts neo-Nazi leader of inciting hatred at rally,” Agence France Presse, January 2, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/sweden-convicts-neo-nazi-leader-of-inciting-hatred-at-rally/.

Extremist entity
Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM)
Type(s) of Organization:
Transnational, violent, political
Ideologies and Affiliations:
Anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, neo-Nazi, pro-Hitler
Position(s):
Leader

The Nordic Resistance Movement is a transnational, neo-Nazi organization with official chapters operating in Sweden, Finland, and Norway. The group has carried out violence targeting gay people, ideological opponents and, more recently, Muslim refugees.

  • Rhetoric
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