What’s going on in Husby?

This morning I read that Swedish teens there are rioting.

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Gangs of youth angered by the police shooting death of an elderly man in a mainly immigrant neighborhood hurled rocks at police and set cars and buildings on fire in a Stockholm suburb early Monday, forcing the evacuation of an apartment block.

Around 50 youths were involved in the riots in the suburb of Husby, police spokesman Lars Bystrom said.

The youths set light to a parking garage, compelling police to evacuate residents from an adjacent apartment block, Bystrom said. Residents were allowed to return home after a couple of hours.

Around 80 percent of the roughly 11,000 people living in Husby – a drab, low-income neighborhood of apartment blocks west of Stockholm – are first or second generation immigrants.

One policeman was attacked by youths kicking him and two others were injured by rocks, local police officer Jorgen Karlsson said. He added around 10 cars were set ablaze, and windows were smashed at two schools and several local businesses.

Karlsson said the dead man was “European,” but couldn’t specify his nationality.

Gangs of immigrant youths? Why on earth would they riot?

It seems as if we aren’t getting the full story. Or, as the PoMos would say, the subtext.


Perhaps the youths don’t like life in Husby with its Swedish high density housing.

Not that I blame them. If the government made me live in Plattenbau-type housing, I might riot too.

Although Plattenbauten are often considered to be typical of East Germany, the prefabricated construction method was used extensively in West Germany and elsewhere, particularly in public housing (see tower block). In English the building method is also called large-panel system building or LPS.

Great. That’s what a major coalition of environmentalists and public planners want for all of us.

There might be other reasons why the Swedish teens are unhappy, but I just can’t tell from the story.