Swedish Liberal leader auctions shirt off his back to fight nationalism
AFP – The leader of Sweden’s Liberal party put a blue shirt he wore throughout the campaign up for auction on election day Sunday, vowing to donate the money to an anti-racist magazine as the far-right was tipped to win record votes.
"I have defended my view of a liberal society with rolled up shirtsleeves. My shirt has been with me in this fight," Jan Bjorklund wrote in an advertisement on the Tradera auction site.
"Number of debates: 12, Size: L (why would I choose S or M?), Colour: blue (the colour of freedom), Price: the highest bidder (I’m in favour of free trade)," Bjorklund wrote cheekily of the shirt he reportedly wore almost every day during the election campaign.
He said the money would be donated to the magazine "Expo, an organisation relentlessly fighting against the nauseating worldview of nationalism".
The gesture — a form of electioneering to any objective observer — is permissible in Sweden, where campaigning is allowed on election day.
The Liberal leader has been one of the most vocal voices against the Sweden Democrats, an anti-immigration party that is tipped to win around 20 percent of votes in Sunday’s legislative elections.
Founded in 1995 by Stieg Larsson, author of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" crime trilogy, and other anti-fascist activists, Expo runs a website and a magazine on far-right and neo-Nazi groups.