Sunday, February 26, 2017
Chicago "Much Worse" Than Malmö: American Journalist
Via The Local: American journalist Tim Pool has spent two days seeing 'dangerous' Malmö with his own eyes. But the city did not live up to the bleak picture he had been told to expect. "If this is the worst Malmö has to offer, then don't ever come to Chicago", Pool told news agency TT after visiting Rosengård, a neighborhood with a high immigrant population. Pool met municipal council member Nils Karlsson, who gave the journalist a guided tour of Malmö neighborhoods Lindängen and Rosengård. "I want to show the true picture of Malmö - without denying that there there are problems, poverty, and challenges. But also to show that 330.000 people live in this city and most do not engage in crime or violence or kill each other", Karlsson told TT. Pool's journalistic visit came about after Paul Joseph Watson, editor of right wing website Infowars, promised to pay for a trip to Malmö for any journalist that claimed Malmö was safe. This challenge came in the wake of President Donald Trump's false claims last week that a terror attack had taken place in Sweden. The 18.800 SEK (USD 2.000) donation covers about 20 per cent of the costs of Pool's trip to Sweden and Europe. "I do not work for anyone. Nobody is paying me and I am not getting anything in exchange for this. I just want to find out the truth", said Pool. Pool told TT that he describes himself as a conflict and crisis journalist who posts his material on YouTube and Twitter. The journalist says he is not surprised by Trump's use of Sweden as a device in his rhetoric. "Many would say that Sweden's liberal policies are evidence that they work and would be of great benefit to the USA. Now Trump is using the issue of immigration to condemn that argument. The connection of crime in Sweden to immigration and refugees is an idea that has existed in the US for several years, even before Trump", said Pool. While respect the concern regarding increases in violence in Malmö, Pool said that he considered warnings that he would be robbed or attacked in Rosengård as "ridiculous". "Someone shouted at us and pointed a finger. A takeaway pizza restaurant owner did not want to let in 'some fucking journalists'. But if people are really afraid to come here, then I would recommend that you never come to Chicago. Chicago has about 750 murders each year", he said. But Pool added that he had so far received conflicting information from residents about violence in the city, and that interview subjects have often canceled or preferred to remain anonymous. Following Saturday's tour of Malmö with local Karlsson, Pool and his photographer colleague Emily Molli are scheduled to remain in the city for several days to carry out research. The pair will also visit Stockholm and Gothenburg, as well as other European cities affected by terror and highlighted as problematic by Donald Trump, such as Brussels, Paris, and Nice. Pool aims to use the material gathered during his trip to make a documentary film.