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Agence France Presse

Thousands March in Sweden Against Globalization

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About 10,000 demonstrators from all over Europe walk in the center of Malmoe during the fifth European Social Forum, protesting against capitalism and the destruction of the environment. (AFP/Olivier Morin)

MALMOE, Sweden - More than 10,000 marched in the Swedish city of Malmoe on Saturday in a demonstration against the excesses of globalization, organized as part of the European Social Forum being held there.

The marchers, many carrying banners, set off from the suburb of Rosengaard at 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) accompanied by several marching bands, in what was one of the biggest organized in Sweden.

"We are all here because we have a common message," Thor Rutgersson, a 25-year-old teacher told AFP.

"We want better conditions for workers, for students and more cooperation to fight poverty in Europe," he added.

The march included delegations from all over Europe, including trade unionists and students.

"It is important that the countries from eastern Europe are here today," said Piotr Ostrowsky of the Polish confederation of trade unions, the OPZZ.

Saturday's march extended 7.5 kilometers (nearly five miles) and finished in the city center without incident. A large police presence had been on stand-by on the fringes of the route.

On Friday, about 100 people threw rocks at police and broke windows in the city centre at the tail end of a demonstration organized by a group called Reclaim the Streets, which had attracted some 700 participants.

The fifth European Social Forum began Thursday and wraps up on Sunday.

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