Danish police evict trailersite in Christiania, CopenhagenNotts IMC + Denmark IMC 08 Sep 2005 10:15 GMT
At about 9:30 this morning (Wednesday 7th), about 200 police officers wearing riot gear stormed the freestate Christiania in Copenhagen, Denmark. They quickly sealed off 'Fredens Eng' (The Meadow of peace) which is a part of the site, where people live in trailers. Everybody on the meadow (some dressed like clowns) got arrested.
Word of the situation quicky spread around, as more people turned up in support. A state of turmoil and unrest ensued. A few induviduals threw water on the police, but nothing serious. The police however were very brutal in their conduct. Probably being one of the biggest mass arrests in Denmark ever, a police chief estimated the number of arrestees at 111. The situation has calmed down as the police has left Christiania. There are various reports of injured people.
The press spokes person for the Danish police, Flemming Steen Munck, stated to modkraft.dk (left wing Danish media) that the arrests were made in a peaceful manner. Others speak of a very different situation. A 17-year old protestor speaks: "The police cornered us in very violently. I got a fist in my stomache unprovoked. Even though I coughed and bled from my lip, I was not allowed to leave. Instead I got arrested."
The current Danish goverment seems to have a hostile attitude towards Christiania. Until recently Christinia had been self adminstrative, meaning no permit was needed to 'build' new property or have trailers parked up on it's grounds. A newly introduced law (L205), will mean trailers have to leave, so new development can take their place. The people from Christiania have resisted this new legislation as in no way they are consulted in the drawing up of the new development. They wish to keep their autonomy and self managed decision making structures that have kept the place running for over 20 years...
People living in trailers had now been given an ultimatum by local authority to remove the mobile homes before 12am yesterday (Tuesday 6th). They had given another ultimatum earlier in the week, but people moved the trailers somewhere else in the meantime. Yesterday some police entered the site, but was escorted off. A tripod which was placed on top of the trailers, to prevent the police from moving them. Apperently one person in the tripod urinated on police officers after warning them he needed it really badly (but they didn't move...)
People have been charged with not following police orders. This is known in Denmark as a §119, section 3. Because this charge does appear on the criminal record it means that about 50 people (mainly young students) blew their chances of getting a job in certain areas, having been arrested. 10-20 people have been charged with charges relating to violence against the police. All people have been released after having been held for 7 -8 hours.