01 March 2007

Copenhagen Riot!

On my way to school today I biked into a police road block and quickly discovered that it was RIOT POLICE handling a 'demonstration' or 'rally' of young people in Copenhagen. There is a house here that has been inhabitated by squatters for the last couple months, following intense protests in December... and this morning the police raided the youth house, and the fight was taken to the streets.I didn't see much, mostly just alot of screaming and sirens. However, the police vans filled with riot cops would drive through the mass of people fairly quickly. I wouldn't really call it a riot, but I wouldn't be surprised if it escalates in the next couple days. Back in December this issue escalated and there were many accounts of these kids flipping over and burning cars, and using jackhammers to loosen stone to throw at the cops... so they're pretty serious.These kids are protesting because at one point this house was owned by the government and used as a youth house. This concept is completely Danish! It is rather wise, give the kids a place to have as there own. And they do use them wisely, all sorts of activities took place: concerts, rooms for band practice, debates, political groups, various other clubs, culture stuff and many others.... Well the government sold the house because it was going to cost too much to fix up and now have asked the youth to leave! They dont want to leave! They were promised that it would never be sold and well can we always trust what the govenment will say?? The government has lobbied extensively with them to reach an agreement of some sort. But they're obviously very passionate about them selling this house that they would not compromise! So now they are protesting by squatting and have recently announced that they are getting other youth from other countries to join them! Helicopters flew in over the house, dropping officers ontop of the building so they could get in safely and firetrucks came in and blasted the place with water in order to get them out!

Last night thursday after I rode pass the area in the morning, demonstrations excalated with about 1000 youth causing great destruction..... (More updates in another note!)I think they have a right to protest! Their promise was broken!


Anonymous said...

I've been reading about it in the papers and wondering if you had any contact. Crazy! Be careful now. c~

Anonymous said...

Oh they were talking on NPR this morninga about another riot that happened. Did another one occur today?