| Friday 22nd February
2008 | Issue 621
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THE UGLY RUCKLING
Copenhagen Riots - It's been no fairy tale in Denmark with a full week of argy-bargy in Copenhagen. Racist policing pushed the immigrant population to a flash point when a 65-year-old immigrant man was beaten severely by police on February 9th - and it flared out to into riots across the country. Cars were set alight and barricades burnt, mostly started by young immigrants but joined by anti-racist activists and other ‘avin it’ types. The incident which sparked it all off was during a car search, where children no older than thirteen who tried to help the victim were also beaten. This was just one too many times for the common practice in Copenhagen of police searching people on grounds of race. It’s the same ingredients as the Paris riots in recent years.
While the mainstream media did their best to align the riots with fundamentalist Muslims offended by a newspaper reprint of the infamous Muhammed cartoon – or boredom in the barrios - the real reasons were outlined when a group calling itself “Drengene fra indre Nørrebro” (the boys from inner Nørrebro) sent a letter to a national newspaper saying that the riots had been about discrimination and harassment by police to immigrants on the urban estates.
Cars and buildings – including several schools – were destroyed and around 45 were arrested and charged with arson and vandalism during the week.
Ungdomhuset Update - The community squat in Copenhagen which was evicted despite rioting last year (See SchNEWS 579), could be about to get a building from the council. They are making their presence felt at weekly demos outside the city council during meetings about the new space, culminating in a bigger BlokR mass action planned for April 3rd, the last day for negotiations with the council.
Christiana - The famous 30 year old squatted community in Copenhagen (see SchNEWS 513) was raided again last week. 200 riot police took an area containing live-in vehicles, evicting it, with 100 arrests.
* For more see http://english.indymedia.dk
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