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protests and rioting in Denmark

On Thursday the Danish police forcibly evicted people from a building in Copenhagen that has been a squatter haven since 1982. They did this by dropping anti-terrorist police onto the roof of the building by helicopter and sealing off surrounding streets with police officers in anti-riot gear. The building had been sold by the government in 2000 (which the squatters viewed as unlawful because it was inhabited), and the new owners had been threatening eviction since last year. Thursday afternoon the police used tear gas to disperse 1000 demonstrators. Then there were protests (some of which turned into riots) Friday and Saturday (Sunday too?). Rioters threw cans of paint, cobblestones, and molotov cocktails at police. They also flipped and set fire to cars, and built street barricades with trash bins. Basically, people went apeshit, which I don't understand. I think that behind this, the building was more than just a squat, it was a cultural center for a lot of anarchist and punk youth. It not only provided living space for people, but organizing and event space. It was actually a theater, and has hosted concerts by, among others, Björk and Nick Cave. So while I disagree with the violence, I think that this kind of free space can be really important to building alternative communities, and the fact that it existed for so long and with so much use is pretty unique and almost idyllic. And it's no good that the government feels like they can/should end that kind of space in that manner.

I read a few articles, but this was the best: "Eviction protesters fight Danish police" at the Ledger Enquirer (AP Wire story). also, the hosted concerts tidbit from the ap story at nytimes.


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