Tuesday, March 06, 2007


The Aftenpoften (Norway) reports protests against the closure of a disputed youth center in Copenhagen spread to Norway on Monday, with police in Oslo using tear gas against demonstrators keen outside the Danish Embassy in Oslo.

Many of the demonstrators were from the Blitz organization in Oslo, a counterpart to the youth facility that started being demolished this week.

Scores of leftist activists from Norway, Sweden and Germany have been arrested in the Danish clashes.

The following is from MWC News.

Danish squat protest moves to Oslo

Demolition work began on a youth centre at the heart of violent street clashes between demonstrators and police in Copenhagen last week, sparking protests in Norway.

Around 150 demonstraitors gathered at the Danish embassy in Oslo to protest at the demolition, throwing stones and paint before police fired tear gas to disperse them.

One policeman was hurt in the clashes in Norway but no arrests were made according to public broadcaster NRK.

Around 50 activists briefly occupied the Danish consulate in Bergen, using a computer there to print out a statement, before leaving when police arrived, local media reports said.

Vandals also hit the Danish consulate in Kristiansand on the south coast with graffiti, Norwegian news agency NTB reported.

Copenhagen itself was mainly calm. Police had fought street battles with hundreds of youths last week after squatters were evicted from the youth centre in the working class Norrebro district.

Per Larsen, a Copenhagen police spokesman, said: "We hope they will show their frustration only vocally, but we are out there on the streets, taking no chances"

Workers wore face masks under their helmets to conceal their identities as a wrecking ball slammed into the centre, a graffiti-sprayed brick building in the Noerrebro district of the Danish capital.

The so-called Youth House served as a popular cultural centre for anarchists, punk rockers and left-wing groups for years.

The squatters considered it free public housing, but the courts ordered them out in August 2006 after the city sold the building to a Christian congregation.

During the demolition, youths banged on drums and yelled obscenities at police who had cordoned off the area around the building. Others hugged and cried.

One 21-year-old resident said: "They are breaking my heart. I cannot stand it."

She refused to give her last name, saying that was the norm among the people frequenting the building.

Foreign activists

About 30 police officers blocked youths from entering the demolition site, while dozens more watched the situation from police vans.

Those arrested in the street clashes included foreign activists from Sweden, Norway, Germany and the US, police said.

More than 200 were taken into custody, while 15 were released. Others were still awaiting court hearings.

The riots were Denmark's worst since May 18, 1993, when police fired into a crowd of rioters protesting against the outcome of an EU referendum. Ten of the protesters were wounded.

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