Some people still have a romantic idea about Denmark as a little social-democratic haven in Scandinavia where people are free, no one is poor and the rich pay a lot of taxes.
That is a long time ago.
In 1982 Denmark followed the U.S. and the U.K. into the Reagan-Thatcher era with Poul Schlüter as Prime Minister.
That was the end of the social-democratic experiment.
Notable, for instance, in the destruction of what was once – as far as a nation state goes – a relatively benign state of affairs was Bertel Haarder (currently the Interior and Health Minister in the Cabinet of Lars Løkke Rasmussen). From 10 September 1982 to 25 January 1993 he was Education Minister and orchestrated the destruction of the educational system and returned in November 2001 and remained until February 2005 as Minister for Refugees, Immigrants and Integration in the Cabinet of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, which helped elevate Denmark to one of the primary targets of islamist extremism and made Denmark known as one of the most racist, xenophobic right-wing, imperialist warmongering countries in the world – just a couple of steps step down the totalitarian ladder from Iran and North Korea, one is tempted to suggest.
This is what it looks like (and sounds like) today as the police enters a bicycle workshop where people are playing music, repairing bikes and cooperating and sharing skills (notice the comments: “We don’t need any papers AT ALL … I am aware that you have another system in those countries where you are from”, spoken with that typical Danish superior attitude to foreigners..):
Colonos recently brought tidings from a little country in Scandinavia called Denmark, which is undergoing a cultural revolution orchestrated by a neo-liberal government in cahoots with the far right in a political climate that thus provide fertile grounds for extremism, such as racism and various fascist tendencies.
The Saga continues: what happened last night in the little Duck Pond is no surprise, really, and all the more sad for it. An anti-racist organiser was viciously attacked by the far-right extremists whose mushrooming is encouraged by a warmongering, anti-social state of affairs.
This is what “democracy” in Denmark looks like:
Christiania evictions spark riots in Copenhagen, is not a story by colonos, it just came in on the wire and is reproduced here with no comments, really, unless, that is, THAT THIS is typical of the racist, culturally cleansing Danish government and their coercive police force.
Christiania is a place that they just don’t like, because people are different there. Remember that this is the duck pond country of The Ugly Duckling, where if “you are not from around here” you better get out.
Since the current and far-right founded government began their cultural cleansings with their shocking win and alliance with the racist, anti-muslim, national social-democratic, far-right, Danish People’s Party, in 2001, there has been a war on christiania. Alongside Denmark’s participation in the war on the Afghan people the country has undergone a dramatic cultural turn for the worse. The people have responded eloquently to Prime Minister, Anders Fjogh Rasmussen:
The government in their first few weeks in office announced a cultural genocide when they listed 250 research institutions and projects to be shut down. That was just the beginning. Meanwhile there is a rise of extremist christians as well.
Violence and gang war is now on the daily agenda in a city that suddenly has to sustain a large cannabis market that was previously run by happy hippies in an unholy marriage with Hell’s Angels type bikers. This used to unfold in a fairly organised and mostly peaceful manner in Christiania’s Pusher Street, for all to see and observe and know about, but the market came up for grabs when it was pressurised, as part of the cultural war, out of the Free Town (Fristaden, as Christiania is also called). There was a culture similar to that of the Dutch coffee clubs, but in a lovely park by the water where many cafes and restaurants and social and ecological projects constinue to thrive, but nowadays with the ever present threat of raiding riot cops. Consequently, the cannabis market now unfolds around the city where rival gangs make neighbourhoods their own battlefields.
As violence has become everyday the authoritarian government, of course, has responded by investing more powers in the police, who have, with increasing force, introduced security zones in the inner city where civil liberties are routinely suspended in the form of stop and search interventions without probable cause or reasonable suspicion. The Brave New World has come to the Duck Pond. Of course it is very convenient to evict the cannabis market from Christiania, because the consequent warfare was obvious and serves as a perfect excuse to erode civil liberties and step up spending on policing in general.
In the 1970s Denmark’s social-democratic experiment was still a model and example, although it had many problems, it was certainly better than the extreme right-wing regime of today. It came to an end in 1982 when the country has its first round of the neoliberal waves of destruction that have brought the planet into a financial and ecological crisis. This is round two.