You know who's number two on those Charts of Peace? Denmark. Except that they just had a kind of violent outbreak of citizens concerned about their country's policies regarding foreigners. Will that bump them down to number three next year?
Last night cops in riot gear entered a church in Copenhagen to nab 19 rejected Iraqi asylum seekers. They had found sanctuary in a Brorson church with their families for the last three months. This is first time in Danish history that police have knocked down doors and messed with the holy vibe of the church.Everyone's just plain old tired of the last year’s immigration policy, the Danish involvement in the Iraq war, and the increased influence of the right-wing Danish Peoples Party. Word of the arrests spread fast and soon around 100 people had blocked the street and surrounded the bus that should've brought the Iraqi men to an asylum center. Shit got heated, pepper spray filled the air, police batons were smashed into human citizen lady flesh.
Interestingly enough, the arrests were carried out within the same 24 hours that the Iraqi Prime Minister denied the existence of any agreement with foreign countries to welcome rejected Iraqi asylum seekers back home. The Danish government was convinced that such an agreement was signed in May. Oops, guess there was a minor misunderstanding there! It was when the nonexistent agreement was signed that the Iraqis moved to the Brorson church. Now it seems no one, not even their own country, wants them.
The Minister of Justice, Brian Mikkelsen, said something along the lines of, “We live in a democracy built on people respecting the laws and regulations and you don’t get special treatment for occupying a church.”
A demonstration for the rejected Iraqis in Copenhagen ended about an hour ago, where some 20,000 people (police say 15,000) walked from the church through the streets of Copenhagen and ended up in front of the parliament. No one's face was bludgeoned in this time.
It's always fun to look at riot porn, but the Danes just don't do it that way (at least not this time around).
His sign says "Stop racism, bring down the Government"
Same guy that's now fucking tired of holding the sign and more interested in scratching his forehead and drinking beer
The Brorson Church where the police woke up the Iraqis at 1 AM last night
The Priest said that the altar and other sacred furniture were damaged during the arrests. Cops are godless heathens!
That badge says "Grandparents for asylum."
More grandparents for asylum. They came out strong tonight--probably got a good night's sleep after working so hard on that banner.
The crowd peacefully crosses Queen Louise's Brigde.
This must be the "Dads with wife and kids on Christiana bikes for asylum" group.
Two girls walking along with their bikes in the most peacefull manner imaginable.
That's gotta mean PEACE in Rumanian.
Good thing about demonstrations: You get to sit where you want for a while.
Where it all ended, Christiansborg, the Danish parliament.
SIGURD KONGSHØJ LARSEN
Photos by Niels Holm