Carsten Agger on Sat, 5 Dec 2009 21:00:52 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Peaceful protest and new police powers in Denmark

Today The Guardian published a letter I wrote them some days ago, which
may be read here:

Alas, they abbreviated it almost away.

What I wrote to them is this:


On November 23, the Danish Ambassador to Britain declared (âWeâll
protect protest in Copenhagenâ) that the Danish government has no
intention to ban or suppress peaceful protest and the new âanti-riotâ
legislation introduced for the climate conference in Copenhagen will
only target violent protesters.

While the Ambassador obviously has to defend the government he is
representing, his remarks are disingenuous.

The new law will (as reported on November 26, âDenmark approves new
police powers ahead of Copenhagenâ) impose a mandatory minimum sentence
of 40 days in prison for anyone charged with âobstructing police workâ.

It will also impose a minimum fine of about Â500 for anyone charged with
âdisorderly conductâ or for not leaving immediately after a
demonstration has been broken up.

These regulations effectively criminalise a wide variety of peaceful
protest and anyone participating in a demonstration. In Denmark, all
kinds of peaceful civil disobedience are now punishable with 40 days of
prison - and this is only the last of a long list of totalitarian and
xenophobic measures which are seriously undermining democracy and
freedom in Denmark.

Visiting activists are likely to learn about this the hard way when they
are imprisoned or fined for peaceful dissent which should be legal in
any civilised country.


So they're holding the summit in an increasingly racist country which is
getting to be about as "dissent-friendly" as Qatar.

People who wish to get an idea about conditions in Denmark could do
worse than check out this blog:

It's written by an angry expat who think he needs to tell the world
about the levels of xenophobia my country is reaching. And he should.



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