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Copenhagen eviction sparks riots

Police in Copenhagen say at least five people were arrested Wednesday as a Undomshuset demo turned ugly.

Published: March 3, 2017, 9:14 am

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    Copenhagen, Denmark

    Some 1 000 demonstrators marked the 10th anniversary of an eviction this week that sparked several days of massive riots in Denmark.

    Police spokesman Peter Dahl said there were no reports of injuries, although some protesters fired slingshots and threw rocks, fireworks and bottles at riot police.

    ATMs and shops were attacked, according to authorities, and a raid on a youth cultural center in the north of the city led to the discovery of projectiles, cobblestones, and firecrackers.

    Police in Copenhagen say four of at least nine people arrested overnight will be charged with violence against officers.

    On March 1, 2007 riots broke out after police evicted squatters from an abandoned building in Copenhagen that had been a center for young leftists and punk rockers since 1982. The building, known as Youth House, has since been torn down.

    Ten years later the police were once again summoned to respond with force in the wake of the demolition of Ungdomshuset youth house on Jagtvej 69 in Nørrebro.

    Jørgen Skov, the chief police inspector from Copenhagen Police, told Metroxpress newspaper: “We had to break up the demonstration twice. It’s been a long time since it’s looked like this.”

    The prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and the Copenhagen mayor, Frank Jensen, condemned the riots. “Copenhagen has room for everyone. But no-one has the right to put a whole city district in a state of emergency. Stop it!” Jensen tweeted.

    In 2007 a Christian community Faderhuset exercised its ownership rights to evict the residents. After a dramatic police eviction operation that involved police commandos being dropped in by helicopter, Faderhuset had the building condemned and torn down, which led to some of the worst riots in Copenhagen’s history.

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