Full Scale Riots in our neighbourhood

Trip Start Aug 25, 2005
Trip End Mar 31, 2007

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Thursday, March 1, 2007

I walk out of the house this morning and there's a helicopter over my head (not unusual in Dublin 8 I hear you say but it is here), then I look up the road and see cops & flashing lights and realise theres no buses coming down my street today and an old man tells me its something to do with Ungdomhuset. So off I go walking to the train station. I see on the news & web later later the people are finally being evicted from ungdomhuset so that explains the helicopter  http://www.cphpost.dk/print.jsp?o_id=100644

See my explantion on 21 Dec 06 blog entry entitled "Home alone in Copenhagen or is it Beiriut?" But basically the evictions were from a place that is not really a squat but a youth collective and C said he read they took in troubled kids too. So there is a bit of sympathy for them. They were only evicted as the building was sold and its prime real estate so money has to be made by whoever bought it. Capitalism eh.

Then I get a phone call from C at 6pm saying "do not come home theres a full scale riot on our road" and that he will collect me from the station.

So apparently after the eviction there was a demo and things went too far and a whole scale riot started .

Anyway C is totally animated by the excitement by the time I meet him in a bar and he had to dodge tear gas, missiles, explosives and make his way down to me in a warren of side streets. He got some good photos though God bless him. But the photos looked really scary - will attach some here. So after a while we decide to try for home and we get as far as 'The Lakes' and there's a wall of fire but we get by and get through 4 more walls of fire stratigically all long the road, and there's alot a smashed glass but alot of businesses are boarded up since learning their lesson the last time (this the 2nd time local businesses have been wrecked in the last few months though - a new precedent for demonstrations about keeping that youth collective but demos are legal you just get a police permit), and alot of wrecked bikes and furniture etc burning and lots of cops or Politi.

If it was in Dublin I would have been scared of the cops but the cops here are pretty "nice" in these situations by comparison (and do not remove their id) and were told not be heavy handed and they were not and C did actually fell safer nearer them earlier. Think they made 100 arrests that day, but the fires and all were (illegally) very well planned by the rioters C even saw the fuel stashes on the side streets yest. Also they all kept in small groups to keep cops busy and so the helicoptor was out all day looking side streets and there are lots of side streets and that costs a fortune (and they are pretty strict about city finances here) so the rioters were probably trying to use up as much cop budget as poss. so their hassling of Christiania will have to reduce too. Clever huh....

Anyway we get as far as our local Indian (run by a very nice Iranian) restaurant and get talking to some crazy 'rocker' drunk Danes and when we try to leave a cop tells me something harshly in Danish (but it all sounds harsh to me) and then I say I don't understand and he tells me nicely in english to stay in the restaurant as its to dangerous to come out, so what can we do only eat and drink and hang out with theother people there (all felt a bit war time to me) and finally escape home at midnight!
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