[sixties-l] Politicians threaten Christiania (fwd)

From: sixties@lists.village.virginia.edu
Date: Thu Jan 24 2002 - 19:17:04 EST

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    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 16:39:52 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Politicians threaten Christiania

    Politicians threaten Christiania


    By Howard R. Knowles
    18. januar 2002

    The government has lost patience with the amount of criminal activity in
    squatter community, Christiania - but is divided as to how to clean up
    thirty years of neglect.

    An alternative society or a haven for drugs- a free state or a squatters
    paradise? However
    one characterises Christiania, the new government is making a concerted
    effort to rid the
    crime ridden 'alternative society' of the biker gangs, drug dealers and
    stolen goods
    merchants who illegally contribute to an annual 'tax-free' turnover of over
    DKK 200m - but
    are split as to whether to use bulldozers or kid gloves.
    After years of turning a blind eye to the activities on 'Pusher Street',
    the main thoroughfare
    through Christiania, where hash dealers openly display and sell thousands
    of grams of
    hash every day, politicians have now targetted the so-called Info
    House. Info House is a building constructed last year and suspected of
    being a haven for organised crime controlled by biker gangs.
    Despite initial demands to bulldoze the building, which is virtually
    isolated from the rest of
    Christiania by a three metre high fence topped with barbed wire and video
    surveillance, the
    Conservative Party has seemingly backed down this week and has now stated
    it is willing
    to tolerate Christiania's existence - as long as residents adhere to
    '...the normal law and order
    of the rest of society' - that is, pay for electricity, water, services and
    get rid of the drug
    However, even law-abiding residents of the 'alternative society' are
    divided as to how to
    tackle the Info House problem, which, as a principal supplier of drugs to
    dealers on Pusher
    Street, is a major contributor to the illegal economy that keeps the
    Christiania wheels
    turning - including the unlicensed bars and restaurants that are willing
    recipients of drug
    After being a virtual no-go area for the police, whose infrequent visits
    have often ended in
    retreat under a hail of stones from disgruntled 'Christianites', residents
    are now looking to
    the authorities to clean up the mess.
    'This Info House has become a thorn in our side,' says long time resident
    Mette Prag. 'It
    must be up to the police to get rid of it, if they are convinced it
    shelters criminals and
    organised crime.' However, she refused to entertain the Conservative Party
    proposition that
    Christiania should become totally 'drug-free' and legal if it wishes to
    'There will always be hash in Christiania, because the majority of us out
    here like to smoke
    it. If the government really wants to get rid of the criminal element, let
    it legalise hash. When
    the illegal proceeds disappear, the idiots will follow.'
    Minister of Defence, Svend Aage Jensby, has given Christiania's 'contact'
    group one week
    to propose a solution to the 'Info House' problem.

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