Copenhagen: escalating violence in hippy enclave

Drugs like hashish and LSD have been openly traded for decades on Pusher Street in Freetown Christiania, the hippy enclave in Copenhagen founded by squatters and anarchists in 1971 and tolerated by the city as an autonomous community. Weapons and hard drugs are forbidden, but for some time now residents have had problems with criminal gangs, and matters came to a head last weekend after a man was shot dead and four other people injured.

Politiken (DK) /

Time for radical action

Politiken calls for a crackdown:

“Christiania has now stated unequivocally that it wants the street shut and is practically begging the authorities for help. It’s obvious that the Christianites can’t do this on their own. So obviously, now the state must intervene. If necessary, with bulldozers. The authorities are not stingy about using force when it comes to ghettos and other vulnerable locations. Pusher Street is by far the most crime-ridden neighbourhood in the country. It’s an eyesore that the police can and must shut down — and keep shut.”

Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

The state must assume responsibility

Jyllands-Posten demands:

“The wait for new packages of measures, investigations and residents’ proposals must come to an end. ... The state power must show what it is — a state power with a monopoly on the use of force. ‘But then the hash trade will just move elsewhere’, many will no doubt say. And yes, it probably will, but how it will be handled by the police and politicians remains an open question, just as there will probably be another debate about freely available hashish, especially in light of the fact that it will soon be a reality in Germany. But first, drastic action must be taken to shut down Pusher Street once and for all.”