There have been peaceful demonstrations on the streets of the Danish capital, as work began to demolish a building at the centre of the worst rioting the country has seen in decades. Copenhagen remained calm, in contrast to last week when more than 600 people were arrested in clashes with police. The unrest began when squatters were evicted from the “Youth House”.
“It is a symbol of Danish culture and Danish nationalism,” said one activist. “I think it is a pity that it is torn down. It is a building that actually turned 110 years old this year and we have got so much culture in that house.”
There was a heavy police presence during the operation. The name of the demolition company was painted over and workers wore masks to conceal their faces.
The conflict has simmered since 2000 when the local government sold the youth centre to a religious group. Since 1982 it had been lent to local young people who used it as accommodation and a meeting place.