Copenhagen clean-up after Youth House riots

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Copenhagen clean-up after Youth House riots

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A clean-up operation has been carried out in Copenhagen, after a night of rioting as activists marked the six-month anniversary of the demolition of a building that had become an international cause celebre for the left wing.

The saga of the Youth House, controversially sold off by the city council, is apparently far from over.

That is bad news for locals. Anders Kristiansen says he’s shocked that some of those taking part in the riot were in their teens. “I wonder where the parents are,” he said.

Lisbeth Foelunde said she was angry: “I think it’s destructive. This part of the city has been under siege for such a long time that I feel like a hostage in someone else’s power struggle.”

That struggle was played out in the demonstrations as dustbins were torched, windows smashed and a police car petrol-bombed.

For 25 years the Youth House had been the focal point for Denmark’s alternative scene, a busy squat in which left-wing underground movements shared space with a creche and a vegan restaurant.

Nick Cave and Björk performed there.

The building has gone. But the message from the protesters was clear. It is not forgotten.