Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Copenhagen Riots Update

I have discovered more information thanks to a news service that the US Embassy sends out to all Americans stationed in Denmark. First, the situation has been calm since the weekend, and nothing happened Monday or Tuesday as they tore down the Youth House.

The new owners of the Youth House (who got a court order evicting the youth and demolishing the building) are a fundamentalist Christian sect in Denmark called Faderhuset. Faderhuset was founded in 1990 by the married couple Knut and Ruth Evensen who are still involved in its leadership. Both have been involved in Christian movements since the 1970s. They started their own religious community in the beginning of the 1980s in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen. As of January 2007, the church has 120 members and is an approved religious community by the Danish state. Apparently this fact is well known on the "street" level, but the press make no mention of it. The US Embassy newsletter, though, has no hesistation, which is as it should be.

Before last week's riots, the Youth House students had rejected an offer to take over a closed school near their location. This was the final offer by the Copenhagen City Council, which is furious at the amount of damage the riots have cost. The spokesman for the controlling Social Democrats said that he had "no wish to enter into any form of dialogue with tehse people or spent time looking for alternative accomodation for them." This from a political party that is to the left of center in Denmark! I am not sure why the students rejected the offer for a free new place, other than sheer stubbornness in the righteousness of their cause. The result is that they are now either arrested or homeless.

Ruth Evensen, the leader of the Faderhuset sect (not sure where the husband is in all this...and I thought fundamentalists did not like women as leaders...or is that only in the USA?), has been forced to hire bodyguards. She has received numerous death threats related to the case with the Youth House, and the threats have escalated since riots began last week.

That is not the only person being targeted either. Someone vandalised Mayor of Copenhagen Ritt Bjerregaard's private residence by carving out a large '69' in her front door, a direct reference to the Youth House's address at Jagtvej 69. The buildup to a massive protest outside city hall this Saturday seems set. The question is, will violence continue to be avoided now that the leftist youth have nothing to lose? Their Youth House is rubble now, and even workers are wearing full face coverings to protect their identities. Companies have hidden logos to protect themselves too as the demolition and removal continues.

Faderhuset plans a building to house a Christian café and cultural activities. Not sure what a Chrisitan café means. Will they only use Holy Water for the coffee and tea? Sell Jesus biscuits? Napkins with "Repent Now!" written in Danish? And with the trouble they have experienced from buying the Youth House, evicting the inhabitants, and then demolishing the building, do they imagine that Youth activists will let their new building sit in peace? I do not even know how they will build on the spot without fear of sabotage. What construction company would take the risk? Maybe some of our American fundies can "help" out against what I am sure they would consider "attacks by the forces of Satan on a Godly group." Shoot, I am sure that more than one gay person lived in the House too, so they could make it part of the "Gay Agenda" to conquer the world and force heterosexuals into gay relationships.

I wonder what the motives of the Faderhuset were in buying the Youth House, which has been well known since 1982. Was it to get close to their leaders' roots in Nørrebro? Didn't they forsee the problems they would have with buying this house and taking the steps have taken to possess it? They were within their legal rights, and the students should have taken the deal for the alternative property that would have been theirs outright. In this situation, they all lose.

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