December 13, 2009

Yesterday began the first day of what I suspect will be a week of increasing protest and resistance in Copenhagen. I missed the protests, as I was on my return flight to the US. I did, however, have an opportunity to witness first hand what I think is a certain sign that things will soon get considerably more heated. Why would I say such a thing?

Suppose I were to devise a nefarious plan to stage an “nearly non-violent” “black-velvet” insurrection: nobody hurt, just lots and lots of property damage. If I were to do that, I would wish for a nearby staging ground to freely house the thousands who were joining me. If I were to do that, I’d hope to have hundreds of private rooms where we could all plan out our individual actions. If I were to do that, I would hope to have copious amounts of food that would benefit those who had come along. I would hope for no police presence in this area where the Copenhagen’s new (and extremely sketchy) pre-emptive protest law could come into effect. I would post guards to protect my high level planning committee from being spied upon. I would disallow cameras. I would have open markets for folks to congregate and get supplies. I would build camaraderie and friendship by living closely in tight quarters together. I would provide numerous gathering locations, for individual activists to bond and form working groups. I would ensure that I had hundreds of secret chambers for storage of equipment I planned to use. I would pump everybody up with raucous music, plenty of booze, and wild, drug-enhanced parties.

As it happens, Copenhagen has a near ideal staging ground for the sort of insurrection that I would plan, and it’s located halfway between downtown Copenhagen and the Bella Center.

I went to a section of town called “Christiania” on Thursday night, escorted by Søren, a long-time Danish philosopher friend of mine. Christiania is an independent free state, a long-standing social experiment nestled neatly inside the state borders of Denmark but “tolerated” by the government as independent. As social experiments go, it is enormous, spanning 85 acres. It has its own military barracks, several restaurants, many bars, an open market, hundreds of apartments, loud music, and plenty of drugs. On the night I went there, it was crawling with black blockers. The streets were alive with energy. There were oil drums burning openly in the streets, offering fire for warmth. There was a food tent. There was dancing and partying in the streets and in bars. There were punk bands blasting. And there was anticipation in the air. In all respects, it is an awesome compound.

If I were to plan an insurrection on the order of Seattle, Genoa, Montreal, Rostock, and so on, I would wish I had a staging ground like Christiania.

I will be surprised if you don’t see some heavy action in the coming days.


  1. […] heavily. Naomi Klein is screeching about how American politicians shouldn’t even show up. And Christiania is being raided, only to be defended by young anarchists in black […]

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