Denmark prepares for anti-EU riots: repression again.
mstainsby at tao.ca
Sat Jul 6 19:35:35 MDT 2002
Independent. 7 July 2002. Denmark prepares for anti-EU riots.
COPENHAGEN -- Denmark is building cells in underground car parks and
drawing up contingency plans to evacuate pensioners from Copenhagen city
centre in readiness for possible riots during its six-month European
The unprecedented security measures arise from last year's
anti-globalisation protests at an EU summit in neighbouring Sweden, when
many of those arrested turned out to be Danes.
The Danish government has announced that, as key meetings approach, it
will suspend an EU free travel agreement and, if necessary, draft in
hundreds of extra police.
Specially armoured vehicles have been brought in from the Netherlands to
transport police in safety, and the police plan to use a website to
present their side of the story if they are accused of violent tactics
Most controversial, however, is a plan to build temporary holding
centres in two underground car parks of Copenhagen police stations.
Facing criticism that detainees could be held in temperatures as low as
minus 15C at the December summit of EU leaders in the capital, Danish
police showed the cells to the local media last week.
They say the units will allow about 300 people to be held at one time
but that no one will be in a unit for more than 24 hours.
Suspects will have access to food, water and toilet facilities, and the
cells will be 6ft high, 6ft wide and 12ft deep. By day they will hold
six people, and at night no more than four, police say.
The first potential flashpoint of the presidency will be a meeting of EU
and Asian finance ministers in September. In December the heads of
government will gather in the Danish capital, but police hope that cold
weather will inhibit protests.
For key EU meetings, levels of policing are to be more than doubled if
necessary, with hundreds drafted in from the provinces to boost the
normal 1,800 officers to a maximum of 4,000.
Concerned that they stand to lose a propaganda battle, the authorities
have announced that two officers from the police information department
will be writing news stories from the perspective of the security
Jorgen Poulsen, professor of journalism at Roskilde University, told the
paper: "You could imagine situations where the press don't have access
and where then the police's own journalists will be the only ones
In the contradiction lies the hope.
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