A demonstration against anti-Semitism in Copenhagen was the talk of the town in the days running up to it, but the event itself went off without incident on Saturday.
The demonstration was organized by Copenhagen city council member Rasmus Jarlov of the Conservatives in response to growing reports of harassment from the city’s Jewish community. Jarlov called on Jews and supporters to show up to the march clad in kippahs and the Star of David as a way to demonstrate that Jews should be able to display their religion openly anywhere in the city.
The march went through Copenahgen’s Nørrebro district, which has one of the highest concentrations of Muslim residents in Denmark.
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Prior to the march, Nørrebro local politician Uzma Ahmed Andresen accused Jarlov of using the demonstration as “political propaganda” and urged him to call it off out of fears that it could lead to conflict.
But her concerns proved to be for not, as the demonstration worked its way through Nørrebro peacefully.
According to Danmark Radio’s estimate, around 1,000 people participated in the march.
Jarlov said he was pleased with the outcome of the demonstration.
“I think there was a positive attitude all the way through and there were a lot of people who showed up,” he told DR.
“We anticipated that it would be peaceful, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a need for this demonstration. Jews are probably the only ethnic group that feels like they need to hide their identity. We need to nip it in the bud,” he said.
The Jewish Community in Denmark (Det Jødiske Samfund) has registered 33 instances of anti-Semitism in 2014 and all but a handful of them have occurred since the outbreak of violence in Gaza in July.