A Friday night demonstration in Christianshavn took a turn for the worse outside of Christiania at around 10pm. There is agreement on that much, but police and representatives from the self-proclaimed ‘freetown’ disagree on how the trouble started.
The demonstration was organized by the group Reclaim the Streets, which took credit for a violent demo in Nørrebro in August. When police met the group near Christiania, it was met with Molotov cocktails and bricks and in response fired tear gas at the demonstrators and brought in heavy vehicles to clear barricades.
A police spokesman told TV2 that the violence actually had nothing to do with the Reclaim the Streets group but instead came from within Christiania, where organized criminal groups control the illicit cannabis market.
But the Christiania-based documentary group Cadok, released a video and its version of events on Monday and said that the police explanation was pure “manipulation”.
“Copenhagen Police press spokesman Lars Krabbe claims that the demonstrators from ‘Reclaim the Streets’ and the disturbance in and around Christiania have nothing to do with each other and that it was anarchists and ‘guards’ from Christiania who started the disturbance. We call that political manipulation and lies of the worst kind,” Cadok wrote.
“Christiania does not support a policy of violence. Therefore, we are very sorry to be used as a battleground by the police and frustrated and angry people from the entire city,” the group added.
The group said that the police action was meant to influence an upcoming meeting in Christiania in which residents are scheduled to discuss Pusher Street, the centre of the alternative enclave’s bustling cannabis business which is estimated to generate one billion kroner per year.
Four people were arrested during Friday night's unrest.