A Brøndby Strand resident told The Local she was too scared to even open her mailbox. Photo: Danskernes Parti/Facebook
The far-right Danes' Party (Danskernes Parti) is once again generating headlines thanks to a controversial stunt clearly meant to provoke.
The Danes' Party, which was founded by a former neo-Nazi and enjoys only marginal support, distributed flyers to Brøndby Strand postboxes that one resident told The Local made her too scared to even check her postbox.
The flyers were made to look like one-way airline tickets "to the strangers/foreigners in Brøndby Strand, with love [from the] Danes' Party.
The "airline ticket home" was designed to show a flight from Copenhagen Airport to “Langtbortistan”, which roughly translates to “Far-away-istan”. It also included an Arabic text reading "have a good trip home".
The flyers set off a heated debate on Facebook. Although some social media users expressed their support for the ad campaign, the majority of comments slammed the far-right party's message as “disgusting”, “evil” and “racist”.
But the debate on social media was nothing compared to what the actual residents of Brøndby Strand felt.
Louise Vinther Alis, who is married to a Dane of Turkish descent and hopes to represent Brøndby Strand in parliament, said she couldn't even bring herself to check her mailbox after hearing from her angry and hurt neighbours.
“I feel freaking scared. I have had to move out of the country before, so I know that this is serious business,” she told The Local. “Who will be defining who these 'strangers' are?”
“I don't understand how this can be legal. I don't understand how someone can threaten peaceful residents in their own mailboxes. And yes, I feel like my legal rights are threatened. Like my husband and my children's rights are threatened,” she continued.
The ‘airline tickets' were distributed to postboxes belonging to residents with names that do not sound traditionally “Danish”. Meanwhile, the residents with traditional last names received a false cheque for 16 billion kroner, which is what the party claims Denmark would save by expelling all non-Western residents. The cheque to “the Danes in Brøndby Strand” comes with a note saying that the nationalist party is “giving you Denmark back”.
Copenhagen Vestegn Police confirmed to Politiken on Wednesday morning that a complaint has been filed over the flyers.
“Now we will determine whether this is punishable by law and that is something we will do just as soon as we have the necessary legal assistance in here,” spokesman Kim Madsen said.
A determination on whether charges would be filed was expected later on Wednesday.
In response to the flyers and last week's controversial parliamentary statement, the residents of Brøndby Strand are organizing a demonstration on Saturday
at 1pm at Kulturhuset Brønden “against those who can't see what's good about Brøndby Strand but only what's bad”.
“We've had enough. Now we need to stand together, regardless of colour and faith,” organizers wrote on Facebook. More details about the demonstration will be available on the Facebook page
soon, Alis said.
The western Copenhagen suburb was targeted by nationalists because it was the subject of a controversially-worded statement approved by parliament that expressed concern that “Danes” have now become the “minority in residential areas in Denmark”. Critics slammed the resolution's language, saying that it essentially defined “Danes” as only those whose parents are Danish, or at least Western.