Christiania wants Pusher Street closed for good after gang shooting

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Christiania wants Pusher Street closed for good after gang shooting
Christiania's Pusher Street was closed earlier this month and residents now want it gone for good. Photo:Soren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

A near-unanimous leadership at the alternative enclave Christiania in Copenhagen wants to shut down the Pusher Street market for good.


Pusher Street has long been known for its surreptitious sale of cannabis and sometime crackdowns by police, but the area’s residents have grown tired of increasingly strong links to organised crime, news wire Ritzau reports.

The free-thinking community is now in agreement on closing down the market, spokesperson for the committee Hulda Mader said.

“This is a big step and it has not been an easy decision. But there was a very large majority at the committee meeting who are support of it closing,” she said.

A 30-year-old man was killed in a shooting incident at Pusher Street on Saturday. An 18-year-old has been arrested and held in police custody.


Police have confirmed the shooting to a conflict between organised crime groups, while Danish media including TV2, B.T. and Ritzau have reported that the Hells Angels biker gang and Loyal to Familia crime group are in conflict after the shooting. The report is based on a note from the economic crime division NSK, see by the media. 

Violent episodes in Christiania related to the illegal hash trade have occurred on repeated occasions in recent years.

Pusher Street is famous as the centre for cannabis sales in Christiania, with the illicit trade having taken place at the location since the early 1970s. In the enclave, soft drugs like marijuana and hash are officially illegal but tolerated, which has led to problems with drug trafficking and criminal gangs.

Increasing violence has encroached on the area in recent years. A 23-year-old man was killed in a shooting in 2022, and four fatal shootings have now occurred since 2020.

In a statement, Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard said that it would be difficult for organised crime to continue in the area without the protection of Christiania residents.

“I completely support the redevelopment plan for Christiania which Copenhagen Municipality, the police, ourselves and Christianites are all part of. I am also pleased to see that some of the residents are speaking out,” he said in reference to a plan to redevelop part of the Christiania area with affordable housing in partnership with the residents’ committee and other authorities.

“Until now there’s been a certain amount of protection of gangs and crime – that must stop now. Because we all need to do our bit to make sure long-lasting change is successfully implemented,” he said.

Mader rejected the suggestion from Hummelgaard that Christiania residents had protected gang members.

“We are not protecting anyone. We are living our lives. We have nothing to do with that market,” she said.

“We are sick and tired of it. Now we’ve said we want it closed. So it’s up to authorities how that will happen,” she said.


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