Tilbageholdelse af klimaaktivister julen over var ren chikane

… som også beskrevet i danske aviser. Greenpeace opsummerer situationen på deres klimablog:

Did Danish authorities really hold our activists in prison for 20 days because they were diligently investigating how they got onto a red carpet at a state dinner during the Copenhagen climate conference? New evidence suggests not.

To non-violently paraphrase Michael Corleone, “If history teaches us anything, it’s that you can get past security anywhere.” But here’s a fact: it really, really, pisses them off.

And that, it would appear, is the real reason that our Red Carpet Four activists were held without a trial in Denmark. Let’s be clear: they had a message to deliver. It wasn’t their intent to make monkeys of a security force that was set up to protect the 120 most powerful people on the planet, along with the Queen of Denmark. But yes, they did that when, with a few smart-looking cars in a “motorcade” marked with the Greenpeace logo, a Tuxedo, an off-the-rack evening dress and a flashing blue light bought on the internet, they managed to get into the Parliament and deploy, in full view of the world’s leaders and the gathered press, banners demanding action on climate change.

Now the REASON the police claimed they needed to hold our activists, without visitation rights, for 20 days over Christmas and New Year’s, without trial, was that they were “investigating” the incident.

We offered to help early on. We provided full details and an open invitation to the police to ask us anything. Clearly, security could be better, and we don’t mind letting them know how they can improve it — we’re non-violent, but not everyone with an interest in getting to world leaders can make the same claim.

Yet we weren’t asked a single question until a couple days ago, when police asked for the names of those who were in the three cars in our “Motorcade.” (The individuals voluntarily came forward).

When we (and a judge) were told that the activists needed to be held until the ongoing investigation was complete, we presumed that meant there was an ongoing investigation. Surely the activists themselves were under daily interrogation behind bars.

But no. Nora, Juantxo, Christian, and Joris have just told us they were interviewed only twice: on their arrest and for 15 minutes a few days ago. The cars which were impounded were not even fingerprinted immediately; one car was returned with fingerprint powder on the 30th of December, another car was fingerprinted today, and the police have not started on the third.

One activist, Joris Thijssen, was not arrested on the red carpet, but picked up at a restaurant by police acting, we’re told, on information that Joris was an organiser of the action. What made them think that? It’s because they tapped his and two other Greenpeace phones. (Danish media are reporting that 15 other Greenpeace phones were tapped on the day of the action, and police lawyers were not even consulted on those.)

But what exactly did they do with all that information? If the phone taps had told them everything they needed to know, they would presumably have stopped the action. If the phone taps didn’t tell them everything they needed to know, why did they not ask Joris, who would have been happy to tell them? And if they weren’t going to ask him anything useful, then why on Earth did they put him behind bars for 20 days claiming he was being held while the investigation continued? (Asked on release if he would have done anything differently as a result of his prison experience, Joris replied “I would have brought a book.”)

Even more amazing, Danish newspaper Nyheder reports that the police’s own lawyers had recommended the immediate release of the four – a recommendation which the Chief of Police chose to ignore.

Greenpeace International Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo, said on their release that “When the history of climate change is written, the criminals will be exposed, and these four people are not the criminals.”

Our legal systems should not treat those who choose peaceful acts of civil disobedience over inaction as if they are terrorists or criminals. They are neither. They are the voices of society’s conscience. The longer the world defers delivering a fair, ambitious, legally binding treaty to stop global warming, the louder those voices will grow. (You can add yours here.)

There are not enough prisons in the world to hold us all.

It’s time to stop jailing us, and listen.

“Krigen mod terror” havde intet at gøre med terror

Det er Gary Younges konklusion i hans indlæg i dagens Guardian. “Bush’s anti-terror strategy was not about protecting people but about scaring them“:

When it actually came down to it, to forestall a near-calamitous terrorist atrocity in the US the authorities didn’t even have to go in search of information or informants. The alleged terrorist’s father came to the US embassy in Nigeria of his own free will and warned them that his son, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had disappeared and could be in the company of Yemeni terrorists.

Meanwhile the National Security Agency had heard that al-Qaida in Yemen was planning to use an unnamed Nigerian in an attack on the US. If that were not enough, then came Abdulmutallab himself, a 23-year-old Nigerian bound for Detroit who bought his ticket in cash, checked in no bags and left no contact information. For seven years the American state manipulated the public with its multicoloured terror alerts. But when all the warning lights were flashing red, it did nothing.

To brand this near miss a “systemic failure”, as Barack Obama has done, is both true and inadequate. It reduces the moral vacuity, political malevolence and enduring strategic recklessness that has been the enduring response to the 9/11 attacks to a question of managerial competence.

Hvis den manglende afsløring af den nigerianske bombemand in spe skulle betegnes som en “systemfejl”, ville det jo nemlig forudsætte, at hele terror- og advarsels- og sikkerhedssystemet ikke havde virket efter sin hensigt – men det er helt forkert.

“Krigen mod terror” har fungeret helt fejlfrit. Dens formål er bare ikke at fange terrorister, men at opskræmme befolkningen, så den bliver lettere at kontrollere og de bitre kontrol- og overvågningspiller bliver lettere at få til at gå ned. At sådan en Abdulmutallab kan slippe igennem, er vel nærmest at betragte som en ekstra bonus, der kan bruges som påskud for yderligere skærpelser og stramninger, så skruen kan drejes endnu en tand, mens vi venter på det næste påskud til at skære endnu en skive af vores frihed.

Link: The war on terror has been about scaring people, not protecting them

Brev fra fængslede klima-aktivister

Fra Climate Justice Action – tak til Arash Sharifzadeh Abdi:

Copenhagen, January 1st 2010

Something is rotten (but not just) in Denmark. As a matter of fact, thousands of people have been considered, without any evidence, a threat to the society. Hundreds have been arrested and some are still under detention, waiting for judgement or under investigation. Among them, us, the undersigned.

We want to tell the story from the peculiar viewpoint of those that still see the sky from behind the bars.

A UN meeting of crucial importance has failed because of several contradictions and tensions that have shown up during the COP15. The primary concern of the powerfuls was the governance of the energy supply for neverending growth. This was the case whether they were from the overdeveloped world, like the EU countries or the US, or from the so-called developing countries, like China or Brazil.

At odds, hundreds of delegates and thousands of people in the streets have raised the issue that the rationale of life must be (and actually is) opposed to that of profit. we have strongly affirmed our will to stop anthropic pressure on the biosphere.

A crisis of the energy paradigm is coming soon. The mechanisms of global governance have proven to be overhelmingly precarious. The powerfuls failed not only in reaching an agreement on their internal equilibrium but also in keeping the formal control of the discussion.

Climate change is an extreme and ultimate consequence of the violence of the capitalistic growth paradigm. People globally are increasingly showing the willingness of taking the power to rebel against that violence. we have seen that in Copenhagen, as well as we have seen that same violence. Hundreds of people have been arrested without any reason or clear evidence, or for participating in peaceful and legitimate demonstrations. Even mild examples of civil disobedience have been considered as a serious threath to the social order.

In response we ask – What order do we threaten and who ordered it? Is it that order in which we do not anymore own our bodies? The order well beyond the terms of any reasonable “social contract” that we would ever sign, where our bodies can be taken, managed, constrained and imprisoned without any serious evidence of crime. Is it that order in which the decisions are more and more shielded from any social conflicts? Where the governance less and less belongs to people, not even through the parliament? As a matter of fact, non-democratic organisms like the WTO, the NB, the G-whatever rule beyond any control.

We are forced to notice that the theater of democracy is a broken one as soon as one approaches the core of the power. That is why we reclaim the power to the people. We reclaim the power over our own lives. Above all, we reclaim the power to counterpose the rationale of life and of the commons to the rationale of profit. It may have been declared illegal, but still we consider it fully legitimate.

Since no real space is left in the broken theater, we reclaimed our collective power – Actually we expected it – to speak about the climate and energy issues. Issues that, for us, involve critical nodes of global justice, survival of man and energy independence. We did marching with our bodies.

We prefer to enter the space where the power is locked dancing and singing. We would have liked to do this at the Bella center, to disrupt the session in accord with hundreds of delegates. But we were, as always, violently hampered by the police. They arrested our bodies in an attempt to arrest our ideas. we risked our bodies, trying to protect them just by staing close to each other. We value our bodies: We need them to make love, to stay together and to enjoy life. They hold our brains, with beautifull bright ideas and views. They hold our hearts filled with passion and joy. Nevertheless, we risked them. we risked our bodies getting locked in prisons.

In fact, what would be the worth of thinking and feeling if the bodies did not move? Doing nothing, letting-it-happen, would be the worst form of complicity with the business that wanted to hack the UN meeting. At the COP15 we moved, and we will keep moving.

Exactly like love, civil disobedience can not just be told. We must make it, with our bodies. Otherwise, we would not really think about what we love, and we would not really love what we think about. It’s as simple as that. It’s a matter of love, justice and dignity.

How the COP15 has ended proves that we were right. Many of us are paying what is mandatory for an obsessive, pervasive and total repression: To find a guilty party at the cost of inventing it (along with the crime perhaps).

We are detained with evidently absurd accusations about either violent actions that actually did not take place or conspiracies and organizing of law-breaking actions.

We do not feel guilty for having shown, together with thousands, the reclamation of the independence of our lives from profit’s rule. If the laws oppose this, it was legitimate to peacefully – but still conflictually – break them.

We are just temporarily docked, ready to sail again with a wind stronger than ever. It’s a matter of love, justice and dignity.

  • Luca Tornatore, Italian social centres network “see you in Copenhagen”.
  • Natasha Verco, Climate Justice Action
  • Johannes Paul Schul Meyer
  • Arvip Peschel
  • Christian Becker
  • Kharlanchuck Dzmitry
  • Cristoph Lang
  • Anthony Arrabal

“Denmark’s reputation is being destroyed”

Tag ikke mit ord for det, ordene står at læse i The Guardian:

The problem the Danish government faces gets bigger by the hour. Clearly the government is desperate for the UN climate summit in Copenhagen to be seen as a success, regardless of whether the deal done is capable of slowing down climate change in a just way. But it is faced with an ever-swelling army of critics who believe this issue is too important for a stitched-up compromise, negotiated late at night between corporate lobbyists and rich-country governments in conference hotel rooms.

For months the Danish government has been preparing to silence the critics – even approving new police powers to clamp down on protest. Last month we wrote to express our concern that these powers could easily be used to prevent those without a voice at the summit expressing themselves. The Danish government responded that “the new [police powers] will in no way affect peaceful demonstrators”.

The sight of 1,000 activists being held in freezing temperatures without basic rights for many hours clearly exposes the Danish authorities’ argument. So do reports of pepper spray being used on protesters held in cages, the constant raids on meetings and sleeping quarters, the arrest of a civil society spokesperson on the eve of yesterday’s demonstration and the many more stories of serious infringements of civil liberties. […]

This reflects exactly what is happening inside the conference centre, where criticism or alternative voices have been ignored and are now being silenced. Developing countries have felt so marginalised by a process clearly under the control of rich countries that they staged a walk-out on Tuesday. The same day the Danish prime minister Rasmussen sought to impose an agreement from above, killing off the legitimate negotiations and the binding Kyoto agreements. Rich countries have been trying to wriggle out of their emission reduction commitments throughout Copenhagen, and developing countries are right to resist.

Today, many developing countries are leaving the centre again to join protesters outside. Also today, civil society organisations including Friends of the Earth, Avaaz and Tck Tck Tck have been thrown out of the conference. Incredibly, delegates and media have been told they will lose their accreditation if they talk to these banned NGOs. No credible justification has been given for this behaviour.

Hvad det så end er, så regn med at DF-regeringen nok skal forkludre det med deres noget specielle syn på borgerrettigheder og demokrati.

Link: Copenhagen: The sound of silence


Bemærk, hvordan “crowd control” åbenbart består i at tæske løs på de nærmeststående, helt uden tanke for, hvem eller hvordan man rammer.

Men selvfølgelig er Danmark ikke en politistat, som forfatter Thomas Strømsholt skriver i et læserbrev i Jyllands-Posten:

Vi ved nemlig godt, at der i enhver demonstration findes lømler, som kun er ude på at ødelægge det for de andre. Disse lømler ser som regel afvigende ud. Folk i sort tøj og Hare Krishna-munke er særligt suspekte, og derfor må de ansvarlige myndigheder gribe til administrativ frihedsberøvelse.

Det kan dog være nødvendigt at frihedsberøve hele bundtet for deres egen skyld, idet de uforvarende kunne komme til at forstyrre den offentlige orden.

Når demonstranterne så har siddet og kølet af i nogle timer, bliver de sluppet fri, men selvfølgelig kun, hvis de har opført sig pænt.

Som en yderligere storsindet gestus fra politiets side vil der kun i yderst sjældne tilfælde blive rejst sigtelse mod nogen.

I hvilket andet land ses mon et så gemytligt forhold mellem borgere og politi?

Så naturligvis kan man ikke sammenligne Danmark med en politistat. Der bliver hverken trukket stave eller affyret vandkanoner, hvis blot man ikke generer politiet – og bliver hjemme.

Via A guide to Denmark and the Denish way.

Politistatens maske falder: Pinligt, eller bare pinligt?

Dansk politi har i går anholdt Tadzio Müller, som er koordinator for mange af demonstrationerne i forbindelse med klimatopmødet i går – tilsyneladende uden andet at have det i, end at han har været med til at arrangere dagens store march mod Bella-centret.

The Guardian beretter:

Tadzio Mueller, a spokesman for the umbrella group Climate Justice Action (CJA), was arrested today by plainclothes police as he left the Bella centre, where the official climate talks are taking place. The police are holding him at the Retorvej detention centre, and he will be charged in court tomorrow morning. The police refused to say what charges will be brought.

Kevin Smith, an organiser for activist group Climate Camp, said: “It’s unbelievable that in a supposed democracy, undercover police are silencing spokespeople that are criticising the climate talks. How far are the Danish authorities prepared to go to stop tomorrow’s protest from going ahead?”

Mueller’s arrest comes on the eve of a Reclaim Power action that aims to “disrupt the sessions and open a space inside the UN area to hold a people’s assembly” from 10am tomorrow.

Smith added: “The Danish government knows just how embarrassing it will be when hundreds of delegates walk out tomorrow to join us in the protest tomorrow against the climate talks, and it is trampling over all manner of civil liberties to try and prevent that from happening.”

På The Independent har man også bemærket dansk politis noget brutale fremfærd mod alt, hvad der ligner ridser i lakken på byens fine konference-image:

The demonstration will put added pressure on the conference organisers, who have been struggling to cope with the sheer number of people descending on the site each day. Yesterday, hundreds of delegates, NGO representatives and journalists were left standing outside in freezing temperatures for up to nine hours after the UN’s accreditation system broke down.

Police have adopted a zero-tolerance approach to the activists, handcuffing anyone who commits minor misdemeanour and sitting them on the street for at least an hour. Yesterday morning, they persevered with this pre-emptive policy, pulling over cars and bicycles on the main routes into the city and searching them.

En af de anholdte fra i lørdags er Emily Apple, som beskriver sin oplevelse i en kommentar til The Guardian, hvor hun opfordrer til, at man ikke finder sig i det:

Mass repression requires mass resistance and we have to be able to say no when dealing with large policing operations such as this. Many people understandably looked terrified, and for a large number, it was the first time they had been arrested. However, arrests on this scale required co-operation from arrestees – people were not actually physically forced to sit in lines, they could have moved. Where we were, detainees vastly outnumbered the police, and they would not have been able to handle large numbers of people being incompliant, and there certainly would not have been the resources to arrest so many people.

Spirits in the steel holding cages were high and resistance was in the air. Some broke down the doors of their cages, and the large warehouse echoed to caterwauling and chants of “No justice, no peace! Fuck the police!” The police nearly lost control of the situation, being forced to send in riot police and dogs, and it showed what could have been possible if more had resisted.

Unfortunately, we are too often the agents of our own repression. The culture of obedience and fear of reprisals is often too much for people to challenge. However, the rewards and sense of empowerment that come from refusing to co-operate far outweigh any consequences.

I Danmark er folk med forstand på jura og borgerrettigheder heller ikke imponeret over politiets strategi eller deres nye beføjelser. Forsvarsadvokat Thorkild Høyer siger til Politiken, at anholdelsen af Tadzio Müller er “langt ude” og en trussel mod ytringsfriheden:

Ifølge forsvarsadvokat Thorkild Høyer er ingen personer tidligere i Danmark blevet varetægtsfængslet på det grundlag, som politiet forsøger at bruge i sagen mod den tyske klimatalsmand Tadzio Müller.

Tyskeren er talsmand for netværket Climate Justice Action, og blev anholdt af politiet kort efter en tale på FNs klimatopmøde COP 15 i dag i Bella Center.

»Når man læser de udtalelser Tadzio Müller er kommet med i pressen, så har han klart understreget, at han går ind for, at der skal være fredelige demonstrationer. Der skal ikke være nogle konfrontationer med personer«, siger advokaten.

»Jeg synes, det lugter for meget af, at politiet bruger den stemning, der er i øjeblikket og den medvind lømmelpakken har givet dem til at begrænse de folkelige organisationers mulighed for at indtage debatten«, siger han.

»At begynde at fængsle folk på noget de ikke har gjort endnu, hvor man ikke engang ved, om det indebærer en overtrædelse af straffeloven, det er fanme langt ude. Og det må du gerne citere mig for«, siger Thorkild Høyer.

Og når andre fredelige aktivister begynder at klage over konsekvent forfølgelse og chikane fra politiets side, begynder billedet at blive klart. Danmark er ikke så rart et sted, som det har været. Det er et sted, hvor man kan blive anholdt for at sige sin mening, og hvor politiet uhæmmet bruger sine beføjelser til at slå ned på al modstand. I det mindste begynder folk nu at få øjnene op for det også uden for landets grænser.

Danske politistatsmetoder vækker opsigt i udlandet

The Guardian beretter i dag om, hvordan dansk politis massive, præventive anholdelser i lørdags formentlig er en overtrædelse af EUs lovgivning på området, ud over at være en krænkelse af §9 i FNs menneskerettigheder.

Avisen har bl.a. talt med et par udenlandske aktivister:

Denmark may be breaching European law, Danish human rights groups claimed tonight as they called for their government to launch an immediate inquiry after police in Copenhagen used controversial kettling and mass preventative arrest tactics for the third day running.

Following the arrest of 68 people on Friday, and 958 yesterday on Saturday, police today arrested 257 demonstrators, “kettling” a section of a march near Osterport station, and as they had done on Saturday, cuffed the protesters and put them onto buses transporting them to a detention centre.

As the COP15 climate change summit in Copenhagen carries on into its second week, accounts were emerging of the treatment of the detainees on Saturday night – 945 of them had been released by this morning, with just 13 remaining in custody.

Maria Ludwig, 22, one of the detainees released, had arrived in Copenhagen from Germany on Friday, said: “They kept me for two hours with plastic cuffs around our wrists and our hands behind our back, and then they put us on the bus. We had nothing to eat or drink, and one man asked the police to go to the toilet and they said: ‘No way are you going to put your trousers down, you’ll just have to piss into your trousers.'”

Another protester from Germany, Chris, who asked not to give his surname, described the way that the detainees were made to sit: “With our legs on either side of the people in front of us, and then leaning on the person behind us, with our hands still cuffed behind our backs. It was very painful for the person behind you and you were in pain from the person in front of you. It looks like Guantánamo when you see it.

BBC interviewer dansk politis talsmand Henrik Suhr, og reporteren spørger noget undrende, om ikke kan frygte det vil give bagslag at anholde så mange mennesker, helt uden at de har gjort noget. Men nej. seasonticket har en transkription af interviewet, hvis man hellere vil læse det end høre det.

Warning: Don’t come to Denmark! opsummerer situationen nydeligt:

  • Almost all major Danish media bodies are reporting harassment from the police, who are blocking access to mass arrest areas amongst other things (link).
  • A 51 year old hare krishna woman who was handing out dessert to activists was arrested for being part of a “violent protest” (link)
  • The police are using mass arrest as a way to control crowds. Arrested people are forced to sit on the freezing ground for hours, only to be released again because they cannot be charged (link)
  • Amnesty International have condemned the police response and called for the anti-protest laws to be scrutinized (link)

The police have arrested over a thousand demonstrators, and ended up charging less then twenty. That means the police clearly don’t think detention is a serious matter, but it is. Using arrest as a way to scare people into “behaving themselves” is not what arrest is meant to be used for, at least not in a democracy. And it’s very easy to get cynical about Denmark and democracy, because here is a country that has tried to turn its own racism into a rallying cry for international democracy, when it clearly doesn’t even understand the basics.

Den berømte canadiske aktivist Naomi Klein opsummerer:

The Danes have invested a huge amount of money co-branding their capitol city (now “Hopenhagen”) with a summit that will supposedly save the world. That would be fine if this summit actually were on track to save the world. But since it isn’t, the Danes are frantically trying to redesign us.

Take the weekend’s protests. By the end, around 1,100 people had been arrested. That’s just nuts. Saturday’s march of roughly 100,000 people came at a crucial juncture in the climate negotiations, when all signs pointed either to break down or a dangerously weak deal. The march was festive and peaceful but also tough. “The Climate Doesn’t Negotiate” was the message, and western negotiators need to hear it.

When a handful of people starting throwing stones and setting off sound grenades, the marchers handled it themselves, instructing the people responsible to leave the protest, which they promptly did. I was in that part of the march, and it barely interrupted my conversation. Calling this a “riot,” as the British Telegraph absurdly did, really isn’t fair to serious rioters, of which there are plenty in Europe.

Never mind. The Copenhagen cops used a little shattered glass as the pretext for detaining almost a thousand people, picking up another hundred the next day. Hundreds of those arrested were corralled together, forced to sit on the freezing pavement for hours, with wrists cuffed (and some ankles too). According to organizer Tadzio Müller, these were not the people who threw rocks but “the treatment was humiliating,” with some of the detainees urinating on themselves because they were not allowed to move.

The arrests, part of a pattern all week, felt like a warning: deviations from the “Hopenhagen” message will not be tolerated.

Ytringsfrihed, forsamlingsfrihed, bevægelsesfrihed – pyt med det, det er noget, man havde engang,  ikke noget man bruger i Danmark år 2009. Deviations will not be tolerated.

Link: Protests in Copenhagen: Rights groups press for inquiry into police tactics, Memo to Danes: Even you can’t control this summit

Danmark, en nyslået politistat

I lørdags var der, som de fleste nok har hørt, en større demonstration i forbindelse med klimatopmødet i København.

Da en mindre gruppe demonstranter (måske helt ned til en ti stykker) begyndte at lave ballade, slog politiet til – og anholdt samtlige omkringstående, ca. 900 mennesker, som herefter fik lov til at sidde på asfaltan i timevis, indtil de blev kørt ud til det nye “klima-Guantanamo” i Valby og senere løsladt.

En demonstrant fortæller, at det er svært at se anholdelserne som andet end tortur og chikane af fredelige, lovlydige borgere:

Han blev sat ned midt på Amagerbrogade i København. Med bagbundne hænder. Anholdt af politiet under den store klimademonstration tidligere på dagen.

»Jeg er chokeret«, forklarer den 30-årige medicinstuderende Rasmus Pinnerup til politiken.dk.

»Jeg synes, det er dybt urimeligt, at man kan blive udsat for det her. Det er tortur«, siger han.

»Vi gik ved siden af folk fra Greenpeace og deltagere fra Hare Khrisna. Bag ved os var der forskellige grupper klædt i sort. Da vi var kommet over pladsen, kom der mennesker løbende op og igennem vores del af demonstrationen«, siger Rasmus Pinnerup.

»Vi blev forvirrede. Der kørte politivogne ind bagved og foran os, som spærrede vejen af, så vi ikke kunne komme væk«.

»Jeg synes retssikkerheden mangler i det her. Jeg kunne jo ikke have gjort noget anderledes, da politiet kom. Jeg standsede bare op. Hvad skulle jeg ellers have gjort. Holdt mig hjemme. Så er demokratiet jo væk«, siger Rasmus Pinnerup.

»Jeg er ret chokeret over, at de her Hare Krishna folk også blev arresteret. De sad på jorden i deres tynde gevandter. Det overrasker mig, at politiet ikke kunne se, at de ikke havde gjort noget. Det virker så dumt«.

Men så er det jo godt, at vores altid årvågne presse er der for at rapportere, hvad der sker. Men det er kun, hvis de får lov!

To fotografer fra Berlingske fortæller her, hvordan politiet konsekvent chikanerer pressen og forsøger at forhindre den i at rapportere, hvad der sker:

Mediefolk bliver behandlet hårdhændet af politiet, som forhindrer dem i at gøre deres arbejde under klimatopmøde-demonstrationerne.

Sådan lyder det fra fotografer og journalister fra både tv og dagblade, efter at de har forsøgt at dække masseanholdelserne i går og i dag.

»De er unødvendigt voldsomme, når de smider os væk. Derudover virker det ofte som om, at de simpelthen ikke ønsker, at vi er der, og vil have os længere væk, end det er nødvendigt«, siger fotograf Mads Nissen, Berlingske Tidende.

Både i går og i dag har han været ude for hårdhændet behandling fra politiets side, vel at mærke i situationer hvor journalister rent juridisk har ret til at være til stede.

»Det er nærmest som om, nogle af dem nyder at skubbe til os, hvor sygt det end lyder«, siger fotografen.

»Man kan nærmest få fornemmelsen af, at der er noget vi ikke må se, som i går under masseanholdelsen, da folk begyndte at dratte om og sad i deres egen urin og frøs. Det har vi som presse en forpligtelse til at dække, men mulighederne var meget begrænsede«, siger Mads Nissen.

Berlingskes fotograf Christian Als er ligeså chokeret som Mads Nissen over politiets opførsel over for pressen.

»De er uhæmmet voldsomme i forhold til, hvad der er nødvendigt. Og selv om man flytter sig og står så langt væk fra begivenhederne, at man er nødt til bruge telelinse, står de og forsøger at gå i vejen for billedet«, siger han.

Han kalder politiets opførsel for åbenlys chikane og siger, at pressen bliver behandlet som demonstranter.

I hvad for en slags retssamfund forsøger man at dæmpe nogle få ballademagere ved at anholde næsten 1000 omkringstående? Og i hvad for en slags retssamfund lader man herefter de anholdte borgere sidde i timevis på den kolde asfalt, samtidig med at man forsøger at forhindre pressen i at dokumentere, hvad der sker?

Svaret er naturligvis, at den slags ikke sker i et retssamfund. Politiet kører friløb og har åbenbart fået lov til at behandle almindelige, fredelige borgere, som om de var fjender. Den slags sker kun i en politistat.

Link: Anholdt demonstrant: “Anholdelser var tortur”, Mediefolk: Politiet chikanerer os

Peaceful dissent and new police powers in Denmark

Sendt som læserbrev til The Guardian i anledning af de artikler, der henvises til i brevet:

On November 23, the Danish Ambassador to Britain declared (“We’ll protect protest in Copenhagen“) that the Danish government has no intention to ban or suppress peaceful protest and the new “anti-riot” legislation introduced for the climate conference in Copenhagen will only target violent protesters.

While the Ambassador obviously has to defend the government he is representing, his remarks are disingenuous.

The new law will (as reported on November 26, “Denmark approves new police powers ahead of Copenhagen“) impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 40 days in prison for anyone charged with “obstructing police work”.

It will also impose a minimum fine of about £500 for anyone charged with “disorderly conduct” or for not leaving immediately after a demonstration has been broken up.

These regulations effectively criminalise a wide variety of peaceful protest and anyone participating in a demonstration. In Denmark, all kinds of peaceful civil disobedience are now punishable with 40 days of prison – and this is only the last of a long list of totalitarian and xenophobic measures which are seriously undermining democracy and freedom in Denmark.

Visiting activists are likely to learn about this the hard way when they are imprisoned or fined for peaceful dissent which should be legal in any civilised country.

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