Christiania( Freetown Christiania )
Freetown Christiania, also known as Christiania (Danish: Fristaden Christiania or Staden), is an intentional community, commune and micronation in the Christianshavn neighbourhood of the Danish capital city of Copenhagen. It began in 1971 as a squatted military base. Its Pusher Street is famous for its open trade of cannabis, which is illegal in Denmark.
On 26 September 1971, Christiania was declared open by Jacob Ludvigsen, a well-known provo and journalist who published a magazine called Hovedbladet ('The main paper'), which was intended for and successfully distributed to mostly young people. In the paper, Ludvigsen wrote an article in which he and five others explored what he termed 'The Forbidden City of the Military'. The article widely announced the proclamation of the free town, and among other things he wrote the following under the headline "Civilians conquered the 'forbidden city' of the military": Although Christiania enjoyed an initial blind eye from the authorities, The Ministry of Defence brought a legal case against Christiania on April 1, 1976, which was upheld by the Supreme Court on February 2, 1978, who ruled that Christiania should be cleared immediately. However, despite the ruling, immediate action was not taken and that same year the Danish Parliament, Folketinget, decided that a development plan should be drafted first.
In addition to these external problems, pressure was building internally as well: Following the death of 10 residents in the space of one year from overdoses, in 1979 the residents of Christiania began the "Junk Blockade". For 40 days and nights, residents patrolled the buildings where hard drugs were sold and sought to push the dealers out of the community while offering aid to the addicts.1980s
During the 1980s, motorcycle gangs fought their way into Christiania, seeking to gain control over the drug market. One gang in particular, the "Bullshit gang" or "Bullshitters", managed to fight off a chapter of the Hells Angels to establish sole control of the drugs market by 1984. In 1987, after police found the dismembered body of a man under the floorboards of a Bullshitter bike shop inside Christiania, the Bullshitters were broken up and cleared from the area following a combined response from the community, the police and reprisals from the Hells' Angels. From that point on, biker jackets were banned from the Freetown.
In 1989 the Danish Parliament legalised Christiania.2000s
In April 2005, a gang shot and killed a man in Christiania and injured three others in an incident related to Christiania's cannabis trade.
On 14 May 2007, workers from the governmental Forest and Nature Agency, accompanied by police, entered Christiania to demolish leftovers of the small, abandoned building of Cigarkassen ('the cigar box'). They were met by angry and frightened Christianites, fearing that the police also intended to demolish other houses. The residents built roadblocks, but the police eventually entered the Freetown en masse and were met by resistance. Residents threw stones and shot fireworks at police vehicles. They also built barricades in the street outside Christiania's gate. The police used tear gas on the residents and a number of arrests were made. One activist sneaked behind the police commander and poured a bucket of urine and faeces upon him before being immediately arrested. The trouble continued into the early morning hours. In all, over 50 activists from both Christiania and outside were arrested. Prosecutors demanded they be imprisoned on the basis that they might otherwise participate in further disturbances in Copenhagen (which prosecutors claimed was "in a state of rebellion").
On 24 April 2009, a 22-year-old man had part of his jaw blown off by a hand grenade thrown into the crowds seated at Cafe Nemoland. Four others had minor injuries.2016 shooting and end of Pusher Street stalls
On 31 August 2016, a person believed by police to be carrying earnings from cannabis sales shot two police officers and a civilian after being stopped. The injuries of one of the officers who was shot in the head were life-threatening (he survived, but needed a long period of rehabilitation), while the injuries of the other victims were less serious. Police sealed off the entire neighbourhood and located the perpetrator in Kastrup a few hours later. During a brief shootout with Politiets Aktionsstyrke (a special intervention police unit) he was seriously wounded and later died from his injuries in the hospital. The perpetrator, a 25-year-old Danish citizen of Bosnian descent (he arrived in Denmark as a child with his family), was well known to the police for violence and involvement in cannabis sales. Although known to be a sympathiser with Islamic extremism, this is not considered to have played a role in his actions. Police officers very rarely receive life-threatening injuries during encounters with criminals (at the moment of the Christiania shooting, the last killing of a police officer by a criminal in Denmark had been in 1995) and the incident was widely condemned.
In a communal meeting consisting of Christiania residents, it was decided that the stalls in Pusher Street (by far the site of the largest cannabis sale in Denmark) should be removed, which happened the following day, 2 September 2016. Local residents also urged people who were friends of the neighbourhood to help by not buying cannabis in Christiania. About two months later, it was estimated that the de facto practice of cannabis sales within Christiania had dropped by about 75%.
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