Remixed Danish tourist poster reflects the brutal new Copenhagen police-state


Carsten sez, "My friend, artist Camilla Brodersen created a wonderful, freely-redistributable rehash of an old Danish tourist poster, highlighting the new situation after the new police powers, as demonstrated in the heavy-handed clampdown on protesters at the recent climate change summit in Copenhagen. My friend Amila juxtaposed the mashup with the original poster on her English-language blog, creating a chilling and all too realistic contrast."

Copenhagen before and after (Thanks, Carsten)

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  1. Why is this so freakin standard everywhere in the world? What could a few protesters possibly accomplish and what is gained by manhandling people?

    1. Tlkng t yrslf s th frst sgn f nsnty.

      nd qtng “1984” s th frst sgn f gnrnc nd stpdty.

      The Danish police are doing a brilliant job of keeping those idiotic protesters at bay and preventing them from interrupting the conference (they’re protesting about government in-action, yet seem determined to disrupt the talks via direct action, go figure the logic to that!).

      1. Jack: “they’re protesting about government in-action, yet seem determined to disrupt the talks via direct action”. When the “bids” from the US and EU is insufficient to pay for coffins for the hundreds of thousands poor humans that will be killed by our climate change, when the patheticly weak emission cuts suggested by the rich world will not prevent the total destruction of entire island nations, then we must protest. Enough is enough! No mass murder in our names!

  2. Globalization is not just an economic phenomenon.

    Why do you think all military uniforms increasingly look like the American Army’s uniforms?

    And why the world’s police forces increasingly look (and act) like America’s police force?

    The enormous effect of ubiquitous global media: that’s why a demonstration in Copenhagen looks like a demonstration in Athens, looks like a demonstration in Seattle, looks like a demonstration in London. They all look like “that demonstration on TV”.

    1. @Krv

      Tht s prbbly th lst nfrmd pnn ‘ll cm crss n th ‘nt tdy. (lthgh thrgh xprnc, ‘ll nt bt n tht).

      cld ttmpt t rft yr vrs rmblng pnts. Bt t’s hrdly wrth dscssn, dbt ‘d gt mtr dscrs.

  3. Seriously awesome remix, but “brutal new Copenhagen police-state” is blown way out of proprotion imho. I’ve seen very little evidence of police brutality. Yes, there’s some protesters that’s had to sit on the ground for a couple of hours and freeze, but brutality?

    Have there been any big riots and clashes between the police and violent protesters? Not really, which tells me that the police have done a pretty decent job. I’ve no doubt there would be lots of writings in the danish newspapers if there had been, but I haven’t seen much.

    Furthermore, it’s easy to accuse the police of brutality, but I’m pretty sure it’s usually the protesters that start by violating the law and if they do that, then I honestly have little respect for them and don’t really care if they had to sit and freeze for a couple of hours.

    /PW

    1. I’d agree if the police hadn’t been caught so many times recently with agent provocateurs. They infiltrate in plain clothes, then instigate the police into causing harm and mayhem with “good reason”.

      Check it out for yourself.

  4. Oh please. I live in Copenhagen and sure, I do not agree with the idea that police can detain people for up to 12 hours with no charges if they believe that it is the only way that they can uphold law and order. However, this law is the result of the problems there have been with left wing extremists making our streets into war zones again and again. I don’t believe that this new law is the right way to go around it, but on the other hand something must be done to combat this problem.
    The demonstration targeted by police during cop15 ALL had illegal purposes. Now, I do think that a lot of innocent people got caught between the police and the militant protesters during the big march. But that hardly makes it a police state. Why dont Boing Boing tell how protesters had plans to attack think tanks and companies here? Or how cars from a Danish oil company were torched in the middle of residential areas? Why, two cars were torched in the next street from where I live. I find it reasonable to criticize the Danish law, which I do myself. But really, you should tell the story about why we have it like this. It is the result of a long history of violent left wing estremism. This time we actually managed to avoid major riots with the police. Maybe that was because most of the leftwingers were jailed. God, I look forward to all these activists are out of my city so I can walk the streets in peace again. It has been hell.

    1. Wait, so, you don’t like this new policing you’ve got, but you think it’s wrong to say that it’s wrong?

      Nobody here is, AFAIK, saying that Danish police shouldn’t stop people from setting fire to cars. I think we’re worried about the bits you say you don’t like, either.

  5. I’m from Denmark too, and i disagree completely with what the other Dane said.
    This new law dubbed “The hoodlum package” should have been named “Terror-package 3” Because it’s the third breach on our citizens rights.
    We already had the laws to deal with the hoodlums.
    §119, 134, 134a just to mention a few.

    The hoodlum pack is designed to scare the people from demonstrating, utilizing the fear of beeing beaten, and then sent to a cold cage for 12 hours without any rights.
    You have rights when you’re arrested, but with this package you’ll be temporarily detained…. Go figure out what that means..

    Is China the model they’re going for?

  6. Ww, y rn tght shp hr ntns. Yr vrsn f fr spch rmnds m f th ‘Stpfrd Wvs’.
    I find this argument that you should be allowed to wander around peoples city centres breaking windows, setting fire to cars, destroying businesses and stopping the locals from conducting their usual business with NO consequences to yourself to be frighteningly naive and idiotic. When did you get this ‘right’ to destroy, interrupt and frighten, agger?
    Denmark is a byword for reasonableness, rationality and tolerance. And what do they get in return? Rioting from people who have nothing better to do, in a city where the agenda of the rioters is actually being advanced. Truly truly moronic.

    1. Wow, you run a tight ship here Antinous. Your version of free speech reminds me of the ‘Stepford Wives’.

      Antinous left intact the one part of Jack’s two comments that expressed an opinion about the post, and disemvowelled the parts that were just rude and insulting to other commenters. Dissenting opinions are fine. You’ll notice your own comment wasn’t disemvowelled.

  7. Guys, were any of you there?

    Cos I was, and I demoed, and there were a 100.000 of us, and it was an absolute peoples folk-fest.

    Here are the pictures I took: http://picasaweb.google.com/asmussen/Cop1512thDecemberDemo#

    The police were absolutely hidden.

    Ooooh right, you’re all referring to the .01% that were part of the organisation known as “Never Trust A Cop” (www.nevertrustacop.org) right? Yeah they were all over the news. I see how a superficial reporting of events can give the wrong impression.

    Because that’s what you guys have. The wrong impression.

  8. Comparing riot control during copenhagen to states like the DDR or North Korea is offensive.

    Especially as you seem to believe it really is the case.

    I suggest that maybe you haven’t ever gone to a country where the police really do have the power to arrest you for nothing.

    1. “Comparing riot control during copenhagen to states like the DDR or North Korea is offensive.”

      Um, who did that? Nobody here that I can see, other than you.

      1. Yes, this post does exactly that. “Police state” is a phrase that has real meaning, particularly to people who live in actual police states, like North Korea, where the government has unlimited power over its citizens. It’s like when you call someone you disagree with a Nazi. Either you literally mean they’re a Nazi, or you don’t know what a Nazi is, or the meaning of the word has been lost through overapplication. Calling Denmark a police state? Godwin’s law in action.

        1. Please don’t pull the “if it’s not as bas as North Korea, you have no right to complain” card.

          This is about the same as the “count your blessings” and “if you don’t like it here, why don’t you leave” cards.

          We’re losing our rights piecemeal, and some places it’s not going too slowly.

          An example: Part of the evidence used by police against COP15 activists are wiretaps:

          http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fpolitiken.dk%2Fklima%2FTopmode_i_Kobenhavn%2Farticle863497.ece&sl=da&tl=en

          BUT: According to Danish law, wiretaps are ILLEGAL unless it concerns the investigation of a crime punishable with >= 6 years.

          Now, clearly Tadzio Müller and the other activists have not conspired to commit such crimes. But the police have just wiretapped them anyway, and everybody (and especially the government) seems to accept it Just Because.

          And if we complain about it people ask why we don’t f*ck home to North Korea. Depressing, if you ask me …

  9. sometimes i get the sneaking suspicion that the boingboing editors are nothing but adroit trolls of the highest caliber, and laughing their asses off as they read through the comments.

  10. ShadowFirebird: No, I don’t say it is wrong to say it is wrong. I say it is wrong myself as you noticed. I am saying that people should be aware of the context: That left wing radicals have engaged in acts of violence again and again in our city. They should also know that when police have intervened against demonstrations it has not been a threat to free speech. These demonstrations have all had illegal purposes. One wanted to attack a centre-left think tank because they disagree with them. Others wanted to attack McDonalds and other companies, again because they disagree with them. Then there was the most recent one where protesters start to push the police around in order to enter COP15 without permission.
    The new law is one way to try to deal with this enormous problem. As I see it the part of the problem are these radical activists, because without them the politicians would never have written up the new law. I dont like the “remix” above because they dont show that the left wing radicals using fascist methods have part of the responsibility. The artist is pointing fingers at the police but as usual with left wing radicals, there is no self criticism at all. Living in Denmark I am honestly fed up with whining from these red fascists. They should realise that their violent actions are what is making society more restrictive and oppressive.

    1. “They should also know that when police have intervened against demonstrations it has not been a threat to free speech. These demonstrations have all had illegal purposes.”

      Forgive me, but I’m thinking of the pictures BoingBoing posted earlier of hundreds of protesters chained up in lines, in the cold, having to piss on themselves because the police wouldn’t let them go to the bathroom? Even if every one of those people was a multiple murderer, that would still be an abuse of human rights.

      1. I do actually believe that the police overreacted in that particular situation, and I also believe that is shows one of the problems with the law and why it is wrong.
        Regarding sitting in the street: If you arrest a lot of people, it will take time to get them out of there. Sorry, but that in it self is not a violation of human rights. The police was moving as fast as they could to get people out of there and getting normal buses in there. I went to several of the demonstrations and in general police handled it rather well. I do think they lost it a couple of times, and that protest with the 1000 people was one of them.
        What do you think about the fact that protesters were handing about the fact that protesters were handing out lists of places to be attacked at some of the protests? How should police go about preventing left wing violence in the future?
        I am asking because to be honest I have know idea. I dont like the new law. That is no solution. But is there some other way that you can think of that would be better? In the past they have waited until the rioting started, but that is dangerous to police and put a lot of people living in the city at risk. Furthermore, they hardly arrest anyone that way, so the culprits go unharmed. Left wing violence has periodically been a really big problem here. Some shops in the high risk areas cant even get insured. This is why I have a more nuanced view than you do, because I can understand the new law, even though I disagree with it.

  11. “Even if every one of those people was a multiple murderer, that would still be an abuse of human rights.”

    Exactly. And, as it happens, approximately all of them were peaceful participants in a legal demonstration. The police arrested nearly 1,000 people at one go and pressed charges against 3. That should tell you everything.

  12. At Hundefar, please stop embarrassing yourself and other normal free thinking people in this country. If you fail to see what a dangerous situation our country is heading towards because of this legislation, that truly does abuse human rights and discredits the very idea of democracy, you are being extremely naive.
    You do know that this law is not temporary and only directed at left wing activists right? It is law that is aimed at every one here – no mater if you are left or right or just an innocent bystander. Have you thought about what would happen if let’s say our prime minister turned out to be a corrupted thief, and the only way we could get rid of him was by demonstrations and civil disobedience? He would have the law on his side to jail every protester in the streets. If that’s not a frightening scenario i don’t know what is!
    So please stop throwing this back at the activists before you realize what dire consequences this law has for all of us – not just left wingers.

    As a dane i am embarrassed and frustrated that many people in Denmark are trying to sweep this under the carpet as “it’s just the police protecting our city from anarchists” It is illegal and not to mention very rude to treat people like this, and it will only get worse if we don’t realize what kind of situation we are in. Denmark IS turning into a police state – stop being in denial.

    1. makroakustik, as I have said several times before: I am against that law. I was just stating that you have to understand what went before the law, what enabled this law to be passed. What went before was a lot of trouble and violence from the leftist radicals acting like fascist stormtroopers. They bear PART of the blame together with the politicians responsible for this law.
      BTW what happened at COP15 was NOT civil disobedience. Pushing police is NOT civil disobedience. Throwing bottles and rocks at Police and government buildings is NOT civil disobedience. Commiting acts of vandalism against private property is not civil disobedience. It is however vandalism and the other acts mentioned are violent acts. We also know from earlier that violent activists would come, so the politicians chose to pass the law to prevent that ordinary people would suffer the consequences of the leftwingers’ actions. Again: I dont agree with the law, but this was the situation that brought it along. People should know how it came about. It is a desperate measure against left wing thugs.
      It is even sadder that what then happened was that peaceful protesters got arrested. Again, they got arrested because of the violent protesters there. Police did overreact, I think, but they set out to crush any violence from the start because of what left wing radical thugs have done before.

  13. Dude, the USA is a police state. Just because you think North Korea is worse (and one wonders, what experience do you have to make this judgment? Have you lived both there and elsewhere as a native?) doesn’t magically make other places perfect.

    In nearly every state in the union, a policeman can murder you without cause, or for trumped up causes, with few or no repercussions. Even if they are caught (unlikely) and prosecuted (unlikely) and convicted (unlikely) they will not do the time anyone else would. Is Denmark different? I don’t know, I haven’t lived there as a native.

  14. “sometimes i get the sneaking suspicion that the boingboing editors are nothing but adroit trolls of the highest caliber, and laughing their asses off as they read through the comments.”

    Yes, on some subjects you must expect some editors to post paranoid, wild hyperbole. The general rule of thumb is that anything at all done by “the people” = good and anything at all done by the government or law enforcement = bad.

  15. Six hours of torture in Copenhagen – a Swedish local councillor tells his story of being arrested with 967 others, last Saturday:

  16. Hundefar,

    You’re repeating yourself. Why don’t you link to some reputable news sources to prove your points instead of just grinding that ax all the way down to the handle?

  17. Forget about “hundefar” (“dog father”) and let him go for his walk with his dog. He is just another one of those small minded Danish people who think that they are the centre of the known universe. That is a common disease of Danes, who are anything but cosmopolitan, but so very provincial and xenophobic with a strong dose of arrogance and self-importance to go.

  18. Yesterday, Treehugger.com published a photo stream of protesters marching to the Bella center & crossing over a canal on a foot bridge. The police were at the other end of the bridge & wouldn’t let them thru. After several minutes, the police told everyone to go back. The people in front heard the order, but people were still walking onto the bridge to cross, so they were trapped next to the police. The police started beating them with clubs. Eventually, the other marchers realized what was happening, turned around & left the bridge. So did the people being beaten.
    That is police brutality.

  19. So hundefar you claim you have a more nuanced view of the law specifically because??? because left wing activists attacked McDonnell’s at Nørrebro a couple of times?, hardly an unknown fact for anyone residing here in Copenhagen. And hardly a reason to corrupt democratic law and treat people like animals just for expressing there opinion in a democratic mater. Please stop this nonsense now. You claim to be against the law yet you desperately fell the need to defend it’s existence – just out of curiosity what is your agenda here? Trying to re-establish a positive image of Denmark perhaps? I’m sorry but you have to do better then that. Instead of headstrong denial and naivety we should all learn from this unfortunate experience and keep an eye on our politicians so that they don’t make any more dangerous mistakes like this brutal law. After all they as politicians are public servants and we as the public have a responsibility to make sure they do there job properly and in our best interest.

    1. I am sorry if I haven’t made myself clear. We totally agree on the law (sorry if I am repeating myself here, mr moderator, but as you see I need to make my point clear). My agenda is not defending the law, but explaining WHY it came into being, because for outsiders it might not be clear. A lot of people do not know the history behind the law. I only wish to convey that the politicians are not the ONLY ONES to blame, but left wing thugs are partly responsible. I really cant say it clearer than that. Again, I am sorry if I wasn’t clear enough. Also you should consider that just because I have a more nuanced view than you, it doesn’t mean that I love that law or do not find it troublesome.
      Mod asked for links. They are in Danish I am afraid, but there are some picture. Here is an article from a reclaim the streets party that ended as an orgy of vandalism and violence (theres a picture too):
      http://www.berlingske.dk/koebenhavn/haervaerk-efter-autonom-fest
      The whole street was demolished. Shops and cars were smashed. Here are some pictures taken the day after: http://politiken.dk/fotografier/article708114.ece – As you may be able to see the street is an old and historical street in the old part of Copenhagen. Left wing radicals had no respect for the historical value of the buildings or the shops. In fact some of them defended the looting as a way of making expensive goods available to everyone.
      Here you can see a slideshow of pictures from the battle of the former squat: Ungdomshuset. The local authorities (who owned the house) and the users of the house (who had the right to use it but did not own it) disagreed about whether the municipial authorities had the right to sell it or not. They did sell it and Police eventually cleared the house of users and it was torn down:
      http://politiken.dk/fotografier/reportagefoto/article604032.ece
      As you can see there was heavy fighting with the police, and also (as shown in the slide show) vandalism on shops, looting and so on. Some people on the extreme left wing are involved in a violent subculture where they have no respect for other people.
      That is some of the historical context for the law. Just so people know this. The state has been unable to provide security for shop owners against left wing thugs, and the new law can be seen as a desperate measure against these people.
      Lastly, here is a list of the goals that the Don’t Buy The Lie protest passed out before the demonstration:
      * Dansk Industri, Industriens Hus, H.C. Andersens Boulevard 18
      * Hopenhagen, klima-festival på Rådhuspladsen
      * Bright Green Expo, Forum, Rosenørns Allé
      * Dansk Energi, Rosenørns Allé
      * McDonald’s, over hele København
      * Dan Forestry, Amaliegade 20
      * Emballageindustrien, Nørre Voldgade 48
      * Dansk Byggeri, Nørre Voldgade 106
      * Deloitte, Weidekampsgade 6
      * Arcelor Mittal, Islands Brygge 43
      * Mandag Morgen, Valkendorfsgade 13
      * Repsol, Kgs. Nytorv 6
      * Shell, Prøvestenen 1
      * Mærsk, Esplanaden 50
      * IETA, nær Bella Center
      These were all to be disrupted and vandalised. Protesters brought spray paint and other things to the protest. I was at the protest myself and witnessed it. 15 targets in all, mostly companies. However, if you see the target called “Mandag Morgen” on there, it is a left of centre think tank, which has been heavily involved in making plans for how companies can cut CO2 emissions. The protesters do not agree with them and made them a target for attack. This is the kind of things that some of the protesters arrested were involved with.(full article in Danish here: http://jp.dk/klima/kobenhavn/article1916271.ece )
      Does this make the law right or fair? NO. I don’t think so. But it should encourage people to look at themselves and how radical left wing activists make the Danish population support laws like these, instead of just pointing fingers at the politicians. Some amount of self-criticism would be in order.
      I hope I made my point clear, because I cannot make it clearer than that :)

      Best

  20. I live in UK but since living in Denmark 20 years ago I had always considered it my favorite country…it was like entering the future…a sanctuary of safety. of human rights and equality…I always tell people how amazing it is!!!…My friend has just returned from Copenhagen where she ended up taking testimonies from many protesters about the brutal treatment they suffered at the hands of the police…people screaming in agony in the cages from not being able to move, from the wrist retraints cutting into their skin, a young girl beaten so badly she had to be taken to hospital, many innocent people being beaten in the streets, even joggers!…My friend now says that she would never ever enter another fashist country!!!…I am heart sick, appalled and furious that this has been allowed in what used to be the most advanced society in the world…I love the essence of Denmark so much and the future it should be going towards that I shall not rest until justice is done….I would advice people who have had their rights taken from them, who have suffered injury; to not rest either…to take out a civil action or whatever is possible to make those responsible to be held accountable…it must be stopped now…I can no longer tell people how great Denmark is now, only how it used to be…And any Dane who is ignorant enough to believe that these evil deeds were justified need to know that they are contributing to Denmark being plunged back into the Dark Ages like so many other countries…Denmark to me was a place where I truly experienced true human beings!….Maybe it is it’s time to deal with it’s shadow side!…and it is time for me to become less of an idealist..I dare not tell my children of this disgrace…one who is fluent in Danish and the other who loves Denmark as much as I do .and would live there if he could…Denmark was the only country I would fight for, but now the fight is for the very soul of Denmark!….But that is the fight for us all it would seem…to fight for the soul of Humanity!…angie

  21. There are some protesters who are adrenalin junkies, there are some who feel that violence is the only way to protest because being passive doesn’t seem to work in a world where voting is rigged, promises are broken and most political leaders are never to be trusted. Most protesters are peaceful. All; I would say; are deeply concerned about the state of the planet and what the future holds…So I ask…If my home is in danger from being destroyed and I could save it what would I be willing to do?…My planet is in danger in so many ways and the future for my grand children is no longer certain….So what rights do I have to protect it, to protect them and their future?…Did I create life to see it snuffed out because of ignorance and greed?..NO….What would I do to ensure their future survival and what would others do to support me (and others) in doing all we could to ensure that we all have a positive future? Those people in Copenhagen were pretty much doing whatever they could to protect our future!…So should we not support them?…Should we not speak out when their rights are abused, when so many have been tortured? Yes, it was torture….And for those who argue about the menace to Danish society I would say to look no further than your politicians who like so many other countries of the EU have allowed in undesirable characters! Why don’t you ask why that happened? It is all done systematically..it is a well used strategy…No point in complaining about it because it happened when most people were sleeping, too distracted to connect the dots. So I think it is time we all woke up now before it is too late, before we are all ORDERED to come quietly or have our liberty taken from us! How many I wonder would choose freedom! The young girl in hospital brutalized by the police, the people put in cages and denied all rights, all the peaceful demonstrators denied their rights….any one of them could have been a member of my family or a friend!..All deserve justice and our support…It’s going to take me a long time I think to get over the fact that there are elements of Danish society that could behave with such a callous and cynical disregard for human beings….ARE YOU GOING TO PRESENT THIS OR NOT?.. And what about the first submission I made?…I know it’s late and do apologise for my impatience but so many people have had their rights violated that I need to get this off my chest so’s I can sleep tonight…….angie

  22. I beg to differ on justification for police brutality..first…it is our experience in UK that peaceful demonstrations are disrupted by either the police terrorising crowds by charging at them…of course you’d defend yourself..then the media shows people fighting the police!!! So it continues to condition the sleeping sheep into believing that protesting for ones rights etc is unacceptable. And there goes Democracy. It is a strategy that works in many countries….and yes there are those I call rent a mob…often paid to cause violence and chaos…and it may well be that the hidden power behind oppression sent in their rent a mob…but even if it was another more independant group winding up the police their behaviour suggests that they get a big kick out of beating up innocent vunerable people…I don’t imagine for a moment that they are all like that but there seemed to be rather a lot of them…the police have a duty of care to society, it is or should be one of the most noble and dedicated professions…true warriorship in fact…if any one of them lose control they have no business being a protector because the power they are given is too great, the damage is far reaching…they become the very thing they should be fighting…I have had to face the reality of my perfect people behaving badly and I invite you to do the same. The fellow that was laughed at, treated like a lesser being, no explanation and dumped without money in such bitter cold weather,,,,NO MERCY…I defy anyone to go through such an experience and still want to defend such treatment of human beings…I am so hoping that all who have had their rights violated in such a manner will vigorously pursue all the means available to them to ensure this never happens again in Denmark. My mother would have grabbed her rolling pin ready to fight for the rights of her children…I hope that there are parents out there fighting for their children’s rights to protest. Actions do speak louder than words….this bullying behaviour wants to make cowards of us all…..freedom and joy cannot exist in fear…..let’s be the solution not the problem…Happy Solstice…..this is the time when we welcome in the light in the darkest time….angie

  23. I just heard from my friend who was taking testimonials from victims of police brutality in Copenhagen that Denmark hired ‘police’ from other countries….big beefy guys from Germany, Sweeden and Norway….as I said…’rent a mob’……angie

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