25. Oct 2008 20:53, luklejren
On October 25 activists tried to close the Sandholm refugee camp outside Copenhagen, Denmark, This is a translation of the minute to minute coverage by the Danish webzine modkraft.dk, based on continuing sms from participants and reporters.
For pictures, check out www.modkraft.dk
Train arrives without further incidents:
The train from Allerød Station has arrived without further disturbance. At Nørreport Station a group of plaintclothes police got off together with demonstrators. The combat-clad police stayed on the train until the Copenhagen central station, apparently without more trouble.
Police insist on accompanying demonstrators on the train:
Three groups of helmeted police officers have passed through the demonstrators and have asembled at a fence in front of the rails at Allerød Station.
In a tunnel that the demonstrators have to pass through, a group of about 10 have formed a blockade against plaintclothes police officers. But as the police are standing right in front of the chain, the demonstrators have to pass by them to get to the train.
It is unknown if the police are simply trying to demonstrate their authority or are there to snatch indiduals out of the group.
A single demonstrator has allegedly been arrested.
The police are also insisting on taking the train, but demosntrators are trying to shove them out. The officers are in full combat gear. Witnesses report that the officers tried to shove themselves into a fully loaded car three times, before moving on down the train.
The police are still on then train.
Trains were canceled due to vandalism:
It was conscious vandalism that paralyzed train service between Copenhagen and Hillerød fro several hours Saturday afternoon, says Chief of Information at Danish Rail, Inger Petersen, to Modkraft.dk.
Danish Rail will press charges with the police and call the situation “deplorable”. According to Danish Rail technicians, an optic fibre North of Lyngby was cut about noon, causing the interruption of train service between Lyngby and Hillerød.
The interruption affected thousands of people, and the sabotage happened just as several hundred demosntrators were on the way from the capital to Allerød to participate in anti-racist Close The Camp action.
– Is is sad if somebody consciously tried to stop our action. But they didn´t succeed, and we consider the day a succes, says Emil Nielsen of the Close The Camp press group.
Demonstration reaches Allerød Station:
The demonstration is now back where i started at Allerød Station. The organizers have thanked for a “cool effort”. The police presence is massive.
Go, halt, go, halt:
The demonstration is moving very slowly toward Allerød Station. The slow pace is caused by a power between police and demonstrators. Whenever police move right up to theh demosntartion, the demonstrators stop and only start moving when the police have backed off a little.
Demonstration reaches Allerød – attack from the rear:
The demonstration has now almost reached Allerød Station.
Four plaintclothes officers moved into the demonstration, allegedly to arrest a certain demonstrator. Immediately there upon police attacked the demonstration from the rear with police sticks.
This happened after an episode where a middle aged man had been involved in some shoving with the police. When police took hold of him he called for help and several demonstrators turned back, The police have now released the man.
It is allegedly to get this man that the police attacked the demonstration from the rear at Sortmosevej.
Now there is again space between demonstrators and police.
Demonstration halfway back:
The demonstration is now half way back to Allerød Station. Soruces report a tired but content mood. The number is estimated at 1.500 people.
Grandparents for Asylum are in front with therir banners.
A source in the demonstration reports an episode of totally unnecessary use of pepper spray by the police. This happened after the last big attack on the fence, where large amounts of tear hgas was fired at the demonstrators.
After the attack and the tear gas was over, a group of police officers stood around waving their cans of pepper spray. When a few straggling, exited demonstrators called out “So use them”, the officers took them at their word and fired – according to the witness without any need at all – into the faces of the demonstrators.
Man put in strips and removed:
The police have now led a man, placed in strips, out of the Sandholm camp and taklen him away in a car. The man said to Modkraft.dk that he didn´t know why he had been arrested.
Police car strikes demonstrators:
Modkraft has spoken to a witness who has seen police drive into people at the start of the confrontation between demonstrators and police.
This happened as several gropus of demonstrators broke away from the main demonstration. Most of them headed for the military area on the north side of Sandholmsgårdsvej, but a smaller group headed for the main gate.
The last group was met by tear gas as police vehicles stationed in front of the entrance were brought forward, striking people in the process, according to the witness.
Shortly after the witness, together with anothjer demonstrator, was blinded by tear gas and narrowly escaped being hit by a car his or her self.
Asylum seekers: "Impressive demonstration":
The demonstration is now on its way to Allerød. The music is playing and people have recovered from the tear gas.
Modkraft.dk spokek to two Iranian asylum seekers who participated in the demonstration.
"These were good people who came here today," says Mohammed about the activists.
"It is an impressive demonstration, but we don´t need problems with the police, with the government instead", says Soran.
The last activists who attempted to cut and penetrate the fence ahve now rejoined the main demonstration grouped around the two speaker-cars.
Modkraft journalists percieve that the action part of the events is about to peter out.
Demonstration gathers again:
A single demonstrator is being treated by first aid people after a fall caused by the large amounts circulating tear gas. .
The rest of the demkonstrators have gatherd on the main rodad in front of the camp are readying themselves to return to Allerød Station. Several demonstrators are very upset and are scolding the police. Five police vans are parked close to the demonstration.
New attack met by more gas:
An attack by several hundred demonstrators, who ran forward and tried to cut more holes in the febce around the Sandholm Camp, was met byyet another cloud of tear gas, mace and faliling police sticks from combat clad police, reports Modkraft.dk from the scene.
Several gas grenades were shot at the crowd of demonstrators standing on road. One has fainted.
Close The Camp impressed:
Anna Bågø from the Close The Camp press group says to Modkraft.dk that she is impressed by what the activists have achieved.
– It is a victory that holes were cut in the fence and that activists got into the camp, she says.
She says that she doesn´t expect more attempts to penetrate the fence. At the same time that the Modkraft editorial team gets this messsage, another group is attempting to attack the fence.
»Let us out of this fucking prison«:
Inside Sandholm, by the main building, a group of asylum seekers is standing and waving and shouting::
– Come in. Come in. Come and help us. Let us out of this fucking prison.
They are still shouting.
Demonstrators ready to leave:
The loud speakers have asked the demonstrators to gather together, so that the demonstration can begin the trip back to Hillerød station.
10 demonstrators arrested:
10 of the previously mentioned group of 50-60 demonstrators have been arrested, after they formed chains and advanced on the police shouting "Asylum for everybody". The police reacted by drawing their sticks and began beating the demonstrators. About 10 were dragged away and arrested. The remaining demonstrators ran toward the main entrance and got away despite several tear gas grenades.
30 to 40 activists are trying to force their way through the police on Sandholdgårdsvej. 60 officers are trying to maintain their position. The police sticks are in action.
Several groups are forming moving chains around the police. This lead to a major confrontation.
The polive have drawn their sticks and are arresting everybody inside military property.
Lots of tear gas is being sent in over the area - but it blows away immediately.
Game of catch:
Three groups of each 40-60 demonstrators are maintaining themselves on fields around the camp. Left of 40-50 activists with purple banners are being chased by six officers with dogs, an officer on a cross country motor bike, and mounted officers.
Police threaten more arrests:
“The demonstration is dissolved. People must kleave the area or they will be arrested.” Police have just given this message to the demonstrators.
Main demonstration is tear gassed:
The main demonstration on the grass lawn has been attacked by tear gas. There were children in this part of the demonstration.
The gas was fired after several warnings by the police when a group of demonstrators, according to reports received by Modkraft.dk, also tried to penetrate the fence to the right of the main entrance.
Demonstration leadership: withdraw to Allerød Station:
The lead banner is on its way and the loudspeakers are asking people to withdraw toward Allerød Station.
On the fields along the road to the camp several demonstrarors are lying down recovering from the violent gas attack. People are helping each other get up and lemons and magnesium is being passed around to the victims.
About 50 demonstrators with a purple banner are drawing toward the main entrance.
Activists lain in choo choo train:
At Ellebækvej ten demonstraors have been lain in choo choo train. Two ofthem are reportedly from Parents Against Police Brutality and another two are First Aid people form ABC.
Anotherten demonstrarors are keeping a large group of police occupied.
Police have used pepper spay behind the fence:
Another tear gas attack has started. The demonstration appears to be dissolving.
Demonstrators who were cutting the fence were met by pepper spray from officers posted inside the fence, says a source on the spot.
Close The Camp: »The action is a succes« :
– The action is a succes. Vi expected to wreck the fence, and we succeeded. So says Pil Christensen from the Close the Camp press group to Modkraft.dk.
Demonstration dissolved because of holes in the fence:
The poice have declared the demonstration dissolved, giving hole sin the fence as the reason.
Two activists from Parents Againts Police Brutality and a First Aid perosn has been arrested for being on military property.
A source says aproximately 15 activists have been arrested to the left of the camp.
A group of aboyt 20 succeeded in getting up to the fence before being attacked by police and tear gas.
Politice have begun arresting deminstrators while tear gas is raining down on the rest. But still, demonstrators in front of the Sandholm Camp are jubilant because several holes have been cut in the fence.
In the middle part of the demonstration things are peaceful.
Demonstrators push forward:
200-300 demonstrators have assembled om the military area North of the camp. They are getting ready to push through thhe police, who are ranked on the road in front of the camp with vehicles and personal interspaced.
The demonstrators have tried to push through. They have succeeded on the left side and have arrived at the permanent fence, not just the temporary fence put up by the police arroundn the demonstration area.
The fence is being cut – some of it is down - left of the main entrance.
Tear gas has been thrown at the demonstrators, but it has not driven them away from the fence.
Politice have thrown about ten gas grenades, but more groups of demonstrators are running tpward the fence and cutting it.
Demonstrators break the fence:
Demonstrators have begun tearing down the fence. Demonstrators in black have run into theh field. Ten vans are moving forward.
The police run forward toward the demonstrators. Dog cars are here. Helicopters are circling..
The demonstration has arrived:
The demonstration has reached the Sandholm camp. It stands on the grass lawn to theh roght of the main entrance surrounded by an iron fence. Theh fence is also blocking the road.
The demonstration has been recieved by about 40 young asylum seekers.
»Do not provoke«:
Theh demonstration leadership onve again asks police officers to move away and stop provoking.
Five police vans are driving behind the demonstration.
Arrested journalists are not employed by Modkraft.dk:
The preventive arrest earlier today of two young video-journalists was supposedly caused by their being in a car which also contained some tools. Both journalists are afiuliated to a local Copenhagen TV station, who were working with Modkraft on doing live-stream recordings form the demonsration. They don't work on Modkraft. We are sorry about the confusion.
Lots of activity at the Sandholm Camp - police high command present:
There is much activity at the Sandholm Camp Saturday morning around 11 AM in preparation for the announced civil disobediance action that intends to close the camp. Police and Red Cross are present and, possibly, private security.
Police have posted about ten officers at the main gate anddispersed small groups around the perimeter fence that surrounds the camp. Also present are 10/15 plain clothes police.
A bit suprising, also present is National Chief of Police Torsten Hesselbjerg. He says to Modkraft.dk that he is not commanding the operation and only is here because he lives close by.
– I'm just here to look. The weather is great and it's Saurday, he says.
In front of the camp the police, as announced, have fenced in an area to the right side of the main entrance, which the demonstration from Allerød Station will assigned to. The fence is about 120 centimeters high.
The police have also brought some of their technical equipment along, including a so called »unimok«, a barricade breaker vehicle with a big fork in front and steel grating covering the windows. Also trucks with more fencing, ladders and other equipment.
The police have placed four small "Dutch" vans (armored riot control vehicles) in front of the camp and have also brought normal patrol cars.