As we were about to leave the bar there was an announcement that there were major riots outside and noone should leave the venue. It was really smokey and as Australians we didn’t really concieve of what ‘major riot’ might constitute. We headed out the back door as the front entrance was bolted. Outside there was tear gas, explosions and lots of traumatised looking people. Suddenly it felt more scary than fun so we scooted back up the stairs to the safety of the bar. With nothing else to do we played guitar, shared folk songs with some Norgeigens and waited it out. Several hours later, by about 1am we decided to try again. There was still the smell of tear gas and hundred of riot police vans shining huge intimidating lights at us. Luckily we were a bit of a colourful rag tag crew in colourful beanies, a couple of guitars and a garbage bag of campaign t-shirts. The Norgeigans managed to talk our way through about 4 policw check points. We had to leave our bikes behind though cause they were in a lock down zone.
People we spoke to said the riot started when police raided a meeting where Naomi Klein was talking – planning for peaceful civil disobedience on Wednesday (tomorrow). The police started arresting people preemptively at the meeting, which sparked the whole thing off.
The Danish Government has passed some totally ridiculous laws for the duration of the conference with some highlights being:
– the police have the right to body search you without suspicion if you are in a search zone
– you have the right to be body searched by an oficer of your own sex, though the police are allowed to deny you this right
– the police are allowed to make a preventative arrest although you have done nothing illegal to prevent unlawful acts from happening.
So far my tactic for deescalating tensions is to sing happy songs, wear rainbow coloured socks and keep smiling.
There is also a video taken last night in Christiania here.