28 04 2011

“We are closing to avoid the closure”.

It´s no a joke. The mythic quarter is closed. But only, for the next few days. Yesterday night, Rocio called us and she said that the Government had closed Christiania forever. My flatmates and I were very upset. We couldn´t believe her. Later, we read in the Copenhagen Post the next new:

“In an effort to ponder whether it will fight to retain its autonomous status, the self-proclaimed free town of Christiania has barricaded all entry points and closed down all its stores starting today.

The closure is not permanent, only for the “next few days”, according to Christiania’s press group.

The Christianites are currently handing out flyers outside the barricades, asking their supporters to respect the temporary closure. “We’re closing to avoid closure,” the flyer reads.

“We need to stop to think,” the group told Ekstra Bladet newspaper. “Partly so that we can get some time to think about our current situation, but also to draw attention to the fact that Christiania is under pressure,” they said, adding that the state’s demand to normalise the town has hurt its distinctive image.

In February the Supreme Court decided to revoke Christiania’s right to self-rule and gave the government the right to sell the land, which means that the residents are technically squatting in the disused naval base they overtook in 1971. Subsequent negotiations have not yet led to any concrete agreement on the future of the settlement.

We believe the preliminary outline from the state will lead to a liquidation of the open, self-governing, experimental Christiania that we know today,” the group said, pointing out that the Christianites are willing to negotiate a legalisation, but such a deal should “secure the qualities that we are proud of”.

Christiania lawyer, Knud Foldschack, believes a solution to the 40-year-old legal tussle over the freetown is in sight.

“It’s high time that we sort this out,” Foldschack told Berlingske newspaper. “The way I see it, there is broad agreement among the Christianites that we should buy the whole thing.”

He said that the combined purchase price for all the state-owned buildings within the 34-hectare property would amount to some 150 million kroner.

Claus Hjort Frederiksen, the finance minister, who is in charge of the negotiations, has presented the Christianites with two options: either most of the state-owned property currently being used as dwellings can be transformed into a new public housing association, or Christiania – collectively or each resident individually – can buy the buildings.

Frederiksen will now await the final feedback from the Christianites, who will be discussing the issue over three joint meetings next week.

The Government want to close Christiania, Chistiania close to avoid the clousure and what´s the opinion of danish citizens? Indifference or demontrations? I am clear about it, and you?




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