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Squat in Copenhagen under eviction threat

The gardeners | 01.09.2004 20:00 | Free Spaces | World

An old greenhouse area in north of Copenhagen that has been squatted for half a year, is under serious eviction threat. Around 20 people are now sitting on the roofs and in the trees resisting the eviction. The demolishing of the greenhouses was planned to start last monday the 30th of august.

37,000 m2 of freedom inside Copenhagen celebrated its 6 month birthday last saturday. This is a very special situation in Denmark because squatting is hardly possible.
The area has been empty for 2 years, and only sporadicly used for around 15 years. There´s four big greenhouses wich nature is taking back with lots of wild flowers, bushes and trees growing inside and a big old barn like house with a big attic. Then there´s a beautiful old villa and a little office house with toilets, kitchen, power and running water. Except for that, the huge place is overgrown by wild plants and trees and people have been building tipi´s, small houses, an underground house and a tree house.

The plan for the area is now for NCC, a big skandinavian building company, to build 135 family apartments, designed by a famous danish artist who once where one of the provo´s but now proclaim that the squatter are `properitarians and don´t know how to be real alternative and political`. The apartments will be special and the surroundings green and quite "social". But it all has a price, the price per squaremeter is very high . This is a part of the general housing policy in Copenhagen where the families in small apartments move to bigger ones and the small ones will be put together, becoming very big, expensive apartments.

The demolishing of the greenhouses and one of the other houses and cutting of some trees should have started monday the 30th of august, but the squatters and other people are preventing the workers from working in the whole area by sitting in the trees and on the roofs. NCC have not yet denounced the squatters to the police. The strategy from NCC has till now been trying to cut a lousy deal with the squatters: free beer for the 6 month birthday party, electricity back on and bottled water when they cut the electricity and water and that we could stay in the villa one month during the cleaning of the area.

We drank the beer, said no to the villa and climbed the trees and roofs.

The gardeners


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The Greenery evicted

08.09.2004 12:29

4 o´clock in the morning tuesday the 7th people in the treehouses and on the roofs where woken up by loud crushes and aggressive yelling of the police braking in to the villa and arresting the pople on the roofs. They spend quite some time on the villa, that was well barricadet but with no people in it. That bougt us some time to get our stuff togehter and take our positins in the trees. Quite fast they brought cerry pickers and started getting people out of the trees. This was done in a way that made it very dangerous to both people and cops. in one trre peolpe lay on the branches they wanted to cut and put their hands in the way, and the coppers just cut right next to their hands or said get down or we´ll cut the branch you´r on. tThe coppers where also very poorly secured, and they did nothing to secure the people they arrested. At 11.30 there where only one person left in a tree, their cherry picker was not long enough to reach. but the workers was already in on the area with maschines, destroing everything, and in the end they just build a fence around the tree with the last squatter and she climbed down by herself 14.00 and wasn´t arrested cause the police already left. 13 people where arrested and kept for max. 5 hours. Everybody was charged for tresspassing.