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Practical Info for Sandholm Detention Centre action, Copenhagen Oct 25th

MR | 20.10.2008 12:17 | Migration | Repression | Social Struggles | World

On the 25. of October we are planning a massive civil disobedience action. Our aim is to dismantle the Sandholm camp, and thereby physically challenge the racism of the Danish refugee policy. The Shut Down the Camp Initiative calls for a day of action against the Sandholm refugee camp in North Zealand, Denmark. To do this we need all the help we can get

Shut down the camp indeed!
Shut down the camp indeed!

The way Denmark treats refugees is horrible. The process of being granted an asylum in Denmark is long and hard. For years the refugees are waiting for their destiny to be decided, hidden away in remote locations. For years the refugees are waiting for their destiny to be decided, hidden away in remote locations. The purpose of isolation is pretty straight forward: It is to exclude the refugees from society and anything that resembles peaceful conditions and a normal life. The Sandholm refugee camp and the fences around it are brutal and concrete manifestations of racism.

The Danish policy towards refugees are based on humiliation and dehumanisation of the the world´s most vulnerable. The Shut Down the Camp action is aiming to put an end to this.

The civil disobedience action has been publicly called for. We have asked that people take the train together from Copenhagen to a small town near the camp called Allerød. From there we march to the camp. See end of mail for specific information about the action codex and so on.

There will be accomodation possibilities for foreigners at Solidaritetshuset, Griffenfeldsgade 41, Nørrebro from friday 24th. If you need accomodation from thursday 23th, contact

There will be infopoint for foreigners friday 24th at Folkets Hus, Stengade 50, Nørrebro, from 7 to 9 pm.


Everybody can participate in shutting down the camp!

Where, when and how...

The action will be confrontational, but non-violent. You will be able to participate at the level that suits you. In the main demonstration there will be room for everybody who wishes to act up against racism: young and old, parents with children, experienced and inexperienced demonstrators. During the action, participants will be continuously informed about occurrences in and outside the demonstration.

The inhabitants of the Sandholm refugee camp should not be molested. We have planned the action with the intention to avoid intimidating the inhabitants. Please check out the map of Sandholm beforehand; we should avoid entering the residential area. We should not enter the administration, either, as sensitive information and documents concerning the cases of individual asylum seekers are kept here.

Most inhabitants of the camp have been informed of the action through info meetings and flyers translated into all major languages. The overall opinion has been favorable. But some inhabitants do not know us, and the action might make them feel insecure. So, please consider you actions and show consideration for the inhabitants of the camp as well as for fellow participants in the demonstration. We have been in permanent communication with the inhabitants of the Sandholm refugee camp and during the action a contact group from Shut Down the Camp will be present to keep people informed.

We do not intend to foster insecurity among the inhabitants; neither do we wish for confrontation with the police or employees of the camp. Our goal is to shut down the camp and demonstrate our opposition to racism – a racism which the camp is an integral part of. Our strength is our number and ability to take care of each other. Use your imagination: Climb the roofs, shut down the control post, bring banners and stencils, balloons and a pair of pincers. Show solidarity with the inhabitants of Sandholm! Show that racism can never be accepted! Take down the fence; the camp must be shut down!

We are a large group of people undertaking this action together, and the success of the endeavor relies on your respect for the shared codex. The codex is:

1. No intentional injury or physical harm to persons;
2. No entry into the residential area and no intrusion into the administration;
3. Look out for the inhabitants of the camp and for each other. Be aware of others and be sober.

Saturday October 25: The action plan

Allerød Station at 12 am – We meet up at Allerød Station. People will gather here from all parts of the country. There will be collective transportation from Jutland, Funen, Sealand and Copenhagen. You can sign up for busses at or take the train.

The demonstration – When everybody has gathered around 2 pm, we will march toward the camp following Sandholmgårdsvej. The police have been notified and it is hence a legal demonstration. There will be music and speeches, people with banners, party is on and a lot of energy in store. We have the right to demonstrate, and the police have been notified of the route to avoid any hasty reactions. Should the police nexpectedly stop the demonstration, we will reach the camp by alternative routes. The participants will be notified of these routes along the way.

There is approximately 3.5 km from Allerød station to the Sandholm refugee camp and we will walk at a slow pace. It is a good idea to wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water and some food for the road.

Party at the gates of Sandholm – When we reach the refugee camp mid-afternoon, the main demonstration will stop at the parking lot outside the main entrance of the camp. There will be speeches, food and a lot of nice music.

The action starts – At a prearranged signal, activists who wish to participate in tearing down the fence will break off from the main demonstration and initiate the action of civil disobedience. Clear signal will be given when this part of the action is started. Hence, everybody will be aware of how to stay in the main demonstration or where to go if they wish to confront the fence. The main demonstration will stay at the parking lot during the action.

The camp is shut down by being opened – The activists confronting the fence will cut it down, pull it down, and climb it. If the police try to stop us, we will use our high mobility as well as our ability to get through, or around, hindrances in the open terrain around the camp. We will not get into violent confrontations with the police, but we might push ourselves against police lines to get to the fence.

When we get behind the fence, we will use the occasion to demonstrate that racism can never be accepted while taking into consideration that people are living in the camp. We will use our imagination: Climb roofs, shut down control posts, put up banners and flags, decorate with stencils, balloons and graffiti – please bring the needed materials yourself. When the fence is cut down it will be put up around the buildings of the administration.

Shared return – We have not scheduled an exact closing time, as it is hard to predict the exact course of the day. Everybody will be informed about when the action is called off. We will return to Allerød Station together in the demonstration.



Hide the following 2 comments


20.10.2008 14:13

well, I am skeptic that they will succeed to close the camp if the main demo is peaceful. beside it, I am skeptic that they will cut fences if they made such plan publicly, cops will prepare themselves and that's bad. in any case, we hope everybody that they will succeed. it is nice in any case that people mobilize themselves and show other part of Denmark: anti-racist part.

- Homepage:

It's a tactic.

20.10.2008 15:34

It's a tactic developed throughout some aspects of the Ungdomshuset post-eviction actions. It also worked incredibly well on the big G13 action where people planned to occupy an empty building through sheer numbers. They publically announced which place, time and date. Then 5000 people, in different groups, went for it. They made it to the house despite 1000's of cops and security guards but were unable to remain in occupation not unexpectedly. It was more about keeping the debate on squatting / social centres active and imaginative than a real attempt to take a new social centre.

I think it's an interesting tactic that is just trying something different. It's not applicable to all situations. I hope the Sandholm demo goes well for all. At least it brings home the nature and locality of these institutions and also creates possibilities for extended actions against the whole detention regime there.

G13 video report: