It would appear that inciting violence on the streets of Nørrebro at the tax-payer’s expense is good business for Koran-burning lawyer Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line).
Since his demonstration and the riots that ensued on April 14, Stram Kurs has received the necessary 20,109 approved voter declarations needed to stand in the 2019 General Election.
As of that morning, which began with a change of venue after a car exploded at 1 am in Paludan’s original choice of Mjølnerparken, he only had 5,526 declarations.
70 fires, 23 arrests, 24 million
The riots sparked off after the lawyer flung a Koran around in the air at Blågårdsplads at around 3 pm before being whisked away to safety.
Pitched battles then continued into the night as police and rioters exchanged tear gas and cobblestones. In total, around 70 fires were deliberately set, and the police made 23 arrests as trouble spread all over the city.
The police have spent an estimated 24 million kroner of taxpayers’ money protecting Paludan at around 70 demonstrations over the last two years.
Penis painter recruited
Paludan has named controversial artist Uwe Max Jensen as his first candidate. It is believed the pair met when Paludan represented Jensen following his numerous arrests for indecency and disruption.
Among his better known stunts are re-enacting the decapitation of the Little Mermaid whilst naked, painting Kim Kardashian and a 2017 DF local election campaign poster with his penis, and urinating off the Round Tower.
Some of Jensen’s convictions are not as quirky, though. In 2017 he was sentenced to 30 days in prison for assaulting a museum employee in Aalborg.
Paludan in debates?
It is believed that Paludan will be allowed to take part in the televised party leader debates, and Jørgen Ramskov, the CEO of the radio channel Radio24syv, warns he will need to be more careful than he has been on YouTube where he has expressed many racist opinions.
Paludan was recently handed 14 days for racism – a sentence he has appealed to the High Court.
Among Stram Kurs’s policies are a ban on Islam, expelling all non-Western people who have been granted asylum/who are not nationals, and withdrawing from international conventions on refugees. Paludan has also, on occasion, burnt the Koran, thrown it around in the air and wrapped it in bacon.
PM Lars Løkke Ramussen has condemned Paludan’s provocations as “meaningless” and ultimately divisory.
No bottle of wine?
In response to Paludan’s actions, journalist Nicolai Würtz started a charity fundraiser on the website of refugee organisation Dansk Flygtningehjælp. Würtz thought he might raise around 2,500 kroner for newly-arrived refugees, but the fundraiser has already netted 2.189 million.
Maybe some of the money could be given to the dark-skinned father and son who found Paludan’s Mastercard in the street and handed it to him as he spoke into the camera last July.
Most decent people would have given the gracious father and son a reward – like a bottle of red wine – but Paludan just accepted the card with a shrug.