News in Digest: Doing their best to disrupt

Whether it’s the large gatherings, riots, arson or poorly worn facemasks, the authorities’ patience is wearing thin

Anti-vaxxers, anti-corona restrictions, anti-facemasks, anti-testing … it’s been a long list of complaints this past year about the actions of a government that has, to be fair, taken far fewer stringent measures than the majority of European countries.

No curfews, no visiting bans, no driving restrictions, no workplace ultimatums – some might say that it’s not surprising that it has reached a point of no more patience in the face of all the no common sense.

Smasher-up locked up
Across the board, sentences for crimes connected to corona, particularly if they are anti-government, are being doubled: for compensation fraudsters, rioters and, most recently, a woman who told a Men in Black demo on January 9 to “smash up the city”.

She got two years in prison – a sentence that former minister Simon Emil Ammitzbøll-Bille said was far less than people “who have committed incest and violence against children”.

Now that’s a party
While Men in Black have been regularly meeting at Rådhuspladsen on Saturdays, their gatherings could not compete with the 7,000-plus anticipated at a party at Thorvaldsens Plads near Parliament on March 11 organised by Malue Montclairre of Frihedsbevægelsens Fællesråd, the ‘Freedom Movement’.

Bad weather forecasts led to it being cancelled – just in time for coaches from all over Denmark to turn back.

Weather gods again
Somebody even tried to set fire to a coronavirus test centre in Ballerup, a northwestern suburb of Copenhagen, on March 15.

One or two perpetrators attempted to ignite a flammable liquid at the Energivej site, but it fizzled out. Recent rain and sleet – again, the weather to the rescue! – had left the ground pretty damp.

The right to party
Nevertheless, City Hall has not turned its back on its people’s needs.

“Copenhageners should be allowed to party,” said mayor for integration and employment, Cecilia Lonning-Skovgaard, in response to an “insane” plan to reopen the city’s nightlife with heavy restrictions.

Opposed by a majority of the municipal council, it proposed shutting down the city at midnight to reduce noise pollution, rubbish on the streets and calls to the emergency services.

“We must have an open city with joy and nightlife, and we must support a profession that is under pressure,” said Lonning-Skovgaard.