Pusher Street? Do you seriously have a street called Pusher Street?

Why should we believe that the infamous street is really being shut down for good? What is different this time?

If I was a newcomer to Denmark and someone told me about a street called Pusher Street located in the middle of the capital, I wouldn’t believe it.

And then, if I was told that the area where this Pusher Street is located is one the biggest tourist attractions in the country, I wouldn’t believe that either.

But then I would probably go online to fact check the unbelievable stories. 

I would read about Christiania and how it was established when the area was occupied by hippies in the early 1970’s. 

I would read about how, why and when Pusher Street was established. 

I would be informed about the fact that running in the street or ‘The Green Light District’ is forbidden because it causes panic. 

I would read that taking photos in Pusher Street is forbidden because … guess why…

I would read about criminality, gangs, guns, shootings, murders, illegal drugs. And that it has been like that for decades.

Same old song
On Saturday a gang-related shooting on the infamous hash-trade street left one dead and four injured. 

Following the fatal shooting police, politicians and Christiania residents all want Pusher Street closed

But if you think you’ve heard that song before you’re right. 

And you don’t need an academic degree to find numerous examples of violence, shootings and statements of “enough is enough”

In 2016 Pusher Street was shut down. Twice. First the police did it, and a few months later the inhabitants of Christiania did it, following an incident where two police officers and a civilian were shot. 

A few days after the latest shooting, mayors worry that the closure will push crime into other areas.

It is an understandable concern. But in a civilised country it can’t be used as an argument.

Something rotten 
Try to imagine a politician saying:

“It’s actually a good thing that this one part of town is experiencing more burglaries. That means that other areas are peaceful.” 

It would be unacceptable. 

So now police, politicians and Christiania residents all want Pusher Street closed. We can only hope that this is the end of the street.

But why should we believe that the infamous street is shut down for good? What is really different this time?

Shakespeare once wrote:

“There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.”

Yes, the context was different. Yes, compared to a lot of other countries Denmark is a heaven.

But when it comes to Pusher Street he was right.