Sun

Dec

418:49

The day the streets caught fire

 
A Pegida demonstration through Copenhagen’s multicultural district Nørrebro descended into chaos as counterdemonstrators lit bonfires, erected barricades and tried to break police lines

Immigration has long been a hotly contested issue in the Danish political debate. Far right groups that oppose immigration have often held rallies to promote their views, and are almost always met by counter demonstrations from the far left – protesters who call themselves anti-fascists.

On Saturday, Anti-Islam group For Freedom held a march through Copenhagen’s multicultural district Nørrebro. The group is an offshoot of the German organisation PEGIDA that, in German, is an acronym for Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West.

Anti-fascist protesters chanted slogans, set up barricades, and carried banners stating “Make racists afraid again”. 11 demonstrators were arrested according to police spokesman Rasmus Bernt Skovsgaard, who said they were detained for assaulting an officer, vandalism and refusing to obey orders.

See the photos below:

Police officers set up a perimeter before the two protests take off from Israels Plads.

Police officers set up a perimeter before the two protests take off from Israels Plads.

An anti-fascist protestor is arrested after breaking through police barriers and attacking another protestor.

An anti-fascist protestor is arrested after breaking through police barriers and attacking another protestor.

Police officers push the counter protest towards Nørrebro.

Police officers push the counter protest towards Nørrebro.

Anti-fascists attempts to break through police lines at Fredensbro to reach the demonstration.

Anti-fascists attempt to break through police lines at Fredensbro to reach the demonstration.

Barricades on the bridge to Nørrebro, Dronning Louises Bro.

Barricades on the bridge to Nørrebro, Dronning Louises Bro.

The press scrambles to get pictures of burning containers at the crossing between Nørrebrogade and Elmegade.

The press scrambles to get pictures of burning containers at the crossing between Nørrebrogade and Elmegade.

Multiple containers are set ablaze on Nørrebrogade.

Multiple containers are set ablaze on Nørrebrogade.

Bewildered Nørrebro residents film the counter protest as it makes its way towards Nørrebro Station.

Bewildered Nørrebro residents film the counter protest as it makes its way towards Nørrebro Station.

A girl is helped up by her friend after being beaten by a police officer.

A girl is helped up by her friend after being beaten by a police officer.

Police officers attempt to break up the counter protest.

Police officers attempt to break up the counter protest.

The Pegida demonstration is escorted through Nørrebro by police.

The Pegida demonstration is escorted through Nørrebro by police.

An anti fascist protestor stands watch at an overpass in outer Nørrebro.

An anti fascist protestor stands watch at an overpass in outer Nørrebro.

Police officers on the lookout for counter protestors.

Police officers on the lookout for counter protestors.

A police helicopter hovered over the city throughout the day.

A police helicopter hovered over the city throughout the day.

Lima 1, the chief police officer dispatched at the protest.

Lima 1, the chief police officer dispatched at the protest.

Counter protesters as they reach Nørrebro Station.

Counter protesters as they reach Nørrebro Station.

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By Aleksander Klug

A freelance visual journalist and political correspondent. Aleksander reports on social justice issues and European politics. @aleksander_klug

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