Denmark Passes “Anti-Riot” Law 12 days before UN Climate Negotiations.

Yesterday the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen passed a hotly disputed “anti-riot law”, less than two weeks before what is shaping up to be the largest single convergence around climate change ever. The law, passed to stymie public protest around the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen, strips people of civil liberties, freedoms, and sanctions (if not encourages) preemptive arrests for any of the 10,000’s of people expected to arrive in Copenhagen to voice concern, march, take direct action, and participate in the UN climate talks.

The new laws layout is fairly straightforward, and inevitably draws a comparison to unlawful US and UK preemptive arrest actions from the last year.

  • Preventive arresting: Under the new law, police can detail people for up to 12 hours without any charges, just because they decide you look like a troublemaker.
  • Hindrance of authorities performing their duties: Normally the penalty is a fine. Now, they can hold you for 40 days.
  • Breach of the peace, or disorderly behavior while staying around after the police have broken up a demo: They have more than quadrupled fines for staying in a demo that the police have broken up is 403 euro and up to 671 euro if you are showing disorderly behavior.

Additionally (yes there’s more), Danish police said “open-air meetings may be prohibited when it is feared that they may constitute a danger to the public order”.

Another essential information if you are attending the COP15 meetings, KlimaForum09, joining a bike bloc, or just hitting the streets, is that masks in any form are illegal at any demo or protest. This means you can be arrested on your way to a protest or meeting for having a scarf in your pocket. This doesn’t mean that the police will be working with this mandate, but it does mean the law grants them the freedom to do so. All of these developments come on the heels of UK police coming under heavy scrutiny and now official investigation for aggressive tactics during this years G20 protests.

…And in other sustainability news, Copenhagen Police are taking their recycling program to another level by recycling the human cages used in last years G8 meetings in Copenhagen for the COP15 meeting. Way to go!…

Even if you are not planning on attending any marches, demonstrations, or other events, a lot can happen on your way home, so know your rights while here. Climate Justice Action, a huge coalition of justice groups, has put together a good legal briefing for those coming to Copenhagen.

The world is mobilizing as we realize that leaders such as US and China no longer have the political will or ambition to be climate leaders we need them to be. Reality is, they are towing the line of industry and inaction, and in doing so they are trading away future generations. The world is expecting a remarkable showing of people power in Copenhagen, from powerful speeches in plenary sessions, to impactful actions in the streets. We realize that no moment like Copenhagen may happen again and we must take hold of this moment.

If we do not define this moment, it will be defined for us.

13 Responses to “Denmark Passes “Anti-Riot” Law 12 days before UN Climate Negotiations.”


  1. 1 lovebug35 Nov 27th, 2009 at 6:05 am

    that’s interesting..!

  2. 2 charleyjk4 Nov 27th, 2009 at 6:10 am

    Smart move by the Danes.They seem to have learnt from the riots of the G7 summits in the developed countries of Europe and know what to expect.Besides,the Danes lead in the search for renewable energy and harnesses wind energy through the ingenuity of Vestas.Wind vanes dot most parts of Denmark.

  3. 3 Meme Mine Nov 27th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Why do we work so hard trying to believe that death by CO2 is legitimate when there is practically an “addition” in ClimateGate that the planet is not dying after all? It’s like we wish for this misery to happen.

    Are we off the rails here or what? We are losing sight of our goals and doubling our efforts anyways and history will not be kind to us wishing for doom for every human on the planet. I’m seeing now that motivating by fear could have been excusable at some point but when we started promising “death” of the planet, we set ourselves up for this big fall we are experiencing. The longer we wait to abandon this CO2 mistake turned outright criminal, the less that fall will hurt environmentalism.

    Admitting we were wrong has a price as we would have to turn our backs on some climate scientists and politicians and possibly fellow environmentalists with the distinct possibility of two opposing groups comprising forming post CO2 era. And the CO2 faction can’t possibly be sustainable because don’t forget, we promised death.
    It’s going to be hard times for environmentalism and it looks like we earned it by spreading needless fear and losing the public’s trust in the process

  4. 4 Jim Nov 27th, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    It is sad to see clubs, tasers, tear gas and other methods used against protesters.

    While the governments in charge may possess different levels of legitimacy, these tools are used at the UCLA regents’ meeting, on the campus of UC Berkeley (both California, USA), Tehran, London at the G-8 (which led to the death of bystander at the hands of sadistic, irresponsible police), undercover cops inciting violence in Quebec City.

    I don’t condone the tactics of violence-oriented anarchists, and think some great points were raised by critiques of their activities; but authorities increasingly are criminalizing dissent all over the world.

  5. 5 Richard Nov 28th, 2009 at 2:16 am

    It’s not environmentalists that have the voice. Global warming is a promoted by those in power to show that the West would be justified in taking complete comtrol of the world since political powers can’t come to terms with climate change. If we don’t our survival is at risk. And what a better way to get the world to bend to the will of the West than to hoard the oil beneath the ice in the antarctic and bombargo everyone else. That’s when the Middle East’s wells run dry and the ice free summers allow easier access into Antartica, the climate purposely warmed up from the start to enable this. Of course the disarmament of nuclear weapons is a big issue. This will be at the centre of the media over the next few years, guarenteed. If not then another big blow to the antartic may mean the extinction of an entire planet and not a bunch of dinosaurs. Oh but they’ve found water on Mars now. Yeah, sure thing!

  6. 6 adamicman Nov 28th, 2009 at 4:34 am

    It reminds me of an old song “creating criminals to create employment” – and who is being employed? Those who are ready to work for the tyranny of a corrupt government,in which of course they are pushing for an international police state.

  7. 7 Meme Mine Nov 28th, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    In environmentalism, as in any ideology, a split of left vs. right always develops. We see this now as more and more public support is lost for this post ClimateGate CO2 phobia.

    Since the threat of climate change is death, this fear can’t possibly be sustainable much longer so look for the unavoidable civil war in the green world.

    The right side of environmentalism will very soon be comprised of the old school Greenzis who had clung to the “death by CO2 myth” and the other side of the coin will be the new left-progressive side, The New Green, comprised of responsible environmentalists who came to their senses and joined with fellow humans on Earth to preserve, protect and respect nature and to face the progress of the future with optimism and courage. Not fear, sacrifice and denying our children their futures.

  8. 8 Anom Nov 29th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    I think yall missed the gist of the article… hardcore.

  9. 9 Mark Nov 30th, 2009 at 12:48 am

    Meme Mine -

    “The New Green, comprised of responsible environmentalists who came to their senses and joined with fellow humans”

    This is the most disingenuous, inciting, and mean spirited attempt at misinformation I have seen in a while from a denialista.

  10. 10 Nick Magel Nov 30th, 2009 at 6:21 am

    How is this a “smart move”? Do you support a law that allows arrest on a crime you have not committed? For a crime that needs only be assumed?
    This follows a disturbing precedent set in UK and US that are now be reviewed as human rights violations. In fact that discussion has already started here in Denmark.

    http://www.cphpost.dk/climate/91-climate/47625-legislation-gives-police-more-power.html

    And Charlie, i agree with your second point on Danish renewable initiatives, but find it impossible to see how you use these as justification. Dumbfounded if that’s actually your argument.

    Meme, your comments in IGHH you have an unmatched history of baseless off-the-topic rhetoric.
    One quick point (yes you’ve sucked me in to your blah, i’m weak) . “Climategate” may give you fodder for a week or so. (remember when Obama wasn’t a citizen? That was an entertaining media week too.) However, realize that why the US newsertainment stations reach for ratings during sweeps week with contrived controversy, the rest of the world is preparing for the most important global meetings since WWII. The world could careless about this and the Inhoff true squad, they are much more consumed by taking action that science deems necessary to curb climate change.

    http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.org/

  11. 11 Cityjohn Dec 12th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    I say, GO THERE IN FORCE!
    march one thousand men in there and show them,
    YOU CANNOT STOP US!, We will not be silenced!

  1. 1 “Denmark Passes “Anti-Riot” Law 12 days before UN Climate Negotiations.” « Mobilization for Climate Justice – London, Ontario Trackback on Nov 27th, 2009 at 5:31 pm
  2. 2 The Understory » Challenging the Corporate Climate Crisis Trackback on Jul 30th, 2010 at 7:28 pm
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About Nick


Nick Magel is not a fan of oil companies (or any fossil fuel for that matter). He's fortunate to have worked with folks that hold similar views while Communications Manager at Amazon Watch in San Francisco. Prior to that Nick served as Director of the Freedom from Oil campaign at Global Exchange. Nick went to graduate school at the Audubon Expedition Institute where he focused on radicalizing education models while developing a deeper application of critical and feminist pedagogies in environmental education.

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