I promised myself I’d be trying to get some more sleep.. Apparently that plan didn’t go too well. After a cozy night with Tina and some walking around checking the festivities downtown out, I somehow ended sitting up just a wee bit too late. At any rate, Zascha was a bit confused when I actually replied to her 5 AM SMS.
Anyways, I had to get up at 10 AM anyways as I was going to the below mentioned anti-nazi rally. I didn’t really know what to expect from the day, but walking through town, I did get a pretty bad feel from it all. There was quite a lot of police, quite a lot of media and what looked like quite a lot of people looking for trouble.. No nazis though. As it turns out, the rally had been moved from downtown to a park near Zascha’s apartment, so upon getting some food, I made my way up there.. Probably a good move by the police as that moved the nazi rally and the anti-nazi rally to different parts of town.
I’m happy to report that at least our anti-nazi rally went peacefully with a couple of speaches, some singing and poetry reading and probably around 2-300 people taking part . There were quite a lot of banners, quite a lot of flags from everything from worker unions and the communist party to various anarchistic factions and Jewish groupings. There were even quite a lot of what I’d describe as autonome youngsters.. But even if they were a bit loud, they too remained peaceful and quiet.. Even when we got the news that the downtown rally had ended in violence after the nazis responded violently to an unannounced counter-protest and decided to attack. Of course that whole announcement kinda put a dampener on our moods but made at least made us feel happier to be there.
After the end of the formal part of the rally, some DJ started to provide some entertainment, but things quickly got a little uncomfortable for me as the autonome started stirring a bit and the police started to show up in quite impressive numbers. I decided to leave, but at that place the police had formed a ring around the park in an effort to curb any rising conflicts.. So, uhh.. Yea, I stayed for a few minutes after all before heading home.. As I finally made to leave, I saw about 7-8 vans filled with police leave the place, sirens and all.
Took me a while to figure out what the hell had happened, but apparently the short version is that Jonni Hansen, infamous leader of the Danish neo-nazis, was arrested during the small scale riots there. Apparently deciding to show them out properly, some of the counter-protesters along with some protesters from our rally (I’ll leave it to the reader to determine who), then decided to head to the local police station to wait for him to be released. Here things got violent when they attacked either some friends of Johnni or their car (sources vary), and eventually 50 some people were apparently arrested right in my back yard.. Which would explain all the noise an hour or so ago.
Certainly a less than ordinary day here in Kolding! Oh, by the way, I’m heading out of town for about a week later today.. So, uhh, if updates are a bit sparse, now you know why! 😉