By Sana Mazloum, Isabelle Tolhurst and Matthew Whitby
Despite the negative elements of today’s Global Day of Action protests getting particular attention by major media outlets, 100,000 still managed to gather for a cause, and protests proceeded with relative peace and success.
The opening crowd was a myriad of colour, nationality and costume, and after inspiration presentations from several speakers including model Helena Christiansen and singer Anjali Kidjou, they left from Christiansborg, on their way to the Bella Centre, in the aim of moving politicians to binding legislation on climate change.
The masses proceeded peacefully, songs and chants cast into the street, until they were redirected by police after a main bridge on Vestergade. Police set up a barricade with their SWAT fans, holding over 400 protestors from various anti-capitalist groups, said a reporter from Indy Media. Several police officers said they knew little of the current situation and proceeded to direct protestors down an alternate route.
While main group continued peacefully, several protestors from a variety of political orientations broke off to return to the secured area, demanding that those detained be released.
The face off between police and protestors continued without aggravation or violence until a bottle was thrown into police lines. The offender was quickly seized and detained.
A group of protestors decided to line up in a human shield directly facing the police after several hundred protestors were arrested. However police simply continued with their plan pushing back rowdy crowds screaming for the release of the detained.
Police acted swiftly, pushing defence lines forward and using trained dogs for enforcement. The crowds maxim ‘let them go’ was repeated and resonated through the street.
Slowly members of the detained group were released, allegedly after being cleared of weapon possession, said an officer on duty.
Two young women released from the barricade said they were unaware of why they’d been held and how long it would be until the entire group would be dispersed.
‘They (the protestors) don’t have anything, they don’t even have masks…it was just a peaceful demonstration, no one threw anything,’ they confirmed.
Police were well prepared and had the situation controlled at all times. They were guarding their block with dogs.
According to Anders Solem, a law student present at the protest, around 622,000,000DKK of the 2009 Danish national budget was allocated to updating police resources for potential riots during the Copenhagen Climate Conference.
A total of 968 were arrested, and those released moved away from the area, leaving it relatively empty by around 7pm. Buses transported those detained to local authorities.