Danish court rules against Christiania


Residents of Copenhagen’s famed Christiania neighbourhood have no right to use the land they have occupied for four decades, a Danish court has ruled.

The 900-odd residents had expected the ruling from the Eastern High Court and planned to appeal, a spokesman said.

The court dismissed a lawsuit by them that they had the right to use the former naval base in the Danish capital even if they did not own it.

Tension has risen in recent years over drug crackdowns and regeneration plans.

BBC: ‘No land rights’ for hippy Danes

This article does at least mention that Christiania DOES pay property taxes and pays city utility bills. They were formally recognized by the Danish government in 1995.

For more information about Christiania, here’s their official site. Previous RF/Technoccult coverage here.

(Apparently Denmark doesn’t have adverse possession laws?)

Danish court hears case to determine future of hippie enclave where squatters want to stay

Residents of a counterculture oasis in the Danish capital challenged government moves to regain control of their community Monday, petitioning a court to guarantee their right to use the former navy base they took over three decades ago.

The case is expected to determine the future of Christiania, a partially self-governing neighborhood of more than 900 residents that was created in 1971 when hippies began squatting at a derelict 18th-century navy fort on state-owned land.

Christiania became an enclave with psychedelic-colored buildings, open trade of hashish and limited interference from the government. But when authorities started cracking down on the drug trade in 2004 and later announced plans to tear down buildings to build new apartment blocks, the squatters fought back.

They sued the government in 2006, claiming they have the right to use the land, even if they don’t own it. The center-right government rejects that claim.

Full Story: McCall

(via Dose Nation)

Christiania can stay, but must pay rent

Looks like the Danish government has reached a compromise, but it’s probably not the one Christiania’s citizens want:

In 1987, Christiania was recognized as a “social experiment” and residents were later given the right to use the land, but not own it. The government plan eliminates the agreement.

By Jan. 1, 2005, residents must make agreements with the state to rent the areas they use. Adults now pay a fixed monthly fee of the equivalent of $266 to the community for electricity, water and other services.

Two-thirds of Christiania’s residents live on social welfare or have no official income.

Full Story: The Guardian: Copenhagen’s Hippie Enclave May Remain.

Copenhagen autonomous zone to close down

Is it finally the end of the line for Christiania? The Danish government seems closer than ever to shutting it down.

Like almost everyone in Christiana, the 31-year-old, who refused to give his name, said that the state was using the drugs issue as an excuse to grab one of the capital’s most valuable tracts of land. ‘They just want more luxury flats for the rich,’ he said. ‘I built my own house here. I have two young children who are third generation Christianites. I am not going to give all that up without a struggle.’

I wonder if it will still be around this spring, I was planning on visiting. Of course, I hope they can last longer than that.

Full Story: The Guardian: End is nigh for the commune that kept hippie dream alive.

Bamboo Bicycle

Another goodie from Abstract Dynamics: the bamboo bicycle. There’s a bunch of other bamboo projects on this site as well, such as a link to how to build your own Bamboo Geodesic Dome.

The bicycle comes from Christiania, a commune in Copenhagen which is in danger of being shut down. “Denmark’s new centre-right government has decided to clean up Christiania, for 30 years a hippy haven”

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