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Sat Apr 7 2007 (Updated 04/18/07) The Eviction of Copenhagen’s Ungdomshuset
In the frigid Copenhagen morning of December 14, hundreds of squatters stand unflinchingly beneath visible wisps of breath. Europe’s “The Final Countdown” resonates within the historic walls of the brick building at 69 Jagtvej. Masked activists shoot fireworks from the roof as the Danish media ogle from the street below. Twenty-four years after its inception, Ungdomshuset has officially become an illegal squat.

In 1982, the city gave 69 Jagtvej to the youth of Copenhagen who, in turn, named it Ungdomshuset, or "The Youth House." Since, the building has provided an extensive list of community services including a cinema, a soup kitchen, a bar, various workshops, rehearsal spaces, and the famous annual K-Town Festival, which draws an international crowd.

But despite its charitable contributions to the punk, squatter, and broader community of Denmark and beyond, in 2000, the City Council reconsidered its decision from 18 years prior and resold the property. If that weren’t enough, the buyers of 69 Jagtvej were, incidentally enough, a rightwing fundamentalist Christian organization called Faderhuset or, ironically, "The Father's House." And, almost as if mocking the anarchists of Ungdomshuset, the Christians intend to make the old squat their new headquarters.

After being embroiled in a legal battle for nearly six years, on August 28, 2006, the National Court ruled that Faderhuset does indeed own the building, making an eviction order perfectly legitimate. The official date was announced as December 14, although it was stated that no police force would be used until the new year. Read More

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