Freetown Christiania

From Academic Kids

Christiania is also the former name of Oslo.
Missing image
A street in Christiania. The red banner is the flag used by the neighborhood.

Christiania, also known as the Freetown Christiania, is a partially self-governing neighborhood in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark, which has established semi-legal status as an independent community.

Christiania was founded in 1971, when a group of hippie squatters took over an area of abandoned military barracks. One of the more influential persons was Jacob Ludvigsen, who published an anarchist newspaper, which widely announced the proclamation of the free town. For years the legal status of the region was in limbo, as the Danish government attempted, without success, to remove the squatters. Later, a biker gang took control of the area for a period of time.

The neighborhood is accessible only through two main entrances, and cars are not allowed.

The people in Christianina have developed their own set of rules, completely independent of the Danish government. Having no cars is one of these rules. These rules also include: No stealing, No Guns, No Bulletproof Vests, and No Hard Drugs.

Famous for its main drag, known as Pusher Street, where hash was sold openly from permanent stands until 2004, it nevertheless does have rules forbidding hard drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. The region negotiated an arrangement with the Danish defense ministry (which still owns the land) in 1995, and the residents now pay taxes. The future of the area remains in doubt, though, as Danish authorities continue to push for its removal. On Pusher Street, cameras are not allowed, and locals will wave their hands and shout "No photo!" if they see someone trying to take a picture.

A house in Christiania
A house in Christiania
The inhabitants fight back with humor and persistence - for instance, when authorities in 2002 demanded that the hash trade be made less visible, the stands were covered in military camouflage nets. On January 4, 2004, the stands were finally demolished by the owners themselves (without stopping the hash trade as such, which continued on a person-to-person basis) as a way of persuading the government to allow the Free Town to continue to exist. Before they were demolished, the National Museum of Denmark was able to get one of the more colorful stands, which is now part of an exhibit.

Common slogans about Christiania:

"Bevar Christiania" means "protect Christiania."

"Forsvar Christiania" means "defend Christiania."

External links

de:Freistaat Christiania eo:Christiania (civito) fr:Christiania (homonymie) it:Christiania nl:Vrijstad Christiania pl:Christiania (dzielnica Kopenhagi) sv:Christiania


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