Pissed-off Copenhagen residents destroyed an open-air drug market ‘Pusher Street’ after a shooting that wounded two police officers and a bystander.
Copenhagen residents demolished an open-air drug market ‘Pusher Street’, using power tools, crowbars and a bulldozer. The incident occurred on Friday, after a shooting that wounded two police officers and a bystander.
The makeshift wooden stalls, where hash and weed dealers have been allowed to sell their wares with impunity for decades, were tore down by residents of Christiania, a semi-autonomous enclave in the Danish capital, tired of crime in the area.
The cause of the revolt was Wednesday’s shooting, during which three people, including a passer, were wounded. One of the police officers was in critical condition. Reportedly, Mesa Hodzic, a Danish national born in Bosnia, opened fire on the police officers, when they came to arrest him. Later, the gunman was killed in a shootout with police south of Copenhagen.
The incident was the final straw for residents of Christiania. Hashish and marijuana are illegal in Denmark, but the area quickly became known for its tolerance of drugs. The friendly locals, who were the main suppliers before, were eventually supplanted by criminals. This led to repeated attempts to destroy the so-called ‘hashish supermarket’.
A video of the incident, showing dozens of people, toppling plywood booths adorned with paintings of Bob Marley’s face and other stoner iconography, was published online.
The Local, Danish news website, reported that the last concerted effort to clear out ‘Pusher Street’ is what allowed gangs to cement their control over the drug trade. Authorities tried to flatten the area in 2004, but “hardened elements then moved in to fill the vacuum and the market was soon reestablished and larger than ever.”
Now, local residents ask Danes and tourists to help the cause and buy their weed somewhere else, but not in the area.
“We can remove the [cannabis] stalls but we can’t ensure that they don’t come back. We need all of Denmark’s help for that. If you support Christiania, stop buying your cannabis here,” Manghezi said.