Pubdate: Thu, 27 Mar 2003
Source: Guardian, The (UK)
Copyright: 2003 Guardian Newspapers Limited
Author: Reuters, Copenhagen


Drug dealers in Copenhagen's hippy colony, Christiana, went on strike 
yesterday to protest against proposals to bulldoze the alternative "free city".

Some politicians, mainly from the ruling Liberal party, have called for the 
30-year-old colony to be demolished to make way for an urban renewal scheme.

"All trade has been stopped since this morning and we do not know how long 
this strike will take, maybe days, maybe months," said Pernilla Hansen at 
the Christiania information office.

"We want to show the government that an open market for soft drugs is 
better then forcing people on to streets where much harder stuff is sold 
illegally," she said.

The 30-hectare former military compound bordering central Copenhagen was 
occupied by hippy squatters in 1971 and declared an autonomous "free city".

With a population of around 1,000, it is one of Copenhagen's most popular 
tourist attractions, visited by 500,000 people a year, many to buy soft drugs.
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