Lyon, France: Danish consulate occupied in solidarity with Ungdomshuset

On Tuesday 20th (february 2007), a group of french squatters occupied the danish consulate in Lyon, to protest the threat of eviction against Ungdomshuset, demand the immediate drop of all charges against those detained during the struggle for the youth-house, and warn the danish state that its repressive actions will not go unanswered.

The consul’s office was occupied by some 15 activists, who used the consulate’s fax machine to send a communiqué to the Mayor of Copenhaguen, to the Copenhagen City Council and to the danish prime minister’s office. The office phone was also put to use in order to notify the danish police of the action, who seemed really concerned about the safety of the consul, phoning him on his mobile soon after, and calling the french police themselves.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group (around 30 people) deployed two large banners in front of the entrances, which said “consulat danois occupé: solidarité avec ungdomshuset!” (occupied danish consulate: solidarity with ungdomshuset”) and “défendons les espaces autogérés!” (“let’s defend self-managed spaces!”). Flyers introducing Ungdomshuset, the broader squatting movement, as well as government attempts to criminalising squats and enforcing social control were handed out to passers-by and employees.

Two police cars arrived on the site, soon followed by plain-clothes agents. They tried to get to the first floor to reach the consulate a few times, but kept picking the wrong lift for a while. Because activists standing outside were wearing masks, the police called in reinforcements to proceed with identifications. At this point, all participants regrouped and left as a bloc, after an hour and a half of occupation, before the police could do their move. A short documentary about the action was broadcasted on the local television a few hours later.

This action is far from being isolated, as solidarity initiatives for Ungdomshuset have been happening all around the world. On the very same day, a pro-Ungdomshuset demonstration happened in front of the danish representation of Geneva, Switzerland; on February 16th, a street performance and demonstration took place in Moscow; on February 15th, some 45 people gathered in front of the danish embassy in Berlin, and two weeks ago in Lyon, windows were damaged and slogans painted on the trade council of Denmark…


To be continued… Ungdomshuset bli’r!

See also:

squatteurs et squatteuses solidaires