COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Drug dealers in the city's 30-year-old Christiania
colony went on strike Wednesday to protest proposals to bulldoze their
neighborhood.

Some politicians have called for the colony to be demolished to make way for
a big 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 onto streets where much harder stuff is sold illegally."

The 75-acre former military compound bordering a picturesque area in
downtown Copenhagen was occupied by squatters in 1971 and declared an
autonomous "free city" and alternative society.

With a population of around 1,000, it is one of Copenhagen's most popular
tourist attractions, visited by about a half-million people a year, many to
buy marijuana.


Pubdate: Thu, 27 Mar 2003
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2003 Detroit Free Press
Contact: letters@freepress.com
Website: http://www.freep.com/