Freetown Christiania, one of the longest-running anarchist communes, located in the centre of Copenhagen, has announced that it will be closing Pusher Street as a result of drug-related violence. Despite cannabis being illegal in Denmark, cannabis and hash are sold freely on Pusher Street in Christiania. In a statement from the general assembly of the commune it was announced; “that Pusher Street must be closed, in a way so that the sales and violence do not just spread to the areas around Pusher Street.” This comes after a shooting in Christiania on Saturday where one individual was killed and four were injured. Two masked men, reportedly linked to the cannabis trade, opened fire in a building in Christiania. An 18-year-old has been taken into custody for the shooting, while the search continues for the other perpetrator.
The statement acknowledges that Christiania “has paved the way for Denmark’s entire cannabis market for more than 50 years.” However, due to the continual illicit nature of the cannabis industry in Denmark, “there will be a violent and deadly battle for the market.” The solution, the statement says, is a legalised “state-regulated market”. The community of Christiania has acknowledged it lacks the resources to shut down the trade itself and has requested government assistance.
This is not the first time Pusher Street has been planned to be shut down. In 2016, a reported cannabis dealer shot two police officers and a bystander. As a result, the community of Christiania attempted to shut down Pusher Street, however, this didn’t last.
Christiania was built when squatters took over a military base in 1971. Since then Chrisitiania has grown into a community at the heart of Copenhagen which has semi-autonomy and a self-declared set of rules.