Court rules on land rights at Christiania

Darren Hill mail at
Wed May 27 17:47:05 BST 2009

*Available with audio interview of Christiania lawyer from




*'No land rights' for hippy Danes


*Residents of Copenhagen's famed Christiania neighbourhood have no right 
to use the land they have occupied for four decades, a Danish court has 

The 900-odd residents had expected the ruling from the Eastern High 
Court and planned to appeal, a spokesman said.

The court dismissed a lawsuit by them that they had the right to use the 
former naval base in the Danish capital even if they did not own it.

Tension has risen in recent years over drug crackdowns and regeneration 

*Appeal plans*

Government plans to regain control of the hippy enclave, including 
demolishing the squats to make way for apartments, prompted a court case 
in 2006.

Christiania spokesman Thomas Ertman said: "I believe that we will appeal 
the case."

According to the Copenhagen Post, the residents have permission to 
remain temporarily and will not be evicted immediately.

The neighbourhood was created in 1971 when hippies squatted at a 
derelict 18th-Century naval base on state-owned land.

With consent from civic authorities, the squatters were allowed to lead 
lives free from official interference, as long as they paid their taxes 
and utility bills.

But in 2004 police cracked down on drug dealers in the area, a move 
which prompted battles on the streets between riot police and residents.

In 2008, similar scenes erupted over the eviction of squatters.

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