The destruction of Christiania?
One of the most successful and well-organized of hippie-style
alternative communities is Christiania in the middle of Copenhagen.
Begun in the 1970s by a group of Danes who moved in as squatters
on an abandoned military base, the village is renown for its
eccentric architecture, its methods of self-government, its innovative
"Christiania" bicycles (now marketed around the world), its lovely bars
and restaurants, and, of course, the drugs - marijuana and hashish -
sold openly at kiosks on "Pusher Street." About one thousand people
now live in this community.
But, according to recent reports, it's all about to end. The conservative
government of Denmark, renown for its repressive, anti-immigrant policies
and promotion of individualism and bare knuckles capitalism, has
decided to turn its anger on this peaceful, thriving experiment. The
people of Christiania will be removed and its environment culturally
cleansed, replaced by modern amenities and luxury apartments.
Here's a story from The Guardian on this sad turn of events.
There are many good sources of information and photographs
about Christiania, its democracy, bicycles, houses, and history.
Anyone interested in imaginative alternatives to the plastic dreariness
of modern life, anyone interested in indigenous wellsprings of design
and the fostering of diversity in social and economic life, should tune in
and speak out against the small-minded decision to destroy Christiania.