Police presence dampen Christiania atmosphere

Written by Jamie Szmitz

The mascot of Freetown Christiania, Copenhagen. Photographer: Jamie Szmitz

When first exploring Copenhagen’s utopia ‘Freetown Christiania,’ you would expect a peaceful and stress-free environment.  However, that is not the case with frequent police presence.  The first thing greeting visitors to Christiania on Thursday was the vibrant Pusher Street bordered off by a police raid for drugs. 

This specific raid lasted between 2:00-4:00PM.  The residents of Christiania however did not seem phased by this at all and were left simply watching and waiting for the raid to finish.  Noah is not a resident of Christiania but has been visiting most days for the last 15 years.  He told me that “raids like this maybe happen twice a month but never this long, I see police here every day taking stuff off the streets.”  There was a calming atmosphere during the raid towards the police.  “I’m not afraid, they won’t touch me here and there are no guns” Noah added.  Within 10 minutes of the police leaving, stalls to sell drugs were set up proving that the presence by police will not scare away the principles of Christiania.