It would seem like Denmark is experiencing an intifada light these days - or rather nights. For the fifth night i a row smallish groups of Muslim immigrant "youths" have stirred up trouble in the streets of Copenhagen, setting fire to garbage containers and ambushing the firefighters.
At least that's how it started out, but now things seems to be getting out of hand.
The riots are spreading fast and are becoming more violent with "carbacues" and attacks on media reporting in the area. Trucks from DR TV and TV2 have been stoned and a photographer from Jyllands-Posten was wrestled to the ground and kicked in the head by half a dozen "youths."
Here's a small time line with thanks to TV2: (My excerpt.)
Feb. 9: The trouble starts when a garbage container is set ablaze and rolled out into the street in Nørrebro. Firefighters are attacked with rocks and needs police backup to put the fire out. All is calm again around midnight.
Feb. 10: Containers are set on fire as well as several cars and once again firefighters need police protection. The police uses teargas to disperse the vandals. 11 are arrested.
Feb. 11: More container-fires as well as bonfires in the street. The trouble spreads to Vesterbro - another neighborhood - two cars are burned. One arrest.
Feb. 13: The trouble has now spread all over Copenhagen. Two cars are set on fire in Vesterbro, four people arrested in conjunction with that crime. The neighborhoods and suburbs Tingbjerg, Ishøj, Rødovre and Taastrup are plagued by fires.
In Århus, Jutland a city bus is bombarded with rocks and have to be escorted out of danger by police.
Feb 14: In Tingbjerg four postal vans are set ablaze. An apartment building in Nørrebro has to be evacuated in the middle of the night as a fire nearby is threatening to spread. The power grid is sabotaged and an entire neighborhood is blackened out around 1 am.
All in all 17 people have been arrested for arson and disturbing the peace. 14 cars have been burned as well as 20 garbage containers. There are 14 reports of vandalism such as smashing store windows.
The excuse from the "youths" at the start up was that it was "unjust" that the cops picked on them at routine checks "only because we're colored!" Then came the thwarted assassination plot on the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and the subsequent decision to deport two Tunisian nationals. This apparently was soooo unjust to the Muslim community that a carbeque seemed to be in in order.
The police is on high alert from now and on through the weekend. I wish it would rain cats and dogs, that should cool tempers, but alas it's going to be cold and clear tonight.
I realize this isn't anything like the riots in Paris last summer - heck this probably isn't anything like a normal night in Paris, but it's quite unusual in Denmark.
So far at least!