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People & Power
Something Rotten?
We report on the riots that erupted in Denmark after a youth house was demolished.
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2008 10:12 GMT

Thousands protested in the streets for four days
Not so long ago, Denmark prided itself on having the most open immigration policies in Europe. The country has always been known for its progressive, open society.

But this image has come under threat after a number of high profile and violent encounters between members of the public and state.

In early 2007 a brutal four-day riot resulted in over 1,000 arrests and a closure of all international borders to stop overseas support for the protest from coming in.

The trouble began after an anti-terror squad raided the Ungdomshuset building, or Youth House, in the capital Copenhagen, which had been occupied by left-wing activists since the 1980s.

The local government sold the building to a Christian group in 2000, which then obtained a court order to have the squatters evicted.

But the activists vowed not to leave, saying the council had no right to sell the building while it was still in use.

The fury that unfolded was some of the worst seen in Denmark since World War II.

And the fact that it took place in Norrebro - a district with a high immigrant population which also hosted the cartoon protests the year before - has led many political leaders to question Denmark's traditional, liberal-loving ways.

People & Power reports on what some are calling Denmark's 'identity crisis'.

Diplomat for Hire

Carne Ross says the evidence presented
on WMD in Iraq was 'totally implausible'
Carne Ross served as a British diplomat for 15 years. His work took him to West Germany, Afghanistan and New York, as part of a UN delegation. But in 2004 he made the headlines after being one of two foreign office officials who resigned in the build-up to the Iraq war.

To counter what he sees as a diplomatic deficit in international relations, Carne Ross has now founded a non-profit organisation called Independent Diplomat, which he says provides diplomatic service to those who need it most.

A compelling profile on why, after 15 years at the top, a man turned his back on power and status to go freelance.

Watch part one of this episode of People & Power on Youtube

Watch part two of this episode of People & Power on Youtube

This episode of People & Power aired from Wednesday, January 23, 2008.


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