19 October 2010

Peace please

By nothing more than a coincidence I came by the worlds smallest demonstration for peace today. It was held at the square in front of the Parliament, and what initially attracted me was the music and the bright colors. Women and children from all over the country had contributed to the ribbon, with handmade messages of peace and love, inspired by The Ribbon event that took place in Washington in 1985. On a truck a young man with a speaker phone was preaching to a small quire, arguing that the living conditions for the poor in Denmark, a fast growing population, is the price we pay for being at war.

All the Danish politicians had to do was lean out of the windows to see how small a part of the population gives a crap. It was truly heartbreaking. I learned that the peace watch has been present on the square every single day for nine years since Denmark joined the war in Afghanistan.

As I left the small gathering, I was wondering if we as a people have given up on the idea that we can make a difference? That anyone will hear us? I can't help but compare us to the French, a people who in my opinion understands the concept of solidarity, and who knows how to stand together and make themselves heard. Today it seemed like nobody was listening.

Peace on earth

Welfare now, not war
Welfare now, not war.

No to war
No to war.
The ribbon
A stranger is a friend you don't know - yet.
The new copper roof of the DK parliament
The Danish Parliament, with a brand spanking new copper roof. And I noticed the same goes for a lot of the city churches. It is always nice to see they've got their priorities straight.


  1. parliament is on holiday (again) sad really.

  2. Are you kidding me? Who is running this show, anyway?

  3. Well, if it's any consolation, half of Americans (at least, the Americans who are part of the United States) are not only indifferent when it comes to solidarity, but fighting each other trying to take things away from each other. It's a daily civil war of "give me what's mine" - only we don't have any claim to those things, we just want them. Usually the only "causes" that get any kind of mass following are the ones where someone was able to convince a group of people something was being taken from them wrongfully (such as when a separated bike path is installed and takes away a car travel lane, or taxes are raised to support social services like fire, police, library, etc). Then you hear an uproar.

    I also think half of Americans (again from the United States) still think we're doing the world a favor by invading Iraq and Afghanistan.

  4. what a strange feeling, a lot of writing, and so few people. it's like a ghost demonstration, (as a ghost town). I hear that the demonstrations in France are huge right now, but I'm afraid that the French government don't give a damn.

  5. sad is that it fades in Denmark and worsens in Afghanistan. maybe the opposition to the parliament decides when it fades or not? same as in France: is it solidarity or tough opposition? is it really against war or against current regime?? just thoughts of a passer by :) I like your photos

  6. Hi Portlandize, it is really good to hear from you, and get the update from the other side of the world. I just wonder if it was always like this, or if we have grown harder and more indifferent over time. The last time anyone stood up for anything here in Copenhagen, that I can think of (other than the COP15 of course) was the youthouse demo's that turned violent. I don't approve of that part, but as a whole at least they stood up for what they believed in.

    Hi Carole, and welcome to UN, haha, it was like a ghost demonstration, you are right. And I was just told here in the comments that the politicians are all on a holiday (if that makes any sense?!), so it was in many ways a show for no one.

    The French may have a government who don't give a damn, but when they demonstrate the whole world knows about it, and it reflects poorly on the government. That is a display of the power of the people right there.

  7. Hi Nabil, thank you for stopping by, and for leaving nice words about my photo's. I think that most people here who oppose the war, oppose a lot of other moves by this government. We used to be a country that took good care of everybody, no matter your income, but that has changed drastically. But in the end they are there because people vote for them, that is the scary part.

    I agree that it is not always easy to tell who is pulling the strings, when it comes to demonstrations. But today it was clearly the people. You can tell, because no one was paying attention.

  8. Thanks for this post.Australia too, has troops in Afghanistan;21 killed so far, and still neither of our main political parties is able to tell us why we are at war with Afghanistan. Australians, like Danes, seem too apathetic to get up and march.(although there was a stampede recently when 'Gap' opened it's first store in Australia,in Melbourne). During the Vietnam war, people marched and got things stopped,now we just seem too comfortable to do much at all. America says jump, and our government says 'how high'?Something is happening here and I don't know what it is.

    (you are right on the money with your comments about the French.They don't take any crap from their government,hence all French children still get a 3 course meal for lunch at school.We stopped giving our children milk at school 30 years ago and the silence was deafening)

    regards and thanks as always for such a thouht provoking post.


  9. Hi Ian,
    it looks like apathy it is a wold wide epidemic? I also wonder exactly what, if anything, would unite us, make us put our foot down, and demand a change. I would love to learn what this is, and how we can get back to caring, fix it somehow. Not to sound too paranoid, but I don’t believe that our leaders necessarily always have our best interest at heart, and that certainly proved the case with our former prime min. that only used us as a stepping stone to the prestigious position in Nato. His politics is one of the main reasons that Denmark is struggling more than our neighbours during this crisis.

    I am happy to hear that you agree with me on the French. And pleased but not surprised to learn that they feed their young well. When shopping for groceries in Copenhagen, with a narrow selection and prices so high that the working man have no chance to taste the good (and not knowing that it exists, he accepts the low standard), I like to think about the uproar if you served this up to the French. They would close the place down in under two minutes.

    (and the Gap stampede? Hilarious comparison, haha)


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