30 December 2013

Access denied

Last night Danes took to the streets in a peaceful “light fest”. In Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Aalborg, Randers and Skanderborg concerned citizens gathered to protest against the new anti-democratic Public Information Act, going into effect on January 1st 2014. In brief it denies the public access to selected governmental documents, allowing them to hide documentation from the very public, they serve. Before they put the proposal up for vote in June, the public outcry was massive. A united press spoke against it, and we gathered in front of the Parliament, to show our discontent. This was back in May:

Offentlighedsloven gavner os på borgen

Offentlighedsloven gavner os på Borgen / The Public Information Act is useful to the politicians.

Vi vil have arbejdsro

Mørklægnings Ministeriet / The Cover-up Ministry. Arbejdsro! / Peace to work!

It sounds like a joke, but those were some of the reasons stated. Hard to believe they got away with it.

Vi vil have åbent demokrati

Vi vil have et åbent demokrati! / We want an open democracy!

85.000 Danes signed the petition against the law, and the famous response when the signatures were handed to Minister of Justice Morten Bødskov, was: “Det er fino, hej hej” / “alrighty then, bye bye”. The arrogance of the proposal and the man behind it, is staggering. Fortunately, he resigned recently, urged by a case he would have managed to keep secret, if only the law had been in effect. The same square last night:

When I arrived the scene was lit up in a harsh spotlight, robbing the light fest of some of its magic. Towards the end they shut it down, and I asked what had been the purpose. It turns out the Prime Minister was taping her New Year's speech. If anyone plans to watch it, just know that whatever she is trying to sell you, right outside the window people were mourning the weakening of our democracy.

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