The largest party in Denmark proposed to increase the fines for taking part in illegal demonstrations. Normally, I’m not for the way the climate debate progresses, but at least this is a positive outcome. The proposal, dubbed “lømmelpakken” (the lout bill) basically has three parts:
- Hefty increase in the fines, e.g., from DKK 600 to DKK 6000 for participating in a broken up demonstration,
- removal of rebate for multiple violations, and
- removal of rebate for 15-18-year-olds.
All of these points make sense. In the last two-three years youths have rampaged through the streets of larger cities in Denmark, primarily in Denmark. The official excuse is that the left-wing hide has been cleaned up, but most likely only a small fraction of the users of the house actually participated in the violence, but they attracted more, and under hide of demonstrations, they were able to do their vandalism.
Maybe some will not be scared away by the hefty increase in fines, but most likely most of the “peaceful” left-wing activists will go home when DKK 6000 or more is at stake. This makes it easier to spot the actual vandals. Furthermore, a hefty fine (DKK 10000) for participating in a rampage (even without breaking anything), coupled with the no-rebate policies will suddenly allow a fine of DKK 16000 (just over USD 3000) for participating in a rampage, even without breaking anything. Add to that hefty fines for wearing masks, and increased focus on documenting the police’s fights against the vandals, and you can be pretty sure that the ones left are really bad guys.
Of course, one has to make sure that these dire monetary punishments does not deter the police from also arresting the sweet “innocent” 15 year-old, who just threw “a few” cobblestones.
Time person of the year 2006, Nobel Peace Prize winner 2012.
4 thoughts on “Getting One’s Just Deserts…”
Being a pessimist by heart I say good luck proving grounds for those fines in the court. This will not work. The police cannot prove anything from such demonstrations as history shows.. and now you want to challenge 100/200/300(?) people to show up in court with their appointed attorneys? Yea that’ll turn a profit.
As mentioned in the linked article (http://jp.dk/indland/indland_politik/article1816632.ece): “Samtidig skal politiet i højere grad videofilme aktivister under ulovlige demonstrationer for at kunne udskrive bødeforlæg.” (At the same time, the police shall to a greater extent film activists during illegal demonstrations in order to be able to hand out fine notices.)
It is of course not a miracle cure, but the non-violent activists are not very likely to actually want to go to court when they receive a fine along with a photo clearly showing them at a demonstration. The new rules makes it quite easy to just jail everybody wearing masks and then fine them.
Furthermore, it Denmark it is quite common to let the loser pay for the trial, so I doubt we’ll see hundreds of trials. Finally, it is possible to deduct money for the fines from benefits from the state, including from the state education grant, so they will actually get hurt by this.
After the cock-up with the anti-knife wearing law, I slightly worried with this legislation…
“Participating in a broken up demonstration”. Does this for instance include “peace guards” like the ones who helped with making the last international summit in Copenhagen the most peaceful in decades – and who likewise participated in finally quelling the December riots after the clearing of Ungdomshuset? (Obviously, they could easily be identified on their white uniforms.)
And is this new substantial fine mandatory? Or has the politicians learned their lessons (oxymoron?) and are the judges allowed to weigh it towards the individuals situation? This would of course be a way of addressing the above.
There was no problem with the anti-knife law. The law explicitly states that the fine is mandatory UNLESS the bearer has accidentally forgot it in the car, and mentions being held up by work or getting back from a fishing trip as examples.
Edit: I wrote up an entire post about this as I did more research; it’s at http://blog.westergaard.eu/2009/09/kniver-det-med-forstaelsen/ and in danish.