Copenhagen is all aflutter at the mo with the recent spate of shootings. Apparently there’s some sort of turf war going on between the Hells Angels and local immigrant youths. A fair few of the shootings have taken place in my old street – Jægersborggade – which has long been regarded as a biker gang hangout. I don’t think I ever saw any motorbikes there though. It’s actually a really charming street with lots of cool little boutiques and coffeeshops. There were usually a few young shaven-headed pot dealers hanging around but it never felt unsafe. I reckon Denmark is probably the only place in Western Europe with streets plagued by drive-bys one day and farmers’ markets the next.
While the recent incidents appear mostly drug-related, I think they are indicative of Denmark’s social divide. Anyone with non-white skin is seen as an ‘immigrant’, even if they were born here. Copenhageners are mostly liberal, extremely accepting people who have an understanding of the wider world. They realise that integration efforts here are insufficient, and they are aware that more needs to be done. But nothing does seem to get done. I am not on first-name terms with anyone who is not white. And in the almost three years I have lived here, I have become more and more uncomfortable about the ‘them and us’ nature of this society.
Anyone have any thoughts?