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I am in Denmark. I am in Denmark to deal with a situation in my personal life but also to work. I´ve done some speeches, had some meetings, I´ve been writing some stuff. But all of that dosn´t matter.
What is happening in Denmark right now is without comparison one of the weirdest things I have ever seen.

First you need to know about the refugee crisis in Europe.
It began with wars in Syria but originally it actually began with climate change The financial crisis, the climate crisis, the refugees crisis, the crisis in civil society… it´s all connected and that´s what makes it so hard for us. I know. But listen.

Thousands and thousands of people had to flee to survive wars and given some stupid laws they were not allowed to take planes nor travel in other ways than by boat and via human trafficking gangsters to their destinations where they had friends, family or contacts waiting for them. This is a VERY complex situation but the fact of the matter is that suddenly we, here in Europe, had war torn children, women, men walking barefoot on our highways.

I really hope you will watch this short movie (15 minutes) if not for anything else then for the expressions on the faces of the Europeans. Bewilderment. Memories of history. Pure empathy.
A gasp through the nations “has it really come to this?” because we KNEW but we really DIDN`T know… the scope of it.

For the first time we see real actual faces with our real actual eyes. In reality. In the real reality.

Here are the full 15 minutes of the film.

I was travelling to Denmark when the refugees came to the southern Danish border.
Crossing the border from Sweden to Denmark was a fundamentally new experience because it made me realize what the border really IS. We never think about. Scandinavians travel freely between Scandinavian borders, the borders have been some sort of reminisces from the past, sculptures, traces in the landscape, “We have no borders”. But we do.
And I felt afraid. For the first time I felt afraid as I crossed the border.

IMG_1293

And the highways were flooded with real actual human beings escaping real actual war.
Not emigrants. Not freeloaders, no freeloader would go through that…. real actual human beings, children, crying.

Denmark was unprepared. This really came as a shock to everyone. Nobody knew what to do.

In the beginning the Danish police did what the politicians wanted them to. Locking people up in trains (oh, the memories of history, the memories of history!), trying to capture the refugees and by force moving them to camps. The matter of the fact is that almost none of the refugees wanted to stay in Denmark because we have absurdly hostile laws and practises towards immigrants, refugees, people of different skin color, “outsiders”. The government in Denmark has gone more and more nationalistic so obviously they refugees didn´t want to stay… they were walking towards Sweden, trying to get to Sweden.

Walking.
Walking on the highways.
Right there.

Then what happened is historic and without parallel to anything I have ever seen. I was a rise in civil society, it was civil disobedience, it was the PEOPLE solving the problem when the politicians couldn´t.

We began driving towards the refugees, we began to offer them rides. We would take them to Sweden.
So many danes from all levels of society, no matter political stance, no matter the hatred and fear mongering in our society… the danes drove towards the refugees and they helped them, offering them rides, giving them water, food, clothes, medicine.
Everyone was threatened with 2-3 years of prison for doing this. “Human trafficking” it was called and everyone was so afraid… but they did it anyway. They kept on doing it.
In the end the police, faced with the brutality of the law, faced with the human tragedy… stopped doing what they were told to do. They let the refugees go.

They let the refugees go!

“We are here to ensure safety of the people” they said.
This picture went viral. A police officer playing with one of the refugee children.

politfinal

The danes continued their work. Driving the refugees to Sweden, offering them food, help. An entire movement of resistance was established within days, the entire political scene changed and now more than half of the danes are AGAINST the very politics they voted for. And the politicians? Not really there.
As all of this played out the prime minister was spotting drinking wine with friends at some party. Uproar! Protest!
“Where are our leaders” cried the people but the leaders weren´t there so they did what had to be done themselves.

This of course is only part of the story.
Some danes stood on bridges and spat on the refugees. Social media have been boiling with heated debated for the latest days, celebrities arguing wildly, everyone in some sort of frenzy because what happened is actually simple: We awoke from our slumber. We saw the state of the world. We acted.

It´s been hard for me to speak english for the last couple of days. Strange really but the words are gone. my mother tongue is strong right now, I suppose, I suppose that´s whats happening.

I´ll be in Denmark for another day and then I´ll travel home to my cabin in the wild.
I want to say this: I have been researching and making appointments regarding my travel to the climate conference in Paris, I have done interviews and I have prepared to cover the event, to witness it the best that I can (you can support my alternative reporting from the conference via patreon)
I don´t have much faith in the politicians though. I don´t think climate change will be handled properly from that side. However I have hope in the people.
I havn´t had that, not for the longest while, but I have now and I wanted to tell you.

I think I have hope.

Hugs,

Andrea

16 comments on “The strangest thing I ever did see…

  1. Olive says:

    Amazing! in Lebanon we have an estimated 2-3 million Syrian refugees (in addition to the Palestinian and Iraqi ones!), in a country that is poor and lacks infrastructure, AND only 10,450 km squared. The Syrians were occupiers here, just a few years ago, and they were brutal! Lots of mixed feelings but still, we accept and help them (they get more federal aid than Lebanese citizens at any rate).
    My point is that surely Europe can do better than Lebanon.

    Secondly, just FYI, these wars are more of an agenda being accomplished than traditional wars. It is easy to see that playing out, who placed the terrorists in the country, who objects to any real eradication of these murderers….and why are the refugees suddenly fleeing? There are no new developments to cause that. I think it has more to do with a strategy to get people out to make their regime change easier, it is (as always) a power play. Unfortunately, it really seems European nations are being set up to have chaos and stress placed on their relatively stable systems, all the while Palestinians have been dying every day and the aggression is always increased when the cameras are on another urgent story.

    I am, however, extremely pleased to see or read about other white westerners re discovering their humanity, when all bets seem to indicate they should have been harsh and hateful. I cannot begin to describe the pride I feel when we work together, without silly artificial bias, for humanity, the planet, to heal.
    Thank you for this insight into what is going on in your border…..and don’t be afraid to stand up for what is right’ and good and pure in the world.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. BeeHappee says:

      I am with you on this one, Olive. Very interesting to hear about the crisis from your perspective in Lebanon. One huge game, but maybe at some point it will backfire at the players, although after so many centuries of the same, I am not able to hold out much hope.
      I’ve glanced through Lithuanian press. It is quite ironic, people are screaming to the government (which has a quota mandated by the EU to let in a certain number of refugees): why are you letting the refugees in from god knows where who have no connection to the land and culture, when half of your citizens fled the country and even the ones who want to come back face huge hurdles to resettle (e.g. they stripped away my Lithuanian citizenship). I suppose it is human nature, everyone fled for better life, but when another refugee wants to come in take your place, suddenly that place becomes very valuable.

      The other popularized story was an interview with a Lithuanian man who works in a refugee camp in Germany, and he insisted that Lithuanian government hand pick refugees of certain nations and religions to fill the quota, because they will be ‘more useful to the country’ as he put it, versus other refugees. His claims were that many of refugees in the camp are not Syrians, but for example Afghanistanistanis, who throw out their passport upon arrival, lie about their age, etc. etc. and take advantage of the situation. I have such hard time with blaming anyone with ‘taking advantage of the situation’.

      My heart is breaking for the regular folks both in the Middle East and in Europe who go through this situation, which is so completely unnecessary. I am glad Danes are finding some solidarity for their own sake (what about Swedes, Andrea?).

      Someone recently said to me in the USA: “imagine how this neighborhood would look like if Donald evacuates 30 million illegals. The sh***t houses will be leveled to the ground, we will build new beautiful neighborhoods”. Good Lord, ‘who’ would build those houses? I was trying to picture in my head the chaos that it would be and what would be people do, the civil war images and the cattle car images would pale in comparison.
      Sorry, Saturday rant…

      Like

  2. Melissa R says:

    Andrea, I loved it but that video was only a minute long. You said it was 15 minutes… if there is a 15 minute version I’d love to see it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mac Callaway says:

    The Danish people are at heart a compassionate people. However, the need to replace the welare system with more market-oriented economy has created ugly fissures in the old social fabric, not in the least because it has proved impossible for politicians to articulate their policies in any other way than through the idioms of social democracy, Danish nationalism and exceptionalism.

    Like

  4. Tina says:

    It was so beautiful! Civil society rising in just one day. There was absolutely NO political leadership. No churches, not one priest opened his or her church for the tired refugees. The royal family was silent, the prime minister was missing, the minister of justice was abroad etc. Only the Danish police showed great civil courage. The whole thing was organised through social media, mobile payment, people opening their homes, organising transport. And a lot of trust. I have never experienced anything like that in my life (I’m in my fifties). I am finally a proud Dane.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And as you can see there is a rupture occurring in western societies. The common man on one side and the political/economical establishment on the other. However this rupture extends down to the common man supporting the establishment vs. the one that doesn’t. We might be seeing something here…. the possible birth of something very nasty.
    However this event has once again shown what power people really have, what the real agenda is from the establishment and how the latter prefer to turn a blind eye…. for now. Once their position really becomes jeopardised they will start resorting to much more drastic measures and they will play their minions without remorse. The US did not create the NDAA act for nothing and I would not be surprised to see something similar happening around here too.
    And of course the whole refugee-issue being broadcast doesn’t show the truth. Only a fraction of it.

    Check the website stormcloudsgathering.com
    They make very understandable videos dealing with these issues and provide and combine a lot of additional info.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear andrea
    I can only echo Olive’s words.
    All best,
    ~ Abigail

    Like

    1. Dear andrea
      Go to voltaire.net for other, unsettling perspectives on The Refugee Crisis.
      As olive remarks, when we are manipulated to give our attention to the latest crisis, something is happening elsewhere that is less noticed.
      All best,
      ~ Abigail

      Like

      1. Dear Abigail,
        I just got your letter. Thank you so much! I gave me hope, it gave me a sense of purpose, a letter from far, far away yet I feel connected somehow. Thank you!
        hugs,
        Andrea

        Like

  7. Wow. This would be an amazing thing to see. I am so glad you got to witness this Andrea. Yes, there is hope. Everyone we can do this!

    Like

  8. It´s really incredible whats happening right now. A population that has been haunted by apathy for years… today more than 40.000 people (that´s a lot in a small country) gathered in front of the parliment and look: These are the closed (!) doors into our parlament but lots of kids crawled on the walls and posted stickers everywhere saying “if your politics are good you dont need racism to sell them”

    And here, while the kind, the primeminister every single damn leader of the nation hide or turns their back to this 40.000 people just in copenhagen (much in a lot of other big cities and also throughout Europe as such).. the people just stood there manifesting that is, still, the people who gets to decide (well, nah, ok, but then again MAYBE and for a short while I will allow myself this hope!)

    Like

    1. Wonderful. Simply wonderful.

      Like

  9. Tricia says:

    Well there’s the answer. Big business, government, ‘those in charge of things’…..they’ll never save us, but we can save ourselves. We are stronger than we are led to believe. And yes, when people actually ‘wake up’ from their zombie like slumber, they’ll realize this and they’ll adapt, and they’ll do what they have to do because that’s what their inside tells them to do. And in those moments they’ll ‘remember’, they’ll remember what that is like. And all the rules, laws, beliefs and bullshit will disappear into oblivion and they’ll remember who they really are and they won’t want to go back to the old ways. At least that’s my hope:} Wooohoooo Andrea!

    Like

  10. Dear Andrea and every one above who commented and every one who reads this I AM DANISH… I NOW LIVE IN DENMARK after 45 years running around helping people in 35 countries… been home for 3 years in my lovely country but shocked over our attitude… foreign politics … bla bla bla but now the sun broke through the clouds, we woke up … we see and we are doing what is the only normal thing a human being wants to do… we are helping, the people we call refugees… people like you and me… people with kids and grandkids, real kids … no more little boys washing up on the beach with a message… ”don’t do this to my sisters and brothers, don’t do this to my dad and mum” … and yes the Danish police …. they are very special too… like that young police man in the picture… or someone who gave his police jacket to a boy sleeping to keep him warm… Frau Merkel is not my cup of tea… was… all that is forgiven because she put her foot down and said ”NO…. WE GOT TO HELP THESE HUMAN BEING THE REFUGEES”… SHE SET A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR ALL OF US… GOD BLESS HER… well Andrea and everyone else and Dmitri for sending this out maybe we have reached a point of no return… a good point… where human beings and helping human beings is more important than anything else…. lets keep helping, keep being friendly … and help the politicians change their policies and help them stop the silly stupid wars…. if you want to follow this wonderful battle check in on my facebook… https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009961865162 I started it 1 month ago… and that one helped me discover how many wonderful people there are in the world… right now how many wonderful people we have in Denmark… too…. and yes like Andrea.. gives me hope – I think we are the majority … maybe 80%.. I think we can win !!!!

    Like

  11. Jeff says:

    An incredibly uplifting account of what happens when people think with their hearts and find the compassion society tries to rob them of.

    A very proud moment in Danish history for sure!

    Like

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