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'The Lions of Denmark'
The 'Resistance Movement' Against Danish Right-Wing Radicalism

Featured by 'The Lions of Denmark': Ogier the Dane, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Lucky Per, The Little Match-Girl, Hamlet, Ditte - Child of Man, The Scyldingas, Pelle the Conqueror and Dana

We have been asleep for a long time, and we have been silent for a long time. But we have seen and heard it all. We are a mixed gathering with a diversity of different thoughts and ideas, but there are observations we cannot be quiet about any more, and which we all have chosen to react against:

Our country is in distress! We have seen how Danish citizens who have come here from all over the world, have been humiliated by the Danish People's Party as " cuckoos in the nest", "swines" and "parasites". And we have seen their religion being stamped as "the plague", "omnivorous hatred", and "evil". We have seen Pia Kjærsgaard [The leader of Danish People's Party] force the penance and prostration of the Danish Radio Broadcast because a person interviewed "misquoted" her for saying that "the foreigners breed like rats" - when in fact she only said " the foreigners breed like rabbits." But we never understood how it could be more or less foul to reduce fellow human beings to one or the other kind of rodent.

We have seen locked up asylum seekers break down and commit suicide, and now we have seen the police forcing refugees out of a church asylum in the middle of the night, because the DPP demands Iraqi men, women and children forcibly deported to a country where they will be in imminent danger.

We are severely shocked by seeing what is going on in the state of Denmark, and our response to the contempt for life and lack of compassion shown by the DPP is a spontaneous: "No- not again- not in our country!" We wonder how and why this un-Danish contempt has achieved such recognition? Did our brave fellow countrymen and -women not learn anything from history? What became of expressing oneself by "meekness in mouth as a human shall", such as already old Beowolf told the powerful?

We stand gaping, while our country is being kidnapped by a party that reminds us of Hans Christian Andersen's "There grows malice!" and which is best characterized by another of our friends, an old Danish poet Jens Baggesen: "This negative patriotism! The traitor wearing a Cato mask. The patriot loves his country, respects his nation, works for his people, while this grotesque caricature hates, scorns and persecutes the foreign!"

Pia Kjærsgaard and her fellow members of the party have taunted Islam as "Nazism", called immigrants "occupants" and the scarf of Muslim women "the swastika." But when anyone points out the similarities between the anti-Muslim propaganda of the Danish People's Party and the anti-Semitism in the thirties in Germany, he is met with indignation. You must not break the Big Taboo: Only the DPP is allowed to play the "Nazi-card", and they don't on any account fail to throw it into the face of immigrants.

A journalist who happened to call the party "national socialists" must immediately be fired, according to Søren Espersen [a prominent member of the DPP]. According to Pia Kjærsgaard the Ministry of Justice must investigate the former head of the National Intelligence, Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen, who has dared to criticize the policy of the party on the terrorism issue. The pattern is getting more and more distinct: the State, the media, the scientists, the lawyers, and the artists are to obey the DPP. Maintain discipline, just like the party members obey their leader.

And quite recently Pia Kjærsgaard has stated that Klaus Rifbjerg a.o. [a prominent Danish writer and intellectual] makes her sick. We are tired of seeing our country smeared with the vomit of Pia Kjærsgaard, which is daily oozing down the columns of the Danish papers, and which gets the prime time attention in TV2 News and other news media.

We are tired of seeing Pia Kjærsgaard marching through the media world as a despotic monarch who threatens the Chief Commander of the Home Guard to obedience, the ministers to subservience and the critics to silence.

We are tired of her Black School and its arbiters of taste, who throw mud at experts whose expertise she is too arrogant to respect, and who despise art that does not live down to a populist media stunt. We are tired of her conformity and cynicism that demonize a minority with the "wrong" faith or origin or sexuality.

But first of all we are tired of the many politicians, the yes-men who give her all this power instead of drawing a line in the sand and stating that enough is more than enough. And we are sick and tired of all those who bow and scrape, as soon as Pia Kjærsgaard shows her insulted face after the slightest critical outburst.

We have had enough of holders of microphones who do not dare to pose any critical questions, but just serve up the party members' contempt for fellow citizens in distress - just as innocently as the daily weather report. We have had enough of the cowardice of the commentators and the fear of contact of the media bosses, who have made a taboo subject of the simple fact that the DPP is the greatest threat against Denmark and the Danish social cohesion.

*

The leadership of the Danish People's Party is functioning like a Communist politburo in the most authoritarian and centralistic party of post-war time, and is also for that reason the most un-Danish factor of power for more than half a century that our Parliament in Christiansborg has given seats to.

The exclusive Danish-ness of this party is the enemy of all other kinds of Danish-ness: the closing down of one library after another has amputated the free access to the literary heritage of Denmark, and rarely have we seen such a careless attitude to nature and its values - maybe the most Danish value that we possess - since the DPP in 2001 occupied the corridors of power.

Even the Resistance Movement during World War II is abused and exploited in the service of propaganda and absolute power. But a resistance movement cannot possibly be part of the rulers in power, just as a resistance army always has to be a David in opposition to a Goliath.

The Goliath of the moment is the DPP, which has never been and will never be the voice of the Danes or Denmark. More than half of the population think that the collaboration with that party damages the reputation of Denmark (Gallup 2006), and only 20 percent wish to see the party in government (Catinet 2009).

A verse in the full version of our national anthem reminds us that "the Danish spirit" is one "that hates the chains of prejudice" and "abstains from scorn", as it says about our wonderful country - but is that the spirit of the DPP?

No, the DPP is the occupying power, and we are the resistance movement. Anyone who actively protests against Kjærsgaard's fake industry of Danish-ness and nationalistic correctness, is part of the resistance movement. Anyone who turns down the fear of contact and who refuses the listless minimizing of the scourge of the DPP, is part of the resistance movement.

We will fight the DPP with the sharpest words possible, not by observing "cuckoos in the nest" or "rats" among our fellow human beings, whether we like them or not. Nor do we see any "rabbits" or "jackals" in the coat of arms of Denmark - but on the contrary lions and hearts. So what may be more Danish than being lions with hearts, and what is more un-Danish than accusing others of being vermin and the plague? But we do believe that even those who create scapegoats out of ethnic minorities, are deep inside more independent and more sociable than their herd mentality makes them - also in the DPP. In private no one is approximately as anxious and biased or as threatening and contemptuous, as when the robot-like discipline takes over in a top-down party, or when you are only guided by the ass that is marching right in front of you.

We wish that the warning from our good friend, B.S. Ingemann [a Danish poet and writer], were also understood today (where the Zeitgeist has unfortunately returned, the persecution only being aimed at another group): "It has annoyed me that the people of Copenhagen have aped the German mob regarding the persecution of Jews".

We confirm the remembrance of Aladdin: "the power of the North" also benefits from "the fire of the East" , just as the flower "needs the sun" in order to "breed the generation, warm it" , as an old friend, Oehlenschläger [a Danish poet and writer], wrote in the prologue of one of the treasures in our national heritage.

Denmark needs once again more humane sunshine, which melts away all the chilling and un-Danish contempt for foreigners. Or as our good friend, Georg Brandes [a Danish critic and scholar], warned us "A specifically Danish and pent-up culture is an old virgin who cannot bear children , unfertile because unfertilised. Thus let us never shut out the seeds!"

Denmark is (and has always been) a garden where thoughts and human beings from abroad have given their share of nourishment. Denmark is Dana's garden, not the hermetically closed garden where the DPP wants to keep us.

We love Dana's garden, but we hate the chains of prejudice, and we are resistant to a demonizing disdain of minorities. Therefore we may often haul those in power over the coals. That is what makes a resistance movement to a resistance movement. It is part of our Danish heritage, and that's what makes us the Danes we are. Aiming at those in power instead of aiming at the powerless. Lions roaring towards the top and not towards the bottom.

*

We have no respect for plain thugs or brutal gangs who must strengthen their fragile manhood and assumed self-respect by the size of their weapons or the brutality of their behaviour, and we do not care a damn whether they have one colour or the other. But the most harmful gangster types in Denmark are in fact not the hardboiled criminals or the tough thugs that exist in all societies. As our good friend Hans Christian Andersen reminds us: "May it be the greatest criminal, he is still a human being as I; also he was innocent once. Who knows how many hard struggles he has fought, before he took the first step into his miserable life. Little by little he went deeper."

No, the worst gangster types are really the politicians who may, unscrupulously and with the power apparatus of State behind them, crush human destinies - or consciously standardize and divide the Danish society. We cannot watch passively while Denmark is coming close to the contempt for minorities that dominates in many totalitarian states of the world.

We have nothing in common with rulers or terrorists that wheels and deals with the lives of human beings, whether it is done under one or the other religious or ideological banner, and no matter where in the world it takes place. But we do not live in China, Iran or North Korea; we live in the West and we have more modest ambitions than saving Iran, China and North Korea.

We live in a privileged part of the world, where a fertile climate and fertile landscapes have given us advantages that oblige to extra generosity towards the less privileged. We are on top- and therefore we ought to be the last to kick out - abroad as well as at home. We have human surplus to fight for others than ourselves instead of being self-sufficient.

We are not blind to the western world having exploited the rest of the world - or blind to the actual examples of western double standards and dominance. Nevertheless, both civil rights and human rights have far better conditions in the West than in great parts of the rest of the world, thanks to a cultural heritage that is based on the necessity of equal rights, the striving towards an outspoken open-mindedness, and a wide range of criticism of those in power.

That is the western heritage we want to keep, remember and protect, and therefore we will never close Denmark to the world outside. That is the heritage that we want to rebuild and develop - and that is the heritage that the DPP is undermining.

*

But are we not at all concerned about what is nowadays called "integration"- or rather "failed integration"? Yes. Nevertheless we are much more worried about the power policy of fear and the radicalization which it stimulates. That does not mean that we underestimate the challenges caused by different cultural backgrounds and social views, or that we deny the existence of some parallel societies which are now out of pedagogical reach, e.g. "Faderhuset" [a Christian evangelical group] and Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the DPP.

But this shouldn't make us give up trying with an outstretched hand. Admittedly, 42 percent of the voters of the DPP find slapping as well as spanking acceptable when raising children, while 41 percent accept moonlighting, and 23 percent want death penalty reintroduced. Those are ominous numbers, far beyond the country average and far beyond the percentage of the Muslims in our country. (Capacent 2009)

Important parts of the DPP are in other words foreign to central values which far more Danes find quite evident. But even if it may still take a long time before the parallel society of this party gets integrated, the idea of locking up this group of voters in traumatizing camps, submitting them to pathetic tests of Danish-ness or deporting them by force, is both inhuman and counterproductive. Denmark is open and diverse enough to hold people of quite different views, even the most maladjusted groups within the DPP.

However, we don't and won't accept that the historical heritage and spirit of our country or the Danish citizens of the present are quoted in support of narrow-mindedness and standardization, every time the DPP presents itself as the mouth piece of "the Danes" or "the Danish-ness". An overwhelming majority have never at all voted for them.

Therefore this manifesto for all of you who have - just like us - had enough of the dominance of the DPP. Therefore this resistance movement across origin and income, colour and belief, ideology and political party. We hope to see you take part in the cultural struggle with even greater emphasis - and you will in any case hear more from us.

Referees: Malene Fenger-Grøndahl, Rune Engelbreth Larsen & Flemming Chr. Nielsen. Translated by Karen Høi and Birgitte Olesen, March 2010 [Comments by the editors in brackets] This article was first published in Danish in Politiken, August 23 2009



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