Norway: Over 250 protestors arrested
Posted by African Press International on April 28, 2007
Hundreds were arrested in downtown Oslo on Thursday evening.
Several hundred protestors broke through police barriers in downtown Oslo on Thursday evening to demonstrate against NATO’s warfare in Afghanistan.
800 demonstrators moved towards Oslo’s City Hall.
PHOTO: PER ANNAR HOLM
Police decided to use tear gas on demonstrators.
PHOTO: PER ANNAR HOLM
Police field leader Thor Langli said that 260 demonstrators were being held after these broke off from a legal demonstration and tried to breach the barriers.
“They are young, but not so young that they cannot take responsibility for their actions,” Langli said.
Some of the protestors were to be taken to Oslo’s central police station in Grønland, where they could face further custody or fines.
A policeman was injured in the clashes between law enforcement and protestors, but after being taken to an emergency ward his injury was reported not to be serious.
Just before 8 p.m. on Thursday evening protestors tore down police barriers in Oslo’s City Hall square and began throwing stones and eggs after police fired tear gas. A photographer for newspaper Dagbladet was mistakenly arrested during the uproar.
“I was on the way out through the police opening when I was arrested. They twisted my arm and were unnecessarily heavy-handed,” photographer Hans Vedlog told Aftenposten.no.
Vedlog said he was given no opportunity to show his press card and was bound and placed on the street alongside the protestors. He was released after some of his colleagues pointed out the mistake to police.
A peaceful protest demonstration began on Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m., with about 800 people and several organizations taking part cooperatively. About 200 of these are believed to be from the radical youth organization Blitz.
After about 15 minutes the demonstrators began to march towards the City Hall, where a gala dinner in connection with the NATO meeting of foreign ministers was to be held later in the evening. The protestors carried banners with slogans like “Stop NATO”, “Norwegian weapons kill children” and “Norway out of Afghanistan”.
More demonstrators joined the march as it approached City Hall, and then the trouble started.
There had been warnings of illegal action on Thursday night and Oslo police were armed with machine guns and had formed a ring around City Hall. Police also boosted security around the US and Israeli embassies.
By Roald Ramsdal, Kjetil Sæter, Heidi Ertzeid, Per Annar Holm and Jonathan Tisdall
Lifted and published by African Press in Norway, apn, source.AftenpostenEng