Danish police arrested 23 protesters yesterday following a night of rioting after anti-fascists mobilised against a far-right rally in a predominantly ethnic minority area.
Extremist Rasmus Paludan, known for burning the Koran at demonstrations, staged a protest in the Norrebro district of the capital Copenhagen on Sunday.
Counter-demonstrators advanced towards the rally and Mr Paludan’s roughly 200 supporters retaliated by throwing stones at them.
Mr Paludan was escorted to safety by police, who also fired tear gas. Some officers were seen with their guns drawn.
Copenhagen police said the detainees, mostly young locals, were suspected of burning cars, bikes and rubbish containers.
Danish author and sociologist Rene Karpantschof, who witnessed the clashes, called the rioting “a reaction from some of the most pressured groups in Danish society.”
He also warned that the minister for integration and many Danish MPs were also “creating frustration” through anti-immigrant speech and policies that increase social inequality, including the privatisation of homes resulting in homelessness.
Mr Paludan is currently on conditional bail after recording himself using racial slurs outside the home of Black Lives Matter Denmark chairwoman Bwalya Sorensen last year.