This is completely unacceptable. We encourage everyone to let the Danish government know that this does not fly.
"What is clear is that police targetted the Street Medics, arresting 11 of them before the demonstration, and threatening them that they would be deported if they were found on the streets again."
11 members of the Action Medics group were detained by Copenhagen cops today before even reaching a demonstration.
Medics including two qualified paramedics, two Red Cross cadets and other trained first-aiders from the UK, Norway, Germany and other countries were stopped in a series of incidents in the Christianshavn area. They were searched three or four times each, photographed and held in cages at Valby temporary police station for 6 hours. Arresting units included numbers 702 and 724.
The detention (not full arrest) was under the Danish Police Act, which permits preventative detention of people thought to be 'a danger to public security' or 'likely to cause a public disturbance' (approximate translation). But police told people they had been detained specifically because they were medics, in order to stop them providing first aid at demos.
One group of seven was initially told they would be released after being searched, but the police unit commander then received orders from his superior to detain the group.
Police confiscated protective equipment including goggles, shin pads, gum shields, dust masks and paramedics' helmets. None of these items is illegal to carry in Denmark and some of the medics carrying protective gear had previously been searched and the gear not confiscated. Identical gear was conficated from some detainees but returned to others on release.
Police told the medics they were picked up because of their 'aggressive clothing' including the medics' badge of a fist with a bandaged thumb. The two paramedics were in red overalls.
Police warned the detainees they would be deported if picked up again, but then admitted they had done nothing illegal.
Treatment of the medics in detention was in line with others arrested on the demo - plastic handcuffs done up tight enough to cut off blood supply, shoes taken, requests to contact embassies or lawyers repeatedly denied. The police holding centre reportedly contains around 40-50 metal cages each large enough to hold several dozen people, suggesting the police anticipate larger mass arrests during the course of the conference.