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Homeless Anton: the Police, the roma law backfires

On a bench in the City in the heart of Copenhagen makes Anton ready for dinner. He has set vandrerygsækken from himself and pulling paraphernalia from three worn muleposer. A trangia, grill lighter fluids, the lighter and a small saucepan. Water to boil the last of the content of a bag of pasta. And curry, soy and tabasco are just as neatly lined up on the bench, while he fishes brussels sprouts and brie up from the right coat pocket.

- It is here, it's some of the coolest. I sit here and eat a king's meal and has a great view, and when people come over, do you think that I'm a little bit cozy, " says Anton, while he juggles three cell phones to find the, where jazz-music is stored. The, as always, entertains him and keeps tankemylderet in check - while he makes food.

- I can damn sure do not find the jazz, I would like to play. I like to listen to jazz while I cook. Photo: Henning Hjorth.


Anton is 36 years old and have in the past four-five months has been one among the 6000 homeless people, you estimate there are in Denmark.

- I think it would be healthy for many to try it here. It gives hair on your chest, and you experience things, you must set its limits, but you also meet good people.

- I can well understand that it can be utrygt for people, when they see us, as sleeping on the street. Especially if we are in the big camps. The problem is that the legislation has been counter-productive, believe Anton. Photo: Henning Hjorth.


In 2017, a new law adopted, which should allow the cabbage to the increasing number of roma camps, which filled the along the streets and in the parks - especially in Copenhagen - on the night, and which was referred to as 'utryghedsskabende'.

But as Anton and several other homeless people, as the Extra Magazine issued meetings of this winter's coldest night at the end of January, says, the politicians ' roma law been counter-productive.

Utryghedsskabende camps: The law says

1. april 2017 got the police extended powers to crack down on hjemløselejre in the public space.

Ordensbekendtgørelsen was changed, so that homeless people in the camps could be punishable with a fine.

Since it has become possible for the police to issue a zoneforbud of 400 or 800 meters, along with a fine.

1. July 2018 was zoneforbuddet amended so that homeless people can now be expelled for an entire municipality where he or she has slept in the camp.

In the summer of 2018 was 389 persons, according to the Copenhagen Police charged after the provision - well over 300 of them were romanians, six were danes.

In the autumn of the year 2018, there fell judgment in a case which ruled that a camp can consist of a single person.

Source: legal information.dk

- Many homeless people are moved out from the herbergerne, because the roma now have consumed them. It is also the reason why I I keep myself away from there. So in fact is such fear brought off the street and into herbergerne.

- I lists better around myself and see if I can find places to sleep where people can't see me, says Anton, who has three psychiatric diagnoses.

Seven crowns does it cost to Anton to make a meal. - I live of welfare and to collect bottles. Photo: Henning Hjorth.


- So it is not at all utrygt to be alone?

- it can be. But now it is been more safe than sleeping on the herbergerne.

Homeless Home Sale

Many homeless people like to sleep together on the streets to protect themselves. But in Denmark, it is illegal to ’form the camps’ on the street, and, therefore, can the homeless be arrested and have fines they cannot pay.

at the same time, young people queuing for days to buy the latest shoes without the same consequence. It seems Extra Leaf, is discrimination. Therefore, we have started the initiative Homeless Home Sale.

On the way can the homeless 'put in queue' and get a queue number, which can be shown to the police, if required. Visit the website at Homelesshomesale.dk.

Pasta, brussels sprouts, soy sauce, red curry paste, chilisovs and Tabasco are boiled together. Cooking water let Anton be in the pan, and then add he is a lump of brieost. - Then you have a world-class meal, he says. Photo: Henning Hjorth.


Anton eats his food with a small sølvteske. The meal cost him about seven dollars to make, he tells. He packages almost with meticulous precision all together again, it comes in separate plastic bags and ties the knot so that it does not run out of the bags and can hold up to in the morning and evening. He swings vandrerygsækken on, hanker up in the bags and goes on the hunt for a good place to sleep in peace and quiet.

He has already picked out the spot. The requirement is that it should be as hidden from the people as possible. In the night it becomes in the corner of another park in Copenhagen a few hundred meters away, under a conifer and well hidden behind a pile of stones.

the 36-year-old Anton grew up in Christiania and has had a very 'chaotic childhood'. - My whole life is lived on the edge. In many ways my life is just a mess. Photo: Henning Hjorth.


Anton is trying to adhere to some 'sensible' sengetider and creeps in his bivouac and sleeping bag every night at twelve-a-time. It is necessary, for he must be up before it gets too bright, and there are too many people on the street.

- I think neither that I am utryghedsskabende or make a camp, when I turn my bivouac up. But it falls under the legislation as 'camp' - even if I lie here alone - so in principle I can be woken up by the police and get a fine of 1000 dkk to lie here under a tree and sleep.

- In the morning I was awakened by a small dog. It was completely terrified, when I opened the sleeping bag and looked out. I have also tried that people face and I glance at me, when I wake up. But I'm not doing any harm. I provoke people never, even if they stop and glor, says Anton. Photo: Henning Hjorth.


- How is your relationship to the police?

- I have not had any problems yet. However, it is stressful, I can be described as criminal alone, by the way, I put myself to sleep.

- I have many thoughts in my head which disturb me on the day. But when I lie down in bivouac, and save me, so I with my notebook or my phone. I like that, and so I have peace in the soul. Photo: Henning Hjorth.


in the morning, when Anton wakes up, packs his camp together and trasker at an inn, where he can get served a serving of oatmeal.

And so I put myself in a café with my laptop. I buy maybe a little water or a little cheese, and I get charged my phones and computer up. How goes my day, until I again need to find a place for the night where I hopefully can be in security.

Anton is not the man's real name. His identity is the editorial board aware.

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