This article originally appeared on VICE Denmark
Friday the 2nd of September, 2016 was an important day in the 45-year-long history of Copenhagen's hippie enclave, Christiania. This was not the first time that Pusher Street – the cannabis market in the neighbourhood – has been raided and dismantled but it was the first time that the residents of Christiania did the work themselves, instead of police officers in riot gear.
Christiania's residents got sick of the constant tension and police raids in the area, which last Wednesday culminated in a shootout between one suspected dealer and the police. The shooting left a bystander and two police officers injured – one in critical condition – while the gunman later died in hospital. Christiania's residents felt that their beloved semi-autonomous enclave – founded on ideals of peace and tolerance – has been taken over by criminal gangs, and that they couldn't stand for it anymore.
Early Friday morning, Danish photographer Sarah Buthmann went to Christiania and captured the residents during their demolition works. With some help from bulldozers, hammers and their bare hands, they tore down the drug stands one by one, effectively putting the dealers out of business – at least for now.