Søren Højbjerg

Protesting The Ban

The international fight against smoking bans is red hot in the small European country of Denmark. A free choice  coalition of bars and restaurants have organized a national protest against the bans at www.rygervalg.dk. To date 695 bars and restaurants have joined the protest, and 60.000 signatures have been collected in a petition against the ban. Two nationally known performance artists, Kim Larsen, singer and Erik Clausen, actor, have signed the petition.

On April 18, the protesters organized a demonstration outside parliament, in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. The protesters arrived in chartered busses from all over the country. The demonstration rallied 500 citizens from all over the country. A delegation entered Parliament, and delivered the protests and signatures to the parliamentary health commitee. All the while, protesters waved banners, sipped draught beer and smoked cigarettes!

The protest is a remarkable piece of grass roots organizational work, coordinated by bar owners Ms Dorthe Lehmann, Marys Pub and Mr Johnny Beck, Lumskebugten. Mr Beck has some political experience, so the protesters know which buttons to push, to get maximum effort.

Whether the action will yield results remains an open question. Just like everywhere else the antis are armed to the teeth with 'science' and choking in money that buys all the media space required to freely spread propaganda. Considering the one sidedness of the presentation, it is a wonder that anyone has the courage to stand up against the anti smoking hailstorm.

The recipe for action is very simple. Get organized, and get tough. Be prepared to cut the nonsense about passive smoke and endless debates about property rights. The anti's don't care about debate. They regard academic debates as a sign of weakness, just like any common thug. The anti's only understand one universal language, and that is the language of the fist. Even if you abstain from using the fist, the anti's just pretend they are being assaulted. That is what the passive smoke hype is all about.

By the way, the protest is focused entirely on extempting bars of less than 100 square metres from the smoking ban, instead of the proposed 40 square metre exemption.

Source:   National newspapers JyllandsPosten and Berlingske Tidende:

60.000 underskrifter mod rygeforbud (Danish)

Thousands blow smoke a parliament (English) 

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