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Stockholmers to protest 'license to dance' laws

Published: 21 Sep 2012 17:07 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 Sep 2012 17:07 GMT+02:00

Dancing enthusiasts are holding a demonstration in central Stockholm on Saturday to protest against a rule in Sweden that forbids bar patrons from breaking into dance at establishments that don't have a specific dance license.

The law being protested states that certain bars without the license can be fined by authorities if police were to catch anyone engaged in the act of dancing.

The protest is intended to be a carnival type procession through the streets of central Stockholm.

"We have permission to protest but not to dance. But we're well aware of that. If the police should stop us then people would understand how strange the law is," said organizer Sonia Javer to the Östermalmsnytt newspaper.

The protest has been organized by Dans, Trams & Acceptans, and is scheduled to take place from midday onwards, beginning at the Humlegården park.

"During the summer we have enjoyed the warmth and welcomed the mornings to the sounds of dance music without commercial interest,” the group writes on their official website.

“The winter awaits and the freedom we enjoy summer turns into a battle against the authorities which require us to seek permission to dance together.”

The group envisions a dance-filled parade through the streets of Stockholm, with the hope of “showing how free dancing can be, but also that we as participants should control the emergence of clubs and their dance floors, not the bureaucracy.”

It is up to the police to ensure that the law is abided, and one police officer, Robert Lindgren, is concerned that changing the law could be detrimental to the safety of bar goers.

“The purpose of having a permit for a dance floor is first and foremost a point of safety,” he told Sveriges Radio (SR).

“It’s known that dance floors lead to more fights, mess, and situations that need police intervention when compared to a normal restaurant environment.”

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Your comments about this article

18:03 September 21, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
And if I go to a place that has a dance permit, and I am caught not dancing by a passing police officer, will I instantly be fined?

Except in harrowing accounts of nations in wartime, and more specifically tales from the dark days on the side that appeared to be losing the war, I have never heard of regulations against dancing.

What imbecile city of Stockholm politician do we have to blame for this law?
21:29 September 21, 2012 by sunnchilde
There will be NO unauthorized fun by anyone! You want to have a drink AND have fun as well? You have to pay extra for that!
21:36 September 21, 2012 by kenny8076
its so funny here whenever they try to rationalize something enjoyable to the community they label it do to safety...... LOL they pride themselves on being a super friendly, safe, low crime society, yet according to the officer a dance floor causes more fights LOL.......... at hockey games you have to sit 3 meters from the glass and cant drink beer in the seats...... why? because it leads to fights...... Sweden is a closet country and they are trying so desperately hard to keep it from getting out to the rest of the world..... little do they know..... NO ONE CARES!!!!!
22:26 September 21, 2012 by Vermaldeehide
I'll just leave this here: http://youtu.be/LIpb6fZThGU
11:38 September 22, 2012 by alecLoTh
Governance should have no interest in stuff like this
15:34 September 22, 2012 by EmployedProfessional
Anyone ever been to a schlager fest?

S*&t goes flying everywhere,glasses are smashing,drinks are raining from the sky.You never know where the next elbow is coming from and which eye it will knock out!

It makes an African war dance look like delicate ballet.

It's f--ing barbaric!

Yeah,the law is worthless beyond providing another chunk of the tax base.
19:25 September 22, 2012 by Gjeebes
Yes, Sweden truly is a liberal place. Could I recommend safety helmets for all dancers as well, because, you never know what might happen, dancing is dangerous, hey Sweden? And said dancers should definitely have to wear these stylish bright green saftey vests, sometimes those bars are dark and visibilty might not be at 150%.
01:39 September 23, 2012 by Eric1
Ain't freedom great. You can't dance unless you pay a tax. Greed. What's next, a tax on the number of breaths you take.

Modern socialism puts a shame to the taxes of Kings of the past.
10:52 September 23, 2012 by anonymous4
When you're really sloshed, you don't know if you're dancing or not!
08:46 September 24, 2012 by smilingjack
reminds me of seeing the eurythmics at the sydney entertainment centre. the dance floor ( flat section in front of the stage ) was filled with seats. I had an aisle seat and broke into spontaneous dance in the aisle - how could you not? within seconds a big burly bouncer was on me threatening to eject me if I didnt stop. wasnt allowed to dance in front of my seat either. I didnt and was thrown out for dancing ( as the ticket clearly stated ) on the dance floor. this was a mid afternoon show.

and they have the nerve to criticise the taliban. the hypocrisy of the west is dumbfounding. protest long and hard folks its just the start of freedom being ripped away from you slowly but surely.
15:06 September 24, 2012 by soultraveler3
@ Smiling

The Taliban was the first thing that popped into my head after reading this as well.

What a sad, sick law.
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