14:43 GMT20 February 2020
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    Despite the fact that last year's influx of asylum-seekers has subsided across Europe, EU member states are facing dramatic integration problems. Unsurprisingly, many locals are unwilling to cooperate. The far-right Danes' Party has recently provoked outrage by handing out cans of what was dubbed "refugee spray."

    The marginal party, which maintains a hardline nationalist stance and would like to kick all non-Western immigrants out of Denmark, put labels on cans of hairspray and handed them out to passers-by in a campaign dubbed "Refugee Spray: Legal and Effective."

    According to Daniel Carlsen, the notorious party's chairman, the spray was a necessary alternative to pepper spray, which is outlawed in Denmark. Earlier this year, a 17-year-old Danish girl was charged for using pepper spray after being sexually attacked by a dark-skinned man. Carlsen also stated that the streets of Haderslev, a town of 20,000 in southern Denmark, were a perfect location for this campaign due to previous reports of local women being harassed by refugees and asylum-seekers.

    "I don't regard it as a provocation. We are confronting a concrete problem in our society, since many Danes feel unsafe. Partly because there are too many migrants in the country and partly because one isn't allowed to defend oneself," Carlsen told TV Syd.

    According to Carlsen's Twitter post, the spray was taken by 137 people, and the party plans a repeat of the action this Thursday. As one would have thought, the handout was polarizing among the Danes, provoking a storm of commentaries online. Whereas some were clearly turned off by the Danes' Party's escapade, others said it matched well with their own feelings and attitudes.

    Zenia Stampe, legal spokesperson for the Social Liberals, was appalled by the distribution of the "refugee spray" in Haderslev and demanded answers from Justice Minister Søren Pind.

    "I want to hear what legislative options we have to stop this spread of vigilantism," Stampe told local Danish newspaper Jydske Vestkysten.

    Additionally, residents of Haderslev launched a counter-campaign against the Danish Party and took to the streets with free hugs, coffee and cakes for refugees. According to their Facebook group called "Refugee Hug," 'hugging actions' are scheduled in major Danish cities such as Copenhagen and Aalborg.

    "We will show the Danes that asylum-seekers are not rabid bears that must be driven off with pepper spray. I do not understand how we in 2016 could have landed in a Denmark, where it is okay to do something so blatantly racist and discriminatory," Liv Clausen, initiator of the campaign "Refugee Hug," told Jydske Vestkysten.

    This is not the first time that the Danes' Party has landed in trouble. Earlier this year, the party launched an advertising campaign featuring white silhouettes of playing children with the slogan "Your children deserve a Danish Denmark."

    ​A few months later, it tried to capitalize on the unanticipated success of the Icelandic football team at Euro 2016, insinuating that France should be barred from European championships and rather play in Africa on account of the number of dark-skinned players.

    The party ran for municipal councils in 2013, but did not manage to win any seats, and is currently collecting signatures in order to get on the ballot for the next national election.

    France vs Iceland
    France vs Iceland
    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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