News Translation: No one’s Listening Anymore

From Politiken: Thorning booed off on the first of May

By Søren Astrup

Anger about the Social Democrats’ leader was clear during State Minister Helle Thornin-Schmidt’s 1st May speech in Aarhus.

She was met with protest whistles and boos from the audience at the event in Tangkrogen.

It was only a couple of minute’s speech where she tried to get the audience to listen before she left the podium. At the same time, a large number of the audience turned their backs on her.

The protest against the State Minister is based on the government’s criticised reforms and intervention against the teachers.

“Everyone is entitled to think what they want about me but it’s a bit of a shame. It’s a strange paradox when the first of May is about dialogue and listening to each other,” was how Helle Thorning-Schmidt reacted.

“I don’t think we tells each other anything when we try to drown each other out. There were some Social Democratic Youth down there who would have liked to have heard the speech,” she said after the speech.

Also, in Fælled Park in Copenhagen, a leading Social Democrat had to fight to drown out protesters. That was the city’s mayor Frank Jensen who was met with jeering protesters who also used his speech to show their dissatisfaction with the government’s cuts and intervention. He stood across from a banner with the text “Helle is Blue” (Translator’s note: Helle is supposed to be left-wing and therefore “red”.)

While fingers were pointed towards the stage, the Social Democratic premier in the capital gave up trying to make himself heard.

“GO HOME!” was the cry to the mayor while the organisers tried to get the audience to get the large audience to adjust their angry outbursts.

This was not successful, even though the mayor was going to talk about the town’s schools, school meals and better help for the poor.

The answer from the crowd in Fælled Park was the fighting cry “GO HOME” which was shouted over and over through a megaphone.

Frank Jensen also had to duck an item that was chucked up on stage by a First of May participant, just as the speech was carried out in the smoke from fireworks or similar.

“May I wish you a good First of May in Fælled Park in Copenhagen,” was how he signed off his speech, which he carried out despite massive protest from the lawn in front of the stage.

The person after him at the podium in the capital was SF’s leader Anette Wilhelmsen. She also had to raise her voice to try to drown out the protesters.

“I stand by the compromises, even if not all of them have grassroots support,” she explained in competition with the megaphone shouts.

Finance Minister Bjarne Corydon (S) talked to a wall of backs when he spoke in Vojens, where teachers protested against the government’s intervention in the union conflict that started when they were locked out by the association of municipalities.