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Algade 31

On Thursday the 18th of February 1971 fifteen young people calling themselves housing activists occupied Roskilde Convent’s administration building on Algade 31 – Roskilde’s first occupation.

The squatters contended that their actions were due to the prevailing housing shortage and the fact that the building had been empty for several years. They barricaded the doors and windows and hung a rope ladder from an attic window as their main point of entry and exit.


The young people during the occupation.

The young people did not feel they were doing anything unlawful and argued that leaving the building empty should be illegal. Plans had been made to either use the building for chief administrative officials or to tear it down, but the activists demanded that the building either be used to provide accommodation for the many people without housing or another “rational purpose” for the benefit of the people.

The daily called Dagbladet  allowed the activists to make their voices heard and expressed sympathy regarding their housing situation. On the other hand, another newspaper, Roskilde Tidende, could not see any reason for their actions.

The front page of Roskilde Tidende.

Despite expressing an understanding of their housing situation to Dagbladet, Baroness Manon Wedell-Neergaard, the headmistress at the convent, requested that they voluntarily leave the administrator’s residence.

On the morning of 24 February 1971 twenty police officers broke down the front door of the building, arrested 15 activists and seized a dog. After being interrogated, the activists were placed under arrest in the prison’s classroom. The young people subsequently issued a statement saying that they had not lost their courage.

The occupiers with all of their goods and chattels.

Later, the old administration building was converted into an evening school that did “sensible” work for the benefit of the people, just as the activists had wished in 1971.

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