Wednesday began unlike other mornings in Denmark. Rain, thunder and lighting greeted Copenhagen skies, disrupting one of the warmest, sunniest Danish summers on record. The weather was fitting for the day that women, girls and allies took to the streets of Nørrebro to protest a recently passed law that bans Muslim women the right to wear burqas and niqabs. Members and leaders of the demonstration’s organizers, Kvinder i Dialog (Women in Dialogue) and allies rallying with support behind one message to the Danish government: We all stand against this ban.
Few niqabi women agreed to interviews. Fines for violation range from 1,000-10,000 Danish kroner (€134 - €1,341). Determining whether or not a face covering violates the ban is up to the police, but no one was prosecuted. A few police men and women calmly blocked traffic and guided the march down Mimersgade to Bellahøj station. Cameras, note-pads, live-streams and banner art were ubiquitous across the sea of hundreds of supporters who showed up. It seemed no one felt afraid to be seen or heard and it proved to be enough.