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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Bergen bans camping in public areas

Bergen’s city government has voted to forbid overnight camping in public parks, open spaces, along roads or in local town squares and other public areas. Critics claim it’s aimed at keeping homeless people off the streets.

“Bergen is beginning to be an ice-cold city,” complained Mailiss Solheim Åkerblom, of the Reds Party. Both it and other left-wing parties were in the minority in trying to halt the ban on camping outside of designated campgrounds.

“We’re a city known for promoting human rights, but now we’re distancing ourselves from that,” Åkerblom continued. She was joined by Rune Bakervik of the Labour Party, who claimed that “those who are struggling the most will now find life even worse. This is as un-Bergen-like as can be.”

Defenders of the proposal noted that it’s not new, and that Labour also supported a similar one, but Bakervik said that was when the city also still offered acute overnight housing for the homeless. Charlotte Spurkeland of the Conservative Party claimed the ban was necessary “to address problems with camping” ahead of the summer tourist season. Police, she claimed, will not target homeless people but rather those pitching tents in urban areas.

NewsinEnglish.no staff

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