At least 23 people were injured and another 19 were detained after a weekend in which huge numbers of young partyers descended on northern Norway to celebrate the country’s reduced duty of police on Sunday night. It marked the “fourth night of the fourth month” when drinking under the new rule ended a general ban on alcohol consumption in the country.
According to Norwegian media, the surge in party people Sunday started in bars in northern cities as part of the fourth weekly party in the summer of 1987. A quarter of a million people from all over the country once took part in the “aparten” festivities. But those who have not been able to attend such parties in years due to the police restrictions were unable to attend and started taking to the streets to booz up.
On Sunday, Roper television station showed a brawl breaking out on a street in the small town of Bergen in which fists, beer bottles and bikes were thrown. Social media was full of pictures of people looking for friends and other young people in similar situations.
There were several media reports of car and boat collisions as well as rocks being thrown.
The organization NOR UP, which plays the role of the national police force on youth nights, reported on Sunday afternoon that there were roughly 100 violence situations and 22 fightings. Police charged 18 people and seized a number of knives and clubs.
Norway’s new policy was inspired by a change in laws in neighboring Sweden, which reduces the freedom of alcohol possession as well as drinking restrictions throughout the year. Party in the Scandinavian country is held twice in a year, on the first Thursday and the fifth Friday of the month in September, as well as in May and August.
The four amnesties take place every July, September and May.
On Monday night, ruckus continued in several northern Norwegian cities. Local police have also warned that it will take longer for the city to handle future large crowds that will probably erupt in the coming days because it will be the last four-night effect party.
North of Oslo, police in the small town of Svördersjæll called in more than 400 police officers after a mass fight, according to Roper television station.
For years, alcohol restrictions have been a target of protest in Norway because they limit the alcohol purchases of citizens who cannot buy in the country’s liquor stores and also make most alcohol unavailable to students.
In 2012, Norway’s supreme court ruled that the laws violated the freedom of speech and association of Norwegian youths, and the government and parliament decided to lift the restrictions by Sept. 21, the national New Year’s Day.