This is a campaign I started a little over a month ago. And yes, I happened to take the initiative, but the fact that the name wasn’t very well chosen was something many people had been thinking about before. Basically, it’s this Danish company that’s taking over a piece of property that had belonged to the army previously and builds a Danish school on it for 70 million Euros, and everybody gets all excited about how great they are. The problem is just that the company doing it is the shipping giant MAERSK and it’s named after their founder Arnold Peter Møller, who died in the 1960s. Now this guy and this company happen to have a history on earning their money on wars (selling arms to the Nazis and earning high profits on services to the Pentagon in connection with the Iraq war) and using union busting tactics against their workers.
Just in terms of numbers If they were to pay the same tax percentages for their oil exploration in Denmark to the Danish government as private companies have to pay to the Norwegian government, that would amount to 6 Billion Euros more in tax income from today until 2045. But the queen, and the Danish minister of education thank them so much for giving 70 million!
When I first wrote this, I wasn’t aware of several points that appear in the final version. That is because the first ten people signing it had a say in the contents of it, and several of them added things I didn’t have a clue of.
The reaction in the borderland has been like it would be anywhere in Soviet Eastern Europe before the fall of the Berlin Wall: the newspaper Flensborg Avis refused to print it with the argument that the fond paying for the school had been “giving a lot of money to Southern Schleswig in the last couple of years”. Other people employed by the Danish institutions either were told that they could not sign such a thing or they were afraid of signing it due to past reaction from the system. The text was allegedly also spread in the intranet of the teachers down there. One guy went as far as calling me six times on my Nicaraguan cell phone and some 20-30 people sent me hate mails of various kinds. A reporter from Flensborg Avis went on and on in Facebook forums, trying to find some or other problem with the text. Unfortunately for him, he just revealed thereby that his investigative skills weren’t all that developed.
Still, despite some (unfortunately very uninformed) criticism I and we received so far, I am sure that in a few decades the call will come to fruition in some form or another. Here you can read it in four languages:
Continue reading Change the name of A.P. Møller-skolen