Hand me that sledgehammer

Good thing for Bertel Haarder that Monday was a national holiday in Denmark. That gave maintenance workers time to tear down a wall that was blocking the entrance to the Education Ministry in Copenhagen (which he heads) so he and the bureaucrats on his staff would be able to reach their offices the next morning. A wall? Yes, and a formidable one, too: It was 10 feet high and built of heavy concrete blocks ... by students at a local masonry school. According to news reports, the students apparently did the work late Sunday night or at least before dawn . Apparently, they appointed themselves to act on behalf of the 7,000 or so Danes who are enrolled in vocational training programs but have found few, if any, internships available to bridge their entry into full-time employment. The wall - and an accompanying sign that read, "You are locked out, Bertel!" - were intended to give Haarder a sense of how it feels to be outside the labor market looking in. Many of the students, the reports said, blame the government for not doing enough to help them. Presumably, the wannabe masons intended their protest to be only symbolic. Otherwise, they'd have walled off all of the Education Ministry's exterior doorways and would have chosen a normal workday to put their skills to use.

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