Scuffle at Austurvöllur at Protest for Asylum Seekers Skip to content

Scuffle at Austurvöllur at Protest for Asylum Seekers

The scuffle took place at Austurvöllur square, pictured above.

Update at 19:28. The Police pepper sprayed a number of protesters, and at least two have been arrested, according to Mbl.is. The Police say the scuffle started when protesters started building a pyre with cardboard and pallets. The protesters have left Austurvöllur square, walking up Laugavegur street with Police officers following the parade.

A scuffle ensued as the Police stopped protesters from putting up a tent at a pro-asylum seekers protest. The scuffle was short and part of the Police force left shortly after with two protesters’ tents in hand. The protest takes place at Austurvöllur in front of Alþingi, the Icelandic Parliament.

The protest was planned by the Facebook page Refugees in Iceland. Today’s protest is the fourth one to take place this month. The group is demanding a meeting with the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister. So far they have received no response.

The protest’s Facebook event.

Text is taken from the event:

On Monday, the 11th of March, Refugees in Iceland call for the fourth protest in one month period. The protest will be in Austurvöllur at 15:00.

Over two weeks ago, we sent a letter with the help of the Red Cross and asked for a meeting with the Minister of Justice, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Welfare and The Directorate of Immigration. In that meeting we would like to discuss the inhumane conditions that we as refugees under the Dublin Regulation live with, as well as making our five demands clear:

1. No more deportations
2. Substantial review for everyone. No more Dublin Regulation
3. The right to work
4. Equal access to health care
5. Closing down of the isolated refugee camp in Ásbrú

Instead of answering our request for a meeting, Sigríður Á Andersen the Minister of Justice, has announced that along with other changes she would like to make the Dublin Regulation even more strict, as well as preventing refugees from getting a family reunification. If this goes through it would without no doubt make the asylum seeking process even more unbearable than it already is.

In the past month, we have stood united as refugees and tried to make our voices heard so that we may claim our rights as human beings on this earth.

To Icelanders and other people with residency we ask: Show us solidarity by joining us in Austurvöllur on Monday, listen to our demands and help us make the authorities listen as well.

 

The protest will continue today as around 50 people will stay. Organizers have asked for people to bring warm clothes, blankets, and tents. Food will be served at 19:00 and people are encouraged to bring instruments.

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