No Borders To March On Ministry

17.1.2013
Words by Paul Fontaine
No Borders Iceland has announced that tomorrow afternoon they will organise downtown and then march to the Ministry of the Interior, demanding greater rights for asylum seekers.

According to their Event posting, No Borders Iceland invites the general public to gather at the downtown park Hjartagarðurinn at 15:00 tomorrow. At 16:00, they will march from that location to the Ministry of the Interior, located on Sölvhólsgata 7. The group also promises that "we will have a mobile sound system in a car dropping revolutionary beats".

Their demands, as always, revolve around asylum seeker law reform. In particular, they want asylum seekers to be granted the right to live and work in Iceland, and for processing times for refugee applications to be expedited, among other things.

In fact, last Friday the ruling coalition of government approved a bill that proposes a number of changes to immigration and refugee law. Among them is to do away with arresting and charging refugees who come to Iceland with false passports. The time period for processing an asylum seeker application would be set at a maximum of six months. If, for whatever reason, the process takes longer than 18 months, the asylum seeker would be granted a residence permit on humanitarian grounds. The bill would also create an independent committee for those applying for residence in Iceland as asylum seekers.

No Borders has taken issue with Ögmundur on a number of occasions in the past. Last November, they criticised him for making a speech in front of the US embassy voicing opposition to American support of Israel, during a time when it was engaged in a military campaign with Gaza. No Borders, in turn, responded, "One could ask the minister, 'How many asylum seekers will be sent to their deaths before the end of the month?'"

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