Icelanders gathered at Laugarneskirkja church last night to show support for the Telati family, and to listen to one member of the family share her thoughts.
The classmates of the children of the Telati family – who were recently denied asylum in Iceland despite facing threats on their lives in their home country of Albania – were amongst those who attended a rally at Laugarneskirkja church last night, Vísir reports. School children held signs reading “Peace”, “Equality” and “Love”.
“We don’t want to see any unnecessary deportations,” they told reporters. “We don’t want to see the Dublin Regulation [which is frequently invoked to deport asylum seekers]. We want to say: you are welcome here.”
Laura Telati, one of the three children in the family, spoke to attendees, where she advocated for a life without borders and the abuse of power:
“The world belongs to all of us, and there is room for all of us in it, so why separate and hide yourself from others?,” she said. “Why can’t people come here? If there are more people, then there are more people working. More people working means more tax revenue. More tax revenue means improved benefits for the state.”
The classmates have formed their own political action group, Changers On Adrenaline, which will focus primarily on conveying the message that asylum seekers should be welcomed to Iceland; not deported.
Over 10,000 Icelanders have already signed a petition calling upon the Directorate of Immigration to let the family stay in the country. The Directorate, for its part, has told reports they “see no reason” to review their case.