On Sunday, the youth wing of the Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin) distributed pro-refugee stickers to counter a similar protest from the racist group Nordfront.
The stickers had slogans such as “Refugees Welcome” and “Iceland Is For Everyone” written on them. The youth group filmed the action and posted the footage on their Facebook page. The English-subtitled video has 11 thousand views as of writing.
A statement posted with the video reads “Today Young Social Democrats went around the capitol area and distributed stickers with a positive message regarding refugees and asylum seekers. We cannot sit by while certain groups spread hate speech against these vulnerable groups. Young Social Democrats believe that the Icelandic authorities’ policy in these matters is inhumane. Iceland needs to take responsibility and welcome refugees.”
The video and statement harshly criticises the the government in general and Minister of Justice Sigríður Á. Andersen in particular. Her ministry oversees the Directorate of Immigration, which has come under considerable criticism from many human rights organisations for its policies and practices which violate international laws. It also uses scientifically dubious and intrusive tooth exams to determine asylum seekers age.
This is not the first time the Young Social Democrats criticised Sigríður. Earlier this year, she floated the idea of offering those seeking international protection 3,000 EUR to withdraw their applications. They offered her the same amount to resign.
When contacted by the Grapevine, the recently elected chair of the group, Nikólína Hildur Sveinsdóttir, said, “I would like to point out the fact that this is not a one of thing”. She emphasised that the group is dedicated to making all immigrants, refugee or otherwise, feel welcome. She felt the group could not leave hate speech unanswered.
You can watch the video in full below:
*English below*Í dag fóru Ungir jafnaðarmenn um höfuðborgarsvæðið og dreifðu límmiðum með jákvæðum boðskap í garð flóttafólks og hælisleitenda. Við líðum ekki að á Íslandi séu ákveðin öfl að dreifa hatursáróðri gegn þessum viðkvæmu hópum. Ungir jafnaðarmenn telja að stefna íslenskra stjórnvalda í þessum málum sé ómannúðleg. Íslendingar eiga að axla ábyrgð og opna faðminn fyrir fólki á flótta.—English: Today Young Social Democrats went around the capitol area and distributed stickers with a positive message regarding refugees and asylum seekers. We cannot sit by while certain groups spread hatespeech against these vulnerable groups.Young Social Democrats believe that the Icelandic authorities' policy in these matters is inhumane. Iceland needs to take responsibility and welcome refugees.
Posted by Ungir Jafnaðarmenn on Sunnudagur, 18. nóvember 2018