Music and solidarity are the themes of tonight’s “Techno 4 Refugees” event, an extension of protests which have been ongoing through March.
While Fréttablaðið initially confirmed that Björk will be one of the performers at the event, we have received word that she will in fact not be in attendance. That said, the event does have a stellar line-up, comprised of the following artists:
Bjarni Elí Jóhannsson (Gonzo)
Kormákur Jarl Gunnarsson (Kommi)
Davíð Roach Gunnarsson
Ísadóra Bjarkardóttir (a.k.a. DJ Bounty)
The event is an extension of protests by refugees in Iceland, which have been ongoing throughout March. Despite the police violence these protesters have endured, they remain committed to opening a dialogue with the Icelandic government in the hopes of improving their living conditions in this country.
“During the last month, refugees in Iceland have shown incredible bravery in demanding negotiations with the government that has all the power over their lives,” the event text reads in part. “They have gone to the media to talk about the injustice and faults of the asylum seeking system in Iceland, as well as organising many peaceful protests. … The only answers they have received so far are batons and pepper spray from the police and a meeting with a representative from the Prime Ministry where their request for negotiations was denied and no promises were made. In addition to that, the Minister of Justice, Þórdís Kolbrún Gylfadóttir, used international commitments as an excuse to deny negotiations.”
The refugees are calling for a number of reforms to the system. These demands are fairly simple and straightforward: an end to deportations; that every asylum application case is actually reviewed; that refugees be granted the right to work while their applications are being reviewed; equal access to health care; and the closing of the Ásbrú refugee shelter in Keflavík, which is considered an especially inhumane location amongst shelters of already questionable humaneness.
Those interested in attending the event are invited to come to Austurvöllur, the square in front of Parliament, at 18:00 this evening. More DJs or other performers may be added, and included on the event’s page.
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