Some 300 to 400 people turned out at Austurvöllur, the square in front of Iceland’s Parliament, this afternoon, where songs were sung, speeches were made, and a statement was read from the nine Palestinian refugees recently evicted from their own housing by immigration authorities for refusing to assist in their own deportation—a move that was harshly criticised within Parliament.
The meeting was chaired by Hatari frontman Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson, and featured numerous guests. Amongst them was Pirate Party MP Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir, who gave a speech in English in which she criticised not only the Icelandic government for its refusal to take a clear stance against Israel’s policies against the Palestinian people, but against Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, for having supported Iceland taking economic sanctions against Israel for years but, since becoming Prime Minister, now stating that Iceland cannot take this step without other countries doing the same.
Another speaker was Eyrún Ólöf Sigurðardóttir, who read a statement from the Palestinian refugees evicted from refugee housing in Hafnarfjörður for refusing to take a pre-deportation COVID test and being subsequently evicted and stripped of their meager pre-paid cards that they use to buy food from grocery stores.
In the statement, they recount the racism, abuse and poverty they were forced to endure in Greece—to where they are slated to be deported—and how all they want to do is to be able to work, study, and live in peace in Iceland.
While a ceasefire between Israeli Defense Forces and Gaza was announced yesterday, within hours Israeli police were firing tear gas and stun grenades at worshipers at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, underlining the fact that the occupation is far from over, ceasefire or not.
A video montage of the event, including the full speech from the Palestinian refugees, can be seen here or in the banner video above.
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