16 August 2011

Grandparents For Asylum

Grandparents have a shortcut to my heart, if they have something to say, I feel obligated to listen. Today I spotted a small demonstration on Sankt Hans Square by Grandparents For Asylum. The first time I heard about them was last year when they were arrested in the Parliament for singing during the announcement of yet another tightening of the asylum law, by Minister of Integration Birthe Rønn. They caught some of it on video before they feed was interrupted. First words out of Birthe Rønn: "stop the meeting, then they will be punished". 

This woman earned her mural:

Shame on you Birthe Rønn.

Some of the refugees have been stuck in the asylum centres for over ten years, people who have experienced torture and prosecution (counseling of torture victims is only available to those granted asylum). According to the grandparents they have had an unfair trial, and following their rejection, they are now stuck, traumatized, petrified of going back home and not allowed the opportunity to start a life here. The children, of which some are born at the centres, are stuck in the middle and moved from one asylum centre to the other, unable to form relationships with children their own age, as they may not be around long enough. I know firsthand how this cripples your social skills in the long run. And the deprivation of a social life is only one of the many inhumane obstacles they are up against.

Human rights are being trampled.

We grandparents are outraged and ashamed of the Danish refugee politics. Too many have been stuck for years in the Danish asylum centres - passive, denied the right to work.

Bedsteforældre For Asyl

Every Sunday the grandparents stand in front of the asylum centres to show their discontent, they have been doing so for the last three years, and this month marks the 200th appearance. They are a reminder of a humanity that used to be at our very core, and they make me so proud to be Danish.
Link: Bedsteforældre For Asyl (in Danish)

And now I miss my grandparents.. ugh.



  1. Hej. Couple of days ago I went to this party celebrating the publishing of "Kirkeasyl - en kamp for ophold" and it was actually the first time I heard about those camps in such a detail. How civilized countries with such a rich civil movements traditions can treat other fellow human beings in such a way? It so nice to see that there are actually people (like those grandparents for example) who stand firmly for what they belive.

  2. Hej Martin, it is interesting how those who fight for their beliefs are either very young or very old, what is happening to the middle part, I wonder? Seeing these guys going strong so persistently is very touching. Maybe it is just me and the grandparent thing.

    Oh, and I forgot to tell you last time: I really like your blog. A lot. :D

  3. Thanks Sandra:)
    So here goes my hipotesis: young people are still idealistic, and they don't have to worry for paying their bills, so their mind is free to wander. Older people also can chill out - they don't struggle for money, they are more or less settled down. Also, after living for so many years they have better grasp on what's important, and what's just an illusion.
    The people between - we don't have it easy - parents are not buying us food and cloths any more, we still not getting our pension, there is so much stuff we have to do, places to be, goals to achieve, that we hardly have a chance to stop and think. This economical system it's a tough one. It's made in such a way, that we (humanity as a whole) actually work more, then we used to. So could someone tell me, where is the progress? :)

  4. I don't see the progress either. But even if you have a lot of stuff on your mind in the middle part of life, you still have a vote for the system you believe in (how can anyone want this, I wonder), and you can speak your mind when an injustice is done.

    It grosses me out how much money rules the day, at the cost of humanity. How important is that flatscreen tv and the open kitchen really? If the cost of keeping the pace up is this, how can anyone deem it worth it?

    The Danes better wake up and vote this Government off the island before it is too late.


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