The first whistle has barely sounded at the football World Cup in Russia, but the consequences of state-sanctioned homophobia and hate are already becoming clear. A French gay man is hospitalized in St. Petersburg with a broken jaw and brain damage after a brutal attack on him and his partner. While the Icelandic nation waits with bated breath for „our boys“ to walk onto the World Cup pitch for the first time, this man’s nearest and dearest wait for news of his health and survival. And LGBTIQ+ people the world over wait in nervous anticipation of the next attack, which seems inevitable.
The office of Samtökin '78 will be open from Monday to Thursday between1pm and 4pm durin June and August, execpt for Reykjavík Pride week the 8th-13th of August.The office will be closed from the 9th of July. Open house on Thursdays will continue and next Thursday the 8th of June we will offer Queer Tango again, see event.
The board of Samtökin ‘78 has called a general meeting this coming June 1st at 8 pm at Suðurgata 3. At the meeting, members of the organization will have the opportunity to help shape the work of the coming months and join committees and working groups. Coffee provided and all are welcome – both old faces and new!
The board and staff of Samtökin ‘78 wish to thank everyone who participated in our week of action because of the horrible events in Chechnya. Both those who stood vigil, who came to the protest on Friday or who participated in another way. The protest was very effective and caught a lot of attention, including the news media. For those who were not able to participate the speech of María Helga Guðmundsdóttir, president of Samtökin ‘78, can be found here. More pictures from the protest can be found here.
The Chechen Republic, which is part of the Russian Federation, is now the site of an extermination campaign against queer people, particularly gay and bi men. Despite loud protests from the international community in recent weeks, the situation has worsened and the violence grown in intensity. This must end now!
From Wednesday to Friday, Samtökin ‘78 have organized a chain vigil, where people take turns standing vigil outside the Russian Embassy on Garðastræti between noon and 5 pm.
On Friday at 4 pm, we will assemble at Suðurgata 3, put on pink triangles and march to the Russian Embassy to remind Russia of its commitments to human rights.
Let's unite to celebrate May 1st, International Workers' Day!
11:00 – Sign-making session at Suðurgata
13:00 – Assembly for the march by Hlemmur
13:30 – March begins
Samtökin '78 first particpated in an International Workers' Day march 35 years ago, in 1982. "The scheme was not well received by the march's organizers," observed Þóra Kristín Ásgeirsdóttir in the organization's 30 year anniversary issue. "Still, members of Samtökin '78 were permitted to participate, although they were not formally made party to the day's celebrations. But when itch came to scratch, only two people showed up: Guðni Baldursson and his husband, Helgi Viðar Magnússon. They marched in front of the band Svanur, carrying a white banner nearly three meters across, adorned with two pink triangles and the inscription 'Job security for gays and lesbians'."
The office will be closed 13-17 April as well as 20. April because of Easter and the First day of summer. Our social programme does not go on holiday though! Here are some upcoming events:
On Thursday April 13th a newly found queer bookclub will meet for the first time. In the club there will be an opportunity for book lovers to convene and discuss Icelandic literature with queer themes. Everyone is welcome and no formal experience with literature is required. More information here. The event will be in Icelandic.
On the 28th of Febuary Samtökin '78 will hold a general meeting. The meeting will take place between 17:30 and 19:00 at Suðurgata 3. There are two matters on the agenda:
1. Presentation of proposals for statute changes
A comittee for statute changes has been operating since fall and will present their proposals that will be brought before the annual general meeting (aðalfundur) the 18th of March.
2. A proposal from Íslensk erfðagreining (deCODE Genetics).
We have received a proposal from deCODE Genetics for collaboration with the study of the genetic basis of sexual orientation. At the general meeting we will discuss this proposal. Decision will be made at the annual general meeting (aðalfundur)