The Trampoline House’s 1st of May Speech

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Speech by The Trampoline House at the 1st of May ANTIFA demonstration in Copenhagen “Live more, Work less”.

by Liza, Izabela and Keiko · Video by Thomas Elsted

We are asylum seekers. And right now we live in Center Sandholm, and we are members of The Trampoline House. We are from different countries, but we have the same problem: We have plenty of time and no right to use it. We see a paradox: On the one hand we have a society of people working so hard – and on the other hand we are forced to do nothing. Believe us: it is easier to work hard than to be forced to do nothing.

So why don’t we share?

Most of us are young active people with different skills, highly motivated and in our best years. We used to be students in our home countries. Then we had to run away from horrible injustice to find a place where we can feel safe and equal. But from the beginning the asylum system showed us that we are not welcome here.

In our home countries we have already been isolated from the society, because of our nation, our beliefs, our religion and our political views. We came here to build a new life, but what we found is total isolation. We have not been accepted by our own society, and now we are not accepted by the new society. We are still strangers and don’t have any rights. No, we are not starving, not under bombing right now, but we are living inside the camps like animals in cages. Most of the time we just eat and sleep, uncertain about our future. We are fed up with never-ending free time. This time is killing us, because we are not allowed to do anything – having no rights to work, to get money, to education or the simplest right for self expression.

We go deep inside our terrible memories. We stay alone with our fears, with our past. We get depressed, passive, and after this long waiting time we have lost all hope, we have lost our self-confidence. This time can last for 5, 6, even 20 years! We ask ourselves, what have we done to become prisoners?

The women in the camps are isolated in a double sense. They are isolated, also inside the camp. Many women who run away from suppression find the same situation in the isolated camps. There are many women who never gone outside Centre Sandholm from the day they arrived.

We don’t want to abuse the Danish society – we want to enrich, to support, to build a new, colorful future together in harmony. To bring new power. New skills. New views. New possibilities. We want to feel useful. Some of us have very important knowledge. We can bring the best qualities from our cultures to the Danish culture, and enrich the society. We just need to have a chance to do it. We need to have the right to action.

The only way for refugees to become a useful part of the Danish society is to let us live and work outside the camps.

The Trampoline House is a mixed community of refugees and other residents of Denmark, building a new community together and supporting one another in the difficult process of integration. The Trampoline House is a user-driven community and culture house, where we break down the barrier between them and us. And we create an alternative community, which is not the isolating camp and not the excluding society. It is a place where we work as equals. Here we are faces instead of numbers and we are creating a new colorful society.

The government will soon come out with a proposal and allow asylum seekers to live and work outside the camps, but we are worried that they will exclude some of the asylum seekers: Rejected asylum seekers and especially rejected asylum seekers who will not cooperate with the police about deportation. That means that people who have spent the longest period inside the camps will not be included.

That is why we are running a campaign where we demand that all asylum seekers will have the right and possibility to live and work outside the camps after 6 months. On May 13, we are having a big manifestation where we walk out of the camps… TOGETHER!

More information about the campaign here