Zur heutigen Kommunalwahl in Longyearbyen, bei der etwa ein Drittel der früher Stimmberechtigten ihr Stimmrecht aufgrund der Nationalität verloren hat, gab die Gruppe “unwanted foreigners” folgende Pressemeldung heraus (deutsche Übersetzung vom Inhaber dieser Seite). Sie bezieht sich auf eine Ausstellung in der unmittelbaren Umgebung des Wahllokals, bei der die nicht mehr demokratisch repräsentierten Bürgerinnen und Bürger Longyearbyens ihren Fußabdruck in der Gesellschaft symbolisch sichtbar machen wollen.
Today, Longyearbyen votes a new local council, but about one third of the former voters have lost their voting rights because they are foreigners. The group “unwanted foreigners” have issued the following text as a press release (English translation from Norwegian by the owner of this website).
Press release: Longyearbyen’s “unwanted foreigners”
Local elections in Longyearbyen today – a painful day for non-Norwegian citizens. They have lost their voting rights.
During earlier local elections, non-Norwegian citizens could vote as soon as they had lived in Longyearbyen for at least three years – just as in mainland Norway.
With the new regulations, most of them have lost their democratic rights.
Today, local elections are being held in Longyearbyen – many locals who have lived in Longyearbyen and contributed to the community and economy for years are now excluded. They are represented in silence, as appropriate for those who have lost their voice
Here are some of their footprints in the community of Longyearbyen:
- I have been making your food since 2017
- 9 years on the island. Have a Norwegian company with 5 employees
- Local for 15 years – I have voting rights in Trondheim but no longer here!
- 19 years on Svalbards. Will rescue you from a snow avalanche
- 21 years in Longyearbyen. Elected member of the local council
- Owner of a company and member of the guide association
- 3 years in Longyearbyen. Scandinavian citizen. :o(
- 4 years in Longyearbyen – local guide
- Will rescue you from a crevasse
- Have never before felt that it was „you“ and „us“ before
- 8 years on the island. Will repair your clothes. Own a Norwegian company with 3 employees
- We are Longyearbyen
- I will make sure that you have a good dinner after your marathon
- Grew up in Longyearbyen. Have learnt Norwegian values at school
- Stood for the elections last time. 16 years Svalbard. Oslo thinks that I know less about Svalbards politics than a fresh graduate of Svalbard folkehøgskole
- Sámi, women, foreigners – we have been through all of that. Voting rights for everybody!
- 20 years in Longyearbyen – worked for UNIS, NP, science council
- 3 years on the island with my family – working in customer service and voluntarily
- 20 years on Svalbard. 20 years in local companies. Love Longyearbyen and the people who live here. Voting rights for everybody
- Grew up in Longyearbyen. Went to Norwegian school in Longyearbyen. Speak Norwegian well. But not a part of this community
- 12 years for no say
- Norwegian guy – 9 years in Longyearbyen. No point in voting anymore
- 7 years on the island. Run a recycling workshop as a volunteer, lead Svalbard Guide Association & work as a guide year round. Worked for UNIS
- Volunteer since 2017. Cleaned Svalbard from plastic, Red Cross, Svalbard sports club
- 5,5 years on the island. Contributed to the local community, now considered worthless
- 12 years on the island – washing your house
- 7 years on Svalbard – Svalbard – guide + local business owner – working with 15 local companies + others on mainland. Contributing directly into the Norwegian economy… but we still don’t really count?
- 7 years on Svalbard – guide + logistics manager Polar X – previously voted! We make the documentaries that influence the world’s view of Svalbard + our wildlife … but we’re not important enough to influence our local politics
- Who else is gonna have the patience to serve Norwegians their drinks…
- Longyearbyen is my home
- 10 years on Svalbard – Only here doing critical work for the state! I have friends who died! for the right to vote. Norway is no better than Russia
- 8 years on Svalbard. 2.5 years on mainland. PROUD CANADIAN. Essential worker 4 Norway. Your ‘democracy’ is a joke… our lives are not. Shame on you
- 29 years on Svalbard. I felt welcome when I came here then
- 11 years of science and teaching arctic ecology
- Democracy is a thing to stand for
- It meant something to contribute to the renovation of Nordenskioldhytta during the pandemic
- Mine worker
- Svalbard: cornerstone of my life in 26 years. And now suddenly second class citizen
- 1 year on the island. UNIS student and member of the guide association
- 6 years on the island. Can rescue you from a snow avalanche
- It gives me pleasure to contribute to the development of Longyearbyen after the coal age
- 12 years on the island and could vote previously. In 17 years, my son can vote, hopefully together with me
- Proudness is best in community, not nationality
Christiane Hübner and Wolfgang Hübner-Zach also lost their voting rights and initiated the exhibition. The quotations are from locals who are now left without voting rights.