Stop Lene Brink(Head of Aarhus Integration) from Shutting Down Aarhusculture.com
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This petition is made out to All the Political leadership in Aarhus, The Danish Minister of Culture, the Danish Minister of Social Affairs and Integration and Human Rights Organizations World Wide.
AarhusCulture.com and its founding editor (exiled author, Tendai Tagarira) are under a political attack disguised as “an integration decision” in Denmark and his human rights are being violated by the selective application of the integration legislation of Denmark which is biased against political refugees and foreigners living in Denmark. We need your help to stop this persecution. Aarhusculture.com supports the freedom of speech of all cultural heritage in Aarhus and is a platform which brings many cultures together reaching more than 30000+ readers in Aarhus alone, which is about 10percent of the local population. This work is bringing a positive and visible impact on society, yet the Intergration Dept of Aarhus refuses to consider this work as fulfilling Tendai's integration into Danish society.
We need your support to stop this selective application of the law, to the detriment of an important society project. Please read everything, especially The Beginning of Problems with Aarhus Kommune Integration Dept, on this link: http://aarhusculture.com/2013/03/28/aarhus-culture-under-persecution-by-lene-brink-head-of-intergration-dept/
to fully understand how all this is playing out. As founding editor of this community publication Tendai have a B income from his other creative and social activism work and has been using his own money to support Aarhusculture.com publication after Aarhus Kommune refused to support the publication.
They wish to remove Tendai from officially working on building this publication citing that this does not meet the Integration legislation in Denmark. They feel threatened by our growing popularity and ability to reach a mass audience, and the fact that we are a minority led publication and seek to suppress our free speech, citing archaic and unjust pieces of legislation to justify their gagging us. This amounts to institutional discrimination and yes its happening here in DENMARK!!! We need to expose it and stop it!
THE EU has noted this type of institutional discrimination against minorities in Denmark, in this recent article on Politiken:
The Integration Act of Denmark, states the following:
1. – (1) An object of the Act is to ensure that new- ly arrived aliens are given the possibility of using their abilities and resources to become involved and contributing citizens on an equal footing with other citizens of society.
TENDAI: I have used my possibilities, abilities, and resources to create Aarhusculture.com and through it, I have contributed significantly on an equal footing with other citizens to Aarhus and Danish society.
(2) This must be effected, through an effort of integration, by:-
1. (i) assisting in ensuring that newly arrived al- iens can participate in the life of society in terms of politics, economy, employment, so- cial activities, religion and culture on an equal footing with other citizens;
TENDAI: My work with Aarhusculture.com and my other writing engagements in several Danish newspapers participates heavily in the politics, economy, employment creation, social activities, religion and CULTURE.
2. (ii) assisting in making newly arrived aliens self-supporting as quickly as possible through employment;
TENDAI: And this is why we are having a fundraising program and we have even managed to pay for some administrative and growth expenses. We are in the process of applying for grants and selling ad space to finance our activities and be able to pay salaries, like other cultural institutions in Denmark. Many of these applications have deadlines and processes and they don’t work within the time frame of Aarhus Intergration Dept. Lene Brink has refused to even hear our plans for fundraising nor has she even given us ample time to do so.
(iii)imparting to the individual alien an under- standing of the fundamental values and norms of Danish society.
TENDAI: I understand and appreciate Danish values and that is why this publication promotes free speech and is available in both Danish and English and covers many diverse subjects as women rights, minority rights, citizen rights etc. Aarhusculture totally promotes Danish values.
(3) Another object of the Act is to promote the possibilities of citizens, enterprises, authorities, institutions, organisations, associations, etc., of society of contributing to the effort of integra- tion.
TENNDAI: Aarhusculture.com creates many possibilities for both old and new citizens. It promotes creative enterprise and supports many enterprises in Denmark. We also work with various institutions, organizations and associations and you can see on our affiliated institutions page.
So according to the objects of the Danish Intergration act, my work fits perfectly well as “INTERGRATION” as it is defined in the Danish law, contrary to the decision of Lene Brink-Head of Aarhus Kommune Integration Dept.
Here are ten reasons why our publication is good for the society of Aarhus:
1. Aarhus Culture is a publication started by minorities and the platform inspires tolerance in the city of Aarhus. We bring people from ALL CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS TOGETHER. Fact:
a.) We have one of the most diverse team of bloggers in Denmark compared to other publications in Denmark.
b.) Our readership is made up of a diverse audience, about 70% readers from Denmark (mostly Aarhus) and the rest of the world.
c.) We have been read in 3/4 of the whole world and we have statistics and maps to prove it.
2. We have a vast archive of information on Aarhus. Some have even considered us a mini encyclopedia of Aarhus culture and one can test this notion by searching for any aarhus culture related terms on our site and see how much content we have on any given subject. We predict that in a year, we will be appearing on the top of every google page, when someone googles “Aarhus” and our growing visibility is a sign of a growing and loyal readership as a big chunk of our readers come from search engines.
3. Considering the Aarhus population, we reach about 10% of Aarhus and provide useful information to this growing demographic.
4. We have promoted the work of so many diverse artists and cultural institutions since we started and one only need to look at out content to see this. We have profiled and interviewed many local artists and covered many local festivals and many cultural events. This is because our diverse team of bloggers brings different content to the publication.
5. More than 30 bloggers and growing strong, on one platform writing about the local Aarhus Culture. This is a landmark for Aarhus culture. This is one of the biggest voluntary writing teams ever assembled in Aarhus and certainly can’t just be ignored.
6. We have many good working relations with many of the city’s cultural institutions and we are expanding our network, so we can cover 100% all Aarhus cultural experiences. See our affiliated institutions page to see more of this growing phenomenon.
7. We promote networks amongst the unlikeliest of people. By bringing these different cultural people together in an atmosphere of tolerance, we encourage many creative collaborations and partnerships which give this city diverse innovation. This will give rise to many interesting creative expressions from our City.
8. We are also very active off line. We have events once a month and we promote local poets, writers, painters, sculptures, magicians, brake dancers,graphic artists etc from Aarhus through these events. One of the poets we promote is signing a book publishing deal with the leading publisher in Denmark.
9. We have published over 400 articles on different Aarhus culture subjects since we started. This means we have a large library of opinions about this city’s expressions. In two years, we will have the most diverse voices of Aarhus on one publication.
10. We are working with 2014 Culture City of Umea in Sweden. We have a cultural exchange blogging program with some of their local culture bloggers and writers. This encourages the two future culture cities to learn from one another and promote ties with our culture city neighbors.
The actions of Lene Brink and her team invalidate all this important work and we cannot accept this. We encourage all our readers to sign this petition to highlight this issue in this petition which is addressed to all the Political leadership in the City of Aarhus, the Cultural Minister and Social Affairs/Integration Minister of Denmark.
This publication must continue and deserves the support of this city and people like Lene Brink should not be allowed to shoot down all the voices we represent. We are a product of the people and we can not let one person stop this great communal initiative !
Read the article here about our persecution.
Sign the petition bellow.