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Icelandic rights and democracy campaigner to visit

Wed 2 Jan 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News

Hordur Torfason A gay man credited with turning Iceland on its head, in many ways, is coming to New Zealand for a speaking tour in March. Hordur Torfason initiated the huge political and economic overhaul in his nation. After Iceland’s financial crash he stood outside the Parliament building and asked passers-by what they thought should be done. It resulted in several demands: 1. Resignation of the whole government. 2. Nationalization of the bank. 3. Referendum so that the people can make economic decisions. 4. Incarcerating the responsible parties. 5. Rewriting of the constitution by its people via Twitter and Facebook etc All of this was accomplished peacefully. Nobel prize-winning economist Joe Stiglitz notes: “What Iceland did was right. It would have been wrong to burden future generations with the mistakes of the financial system.” Torfason is also credited as being the first person to step forward as openly-gay in Iceland, in 1975, causing such a stir that an attempt was made on his life. He moved to Copenhagen where he lived in exile for many years, but continued to fight for gay rights from abroad using his art to spread the message. Sian Clement is bringing Torfason and his husband, architect Massimo Santanacchia to New Zealand “to remind New Zealanders how democracy can really work”. The trip is being financed democratically, through Pledge Me, which will mean he can be heard for free. “This man took a knife in the stomach for the gay rights movement,” Clement says. “I think Aotearoa should look after him and ensure he has a fabulous time here as well as imparting some inspiring thoughts.” He will be speaking in Auckland on 18th    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 2nd January 2013 - 1:25pm

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