International indie darlings Sigur Rós will give a brief concert today for protesters of the Kárahnjúkavirkjun dam project, who have set up camp in eastern Iceland near the industrial site.according to Morgunbladid online. Sigur Rós are renowned for their opposition to the Kárahnjúkavirkjun project. Run-ins between police and protesters have escalated over the past few days and law enforcement has been increased substantially. Read More
Yesterday police arrested 4 activists at the main dam site. Activists were brutally arrested for tresspass, one was grabbed by a neckerchief and all had their faces pushed into the ground and legs hit with truncheons.
The legality of the arrest is contestable in its legality as there appears to be no documents to prove that the land is not public access. The activists, once detained were not allowed to make phone calls in the manner outlined in Icelandic law, but were allowed food to be brought to their cells (unlike on the main protest site where the police are trying to starve out campaigners).
All of the activists have since been released with no charges as it seems unlikely that they were breaking the law. Clearly the police and landsvirkjun are uncomfortable with campaigners close proximity to the dam.
Activists moved the main site of the protest camp to Lindur on Tuesday 1st August. The police attempted to intimidate activists against the dam, by creating an eviction time of 12 noon the following day. They would not state where the current site was, preventing the group from moving to the adjacent area of land as is legal under icelandic law. Campaigners thereby moved to an area where they thought they would be legally allowed to stay. The police then used tactics of intimidation to try to stop the camp, which is clearly being an effective form of protest in itself, otherwise the police and companies related to the dam would have no problem with the campers. Dam companies caused the owner of the hut at Lindur to burn it to the ground, obviously they are trying to make protestor uncomfortable, but we remain resolved to fight heavy industry. Police have created various road blocks and have told the site kitchen that they are trying to starve campaigners, by not letting the kitchen on to site.
On the first morning of the camp being in the dam affected area the police carried out a drugs raid on the camp. They hasseled activists who were trying to explain their rights to house peace, which means icelandic police need a warrant to enter a dwelling, including a tent. This like many other laws was ignored. The police entered a number of tents, damaging two of them. The drugs dog paid no attention to the tents chosen. One activist was taken away and searched but released as he, like all of the other anti-dam campaigners, had no drugs or ilegal substances on him. Police lied to the media claiming that drugs were found, the media have now listened to activists explaining what really happened, but initially were unconvinved that the police would lie to them!
Icelanders are encouraged to visit the site. If a road block is in place the walk is only 30 mins and amongst the amazing scenery due to be flooded. Food and vehicles/lifts are always appriciated
26 July 2006
A bridge was blocked at Kárahnjúkar by ten people at the same time that over forty people blocked a crossroads by the worksite at the dams that are being built at Eyjabakkar. Both blockades were successful and although police arrived with riotshields there was no violence or arrests.
Apparently the police bragged about some contraption they have recently aquired which has hooks to drag away protestors which have locked on to each other. A policeman said it might “scratch a few arses”. SI ask if the Icelandic police realise that if they are going to subject protestors yet again to their reckless stupidity and inexperience they may cause serious physical harm to people. If a number of people who have locked on to each other in armtubes are to be “dragged” away it it will very likely result in a number of broken arms and other serious injuries. We demand that this be looked into by responsible people.
The protestors issued a statement were they point out that although most people think that the wetlands of Eyjabakkar were saved from destruction by publick outcry and a pedition which collected 45.000 signatures in the year of 2000 there are at least four dams being built at Eyjabkkar as part of the Kárahnjúkar project. This will cause great damage to the Eyjabakkar area and threaten them further as ALCOA is likely to demand a future expansion of their factory in Reydarfjördur. In addition these dams at Eyjabakkar will destroy a procession of unique and much loved waterfalls.
According to the planning permission the main dam at Eyjbakkar is supposed to be 32m high. The dam is in fact being raised by 5 metres!
The central dam at Kárahnjúkar has also been sneakily raised by 10 metres. Both additions are illegal and will add to the devastation of the nature of the Eastern highlands.
Updated 29/7 2006
The Friends of Iceland/Saving Iceland protest camp has been erected at Snaefell close to the dams at Karahnjukar.
On Saturday at least 150 people went on a protest hike into the area to be drowned. The hike ended with a silent protest vigil at the site of the central dam. Anger and sorrow was the predominant feeling.
The atmosphere at the camp is amazing and there is much dynamism in the air and feverish activity. Almost two hundred people are in the camp now. About half the people are Icelandic, the other half English, Scottish, French, Dutch, Belgian, Spanish, Italian, German etc.
Ghostigital played a bistering set in the blazing evening sun with waterfalls and mountain ridges in the background. Dean Ferrell played a very inspiring set in the daytime yesterday and Palindrome played in the evening.
Both Björk and Sigur Rós are expected to appear soon at the camp.
Thankyou to everyone who has already sent in a design for a Saving Iceland tshirt, they have all been of such a high quality, we are amazed. Read More
Usally organisers of demonstations in Iceland are very pleased if 2000 people attend demos. But over 3000! This goes to show the rising tide against the heavy industy policy and corporate invasion of Iceland. Bravo!
In the summer and autumn of 2005 the Icelandic authorities performed numerous illegal arrests, violated the rights of people in custody, entered illegally the dwellings of protestors, violated severely the peace and right of privacy of individuals with thuggish surveillance, threats and intimidating behaviour.
The Directorate of Immigration finally ruled that it had no right to deport any of the foreign people who demonstrated summer 2005 against the heavy industry policy of the Icelandic government.
The threats of deportations were in fact nothing but illegal persecution of people who were exercising their democratic rights to protest against the crimes of a highly autocratic and corrupt government. This is exactly what was pointed out in the article ‘Surprise, surprise!‘ as early as September 2005.
No actual deportations of anti-dam protestors took place. Had they taken place they would have been illegal!
People who were on the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration list for possible deportation are all perfectly free to travel back to Iceland.
The conference was organized by the Economist magazine but sponsored by Alcoa and other companies. In the publicity material for the conference, the Economist (in its guise as the ’Economist Intelligence Unit’!) promoted the conference as discussing amongst other things how Iceland can supply all of Europe’s energy needs with clean energy.
In the build up to the conference, outraged Icelanders contacted the Economist and pointed out that even if every drop of energy was squeezed from the land without any other considerations, it would still only produce 1% of Europe’s requirements. Also the energy that will be produced is actually very far from clean energy. In fact its filthy dirty.
The Economist replied that what was in the publicity material was, “marketing-speak geared to creating interest for the event.” They continued, “The journalistic approach from The Economist itself would certainly carry a different, more balanced and researched perspective.”
The unwitting honesty of this reply speaks volumes. Nuff said.
More wriggling and squirming followed about the role of the sponsoring companies, (Just supporting the conference financially, otherwise neutral.) Then they tried to suggest that the conference represented a balance of the opinions on the issues under discussion. Only problem with that being that the, ‘critical’ voice was that of a conservative opposition MP, who had actually supported the dam project wholeheartedly! Read More